Posted by: Rob | July 7, 2008

Haircuts and Horoscopes

I started a piece a little while ago whilst laying in bed (home from work sick).  It was going to be another one of those…I guess…grief-related pieces.  I had initially titled it “Juxtaposition“.  Here is what I had drafted before taking a break to feed the child some supper:

Ann gave me a haircut yesterday.  I’ve been getting my haircuts at home for about 10 or 12 years now.  It’s easy to do with an electric clipper as I’ve been keeping my hair close cropped ever since it started getting thin on top.  Close cropping started with the 1/2″ attachment, but now it’s down to 1/4″.  I suppose it’s only a matter of time until I’ll be shaving it “right to the wood”.

The usual locale for haircuts in our house is the kitchen.  It has the best lighting as well as easy access to an outlet.

I remove my eyeglasses when I get my haircut so I’m pretty much blind during the process and reliant upon my other senses.  As I felt the cool touch of Ann’s hands on my scalp and her increasingly surer movements of the clippers over the contours of my head, my mind wandered backwards to other haircuts.

It’s a strange feeling to think that such a mundane activity could trigger such reveries.

The reveries in question, of course, were about all the times that Shelley had cut my hair.  How she wouldn’t angle the trimmer (sans clipper length attachment) when cleaning up my neck line and it would invariably pinch me.  Or the time that she was trimming around my ear with the scissors and accidentally snipped a small cut in my ear.  And, of course, there was the more recent time that I had used the clippers to trim her hair.  Several months of alpha-Interferon chemotherapy had caused a lot of her hair to fall out.  She had resorted to wearing wigs and just wanted to dispense with the hassle of pinning up her own remaining locks when donning a wig.  So, for a short time, our hairstyles more or less matched.

I had planned to end the piece with a question: What I would be thinking about during my haircut if it weren’t for these other memories and reveries?

But fate, or something, has interceded to send me a message.  In the form of a horoscope.

While eating supper with the child at the dining room table I perused today’s edition of the Globe and Mail.  Leafing through the sections I happened upon today’s Horoscopes.  I’m probably what you might call ambivalent or selective about horoscopes.  When a given horoscope reflects what’s happening in my life, I might think that that is interesting; when it doesn’t I generally ignore it.

Given that this is the time of year when Shelley’s condition and health started to significantly deteriorate until she died on August 17th, I found it to be somewhat akin to a slap upside the head to read my Horoscope for today:

Why are you spending so much time and so much emotional energy thinking about the past?  You cannot go back and change things but you can go forward and make life better than it was before.  Life is full of infinite possibilities.  Embrace the future.

Now, isn’t that interesting?



  1. That’s what I thought too.

  2. That IS really interesting, Rob.

    I don’t know if you are a believer in “signs,” but I am. I believe our loved ones are around us, but gently encourage us to be content in the present.

    The day after Arthur and I were engaged he passed the spot where Sue died on his way home from work. He was talking to me on the cell phone, and said he wondered how Sue would feel about us getting together. Just then a car sped by him, sporting a vanity plate that said “At Peace.”

    Even though it can be hard at times, I guess our assignment now is to be happy and “at peace.”


  3. Yep, I believe our loved ones, or the Universe, or whatever gives us a slap upside the head occasionally. I used to get them more often when I was more in tune with that stuff. It’s hard to tune in with loads of people all around you.

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