Waiting, waiting for his hair-raising experience

It’s July. I’m really hoping that by the time you’re reading these words, I will have had a long-overdue haircut. But I’m not convinced this blessed event will yet have happened. My fingers and all other available appendages are crossed. Now I know that the state of my hair is hardly a burning priority in the face of a dangerous pandemic. But I’ve worried plenty about COVID-19 and it still weighs on me as it does on us all. So, consider my coiffure concern to be a brief and welcome respite from the daily sad corona tidings.

When you’ve had short hair for decades — aided and abetted by a receding hairline and expanding helipad on top — having long hair again is a pain. It wouldn’t be so bad if I had a lovely soft and manageable mane that cooperated with my explicit styling instructions. Alas, that is not the case. I have what my longtime haircutter describes as Bozo hair. Lucky me. He means that on the sides, if untethered by some kind of restraint product like gel or, in a pinch, bacon grease, my hair bows out in great arcs trying to break free from my head. This boy bouffant look makes my cranium appear much larger than it is — and my head is not small to begin with!

I have a great relationship with my hair guy. He even called me in the midst of the pandemic to calm my frazzled nerves and offer some Bozo mitigation tips. He also said he hoped to be open again soon, though no word as of the time I write this. And it’s not just my hair. But as I’ve aged, I’ve found my eyebrows growing at a staggering pace. (And let’s not get into what’s happening in my ears.) I know I made a passing reference to my bushy brows in last month’s column, so imagine what they look like now. I figure I’m a week or two away from French braiding my eyebrows, or by then, eyebrow. All right, enough hairy observations for one column and on to more important musings.

No summer camp!

This pandemic has had deep and far-reaching impacts, and not just on our health, employment, and the economy. In May, the Ontario government announced that summer camps would not operate this year. To many, this news meant little. But for kids who consider those two or three weeks to be among the highlights of their year, it must have been a devastating blow. I’ve written in this space before about the impact summer camp on an island in Lake Temagami had on my brother and me. If you attend the right camp at the right time in your life, it can have very positive, life-altering effects. I think it did for us.

So, I’m a little torn up thinking about the kids who won’t be seeing friends they’ve missed since last summer, or experiencing the wilderness and the water, singing those camp songs, quietly gaining leadership skills that will serve them well as grown-ups, and enjoying camp life in a country perfectly suited for it. Camp also gives parents something they have precious little of during the year, and particularly in the last few months. And that’s time to recharge their batteries and for one brief shining three-week span, think about something other than their children and enjoy a little well-earned “me time.” I regret that this will be a lost summer for campers, parents, and camp staff across the province and beyond.

But you know and I know that we’ll get through this. We have to be smart about it and do the right thing, which is a pretty good formula for living our lives. Be smart about it and do the right thing.

Late breaking newsflash! I’ve just been in touch with my hair guy and he’s coming over in a few days to shear my hay bale tresses in our backyard. Yeeehaaa! My locks are so long, he’ll be able to cut them while maintaining social distance. So, when you do read these words, my head will have a new lease on life. Yes! Stay safe everyone.

About Terry Fallis 86 Articles
A two-time winner of the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour, Terry Fallis grew up in Leaside and is the award-winning writer of nine national bestsellers, all published by McClelland & Stewart. His most recent, A New Season, is now in bookstores. www.terryfallis.com.