This is a picture of me when I turned 10. I’m looking down at my birthday cake, and my bangs are well shorter than society or style recommended, even for 1988. This was a running theme throughout my childhood. When my bangs got too long for my taste, I would sneak into my parents’ bathroom, find the scissors, and work my magic.
This photo doesn’t show the worst example of my home haircuts, but it’s certainly representative. I can’t find the other school picture in which my bangs are approximately half an inch long after I “evened them out” the night before 3rd grade school pics. It may have been burned during a particularly ugly teenage moment.
This handsome guy is my husband Jeff. In an economically savvy move, Jeff decided that he would no longer spend money getting his hair cut at a real place because, well, it’s only a quarter inch long and because we are cheap. He does just fine at cutting his own hair at home. I can’t say the same for his attempt at cutting our sons’ hair, which required an emergency Great Clips appearance the next day.
We are no strangers to home haircut disasters, but the SAHM cheapskate in me has made this a hard lesson to learn.
Exhibit A: The Dog Grooming Debacle of 2014
This is my dog Lexi, the only being on earth who loves me without judgment or reserve. I am her person, and she is my dog, a golden retriever we rescued five years ago. If I were half the person Lexi thinks I am, I would probably be walking on water by now. I can even forgive her muddy paws on my hideous white kitchen floor because she’s such a sweetie.
One Friday afternoon, she was smelling a bit ripe, so I decided to give her a bath in the front yard while the kids biked around our cul-de-sac. Then, the kids all wanted to help, of course.
Like all golden retrievers, Lexi sometimes gets that curly hair behind her ears matted together, and I wanted to cut the knot out during her bath. I got her all bathed up and ran to get the scissors. As I was cutting, a child distracted Lexi, and she jerked just as I snipped the scissors. (*Go ahead…cringe and shed a small tear.*)
I cut her ear with the scissors. I cut her ear…with the scissors. I…cut my dog’s EAR…with.the.scissors. Frantic, I put Lexi in the car and left the children with a 10-year-old babysitter to fend for themselves.
Long story short, this domestic disaster could’ve been avoided. I was too cheap to take her to a $35 groomer, and instead this accident put six stitches into Lexi’s ear and cost me $250 at the vet. Jeff was thrilled, as you can imagine. I am happy to report that Lexi has only had about two baths since then, neither of which included grooming her ears.
So you would think I’ve learned my lesson, right? WRONG. I now give you…
Exhibit B: The Cat Grooming Shenanigans of 2015
This is our cat Georgia, our oldest child whom we adopted as a junior-sized kitten in 2004. A fluffy, long-haired calico, Georgia sheds her winter coat all over the house each spring, constantly grooming herself and occasionally throwing it up on our floors. Several years ago, she was sprayed by a skunk, and our vet recommended shaving her coat to help alleviate the God-awful smell. We did.
And then we got the bright idea to shave her every spring to avoid 97,000 tufts of cat fur and barf all over our house. It was genius.
Our vet Jason in Tennessee is also a good friend, and he confided that Georgia is one of the roughly 25% of cats who need to be, um, sedated in order for all parties to have a pleasant grooming experience. Kind of expensive, but worth saving my sanity. We gratefully accepted Jason’s friend discount, slipped her a mickey, and Georgia came home skinny, svelte, and groomed into her lion’s cut, ready to take on back yard birds and moles.
But now we’ve moved to Arkansas, the land of full-priced veterinarians, and there are tell-tale tufts of fur popping up all over the house. So, having learned nothing at all from previous home grooming disasters of myself, my children, and our dog, I sent this text to my vet friend Jason.
I have totally got this, I thought. My cat loves me. This can be over in no time and I will have saved our family, like, $125. Totally worth it. Surely it can’t be that hard, right?
My inner monologue was so, so, SO wrong.
And Georgia never scratched me, bless her precious, kind, still-loves-mom-even-though-she-did-this-to-me heart.
This is as far as I got. It looks like she got in a fight with the business end of a weed-eater. I think she’s embarrassed…she’s done a lot of hiding and meowing at me. A neighbor kid actually saw her yesterday and asked, “What happened to your cat, Ms. Carrie?”
Ugh. I’m the worst mother ever. I’m probably going to start a GoFundMe account to fix Georgia’s jacked up fur because Jeff is in “I told you so” mode.
And yes, y’all. I’ve learned my lesson. Be they for child or pet, NO MORE HOME HAIRCUTS.