Newlywed Love (#52)

April 11, 1970

Nate hadn’t had a haircut since the week of our wedding 4 months before, and I thought his long locks were beautiful. His mustache was the perfect compliment, but all that hair was beginning to get to him.

Many of his friends were growing their hair, too, but in his law classes, most continued with regular cuts. His parents, disturbed by his unkempt look, asked if he needed haircut money. They couldn’t understand why he would wait so long.

Long hairMy folks hadn’t said anything to us, though I’m sure they’d talked  in private. Maybe they even wondered if Nate was becoming someone different than the person they’d gotten to know before the wedding.

One day when I was running my fingers through his silky hair he said, “Kinda long, huh?”

“No! I love it.”

“I’ve been thinking about a haircut.”

“Really? Why?”

“I don’t know. It just looks shaggy.”

He thought long hair didn’t partner well with becoming a lawyer. “Before I start interviewing for jobs,” he said, “I’ll definitely have to cut it.”

“Sure,” I said, “but that isn’t for many months.”

I hoped he would keep it long but didn’t dare say it outright, knowing he’d go against his own preference to favor mine. So I made a suggestion. “How about shaving off your mustache and then seeing what you think?”

He brightened at that, and we had some fun with the process as he took off half at a time. The two of us were looking in the mirror at his clean upper lip for a minute when he said, “You know, I might just get a little trim around the back. I could keep the sideburns. Or I could get a regular cut and grow the mustache back.”

Barber pole.I knew then that one day soon he’d be walking through our door with his hair neatly cut. For all I knew, he’d already made the appointment. I appreciated that he didn’t want to disappoint me, though.

“Hair keeps growing, you know. If we don’t like it shorter, I can always grow it back.”

At that point, the only thing to say was, “You’re right.” The truth was, haircut or no, he would always be a dreamboat to me.

Later that day we opened the mail. A letter from Mom included this:

Don’t let Nathan shave off his mustache. I wish Dad would also grow one. Both of your grandfathers, Margaret, sported cookie dusters.

You can’t please all of the people all of the time.

Avoid foolish controversies…. for they are unprofitable and worthless.” (Titus 3:9)

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