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MACHO MADNESS A Hairy Situation
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My son, Kevin, and I had the hair argument again. Actually, it wasn't really an argument; I was simply voicing my opinion about the length of his hair. It's something I find myself doing a little more frequently these days, seeming to correlate with the distance he lives away from home and the amount of time that has passed since his high school graduation.

He was home recently for a couple of weeks for a brief visit before heading back to Santa Barbara to start summer classes.

"You're a junior in college," I told him. "It's about time you started acting like it."

To make matters worse, he has the support of his mother on this. But then again, she supports him in every aspect of his life, being his mom and all, and just wants him to be happy.

I tend to take the long view of things.

"You need to think about the future," I told him. "College isn't going to last forever."

But I'm afraid my words are not having the same impact they used to.

In spite of my best efforts, I know my darkest fears are going to be realized.

One day, later this summer, my son will come home with short hair.

Kevin's hair is almost to his shoulders, and it is beautiful. Thick and curly, it grows in natural waves as it passes his collar; in fact, if his hair was straight, it would probably already be down past his shoulders.

And now he wants a short, corporate style hair cut. And even worse, he's making noises about shaving his head.

"Grow it down to your butt," I told him.

"Someday the Man is going to make you cut it," I added, showing off my knowledge of 1960s hippie lingo. After all, as I've pointed out to him, once he graduates from college he very well might find himself in a job that requires grooming standards of short hair. I remind him college might be his last - and only - opportunity to grow his hair long.

Kevin had always worn his hair short hair until his sophomore year of high school, when he began growing it out. As a child of the 1970s, I wasn't too concerned. I had shoulder length hair myself as a young adult, right up until the time I went to work for a police department.