This internet research on job applicants (see previous entry) led me to do something I hadn't done in a while: searching the Internet for myself. Not much shows up. There are some much more interesting people out there in foreign countries that share my name. The few hits that actually were related to me certainly weren't incriminating, but they weren't that interesting either.
Then I came across this blast from the past. This lovely group portrait up above depicts the Mock Trial Team from my senior year in college. I'm the guy just to the left of center (hmmm... is that prophetic?) in the light colored double-brested suit. If you look close, you'll detect shades of Miami Vice fashion, but I assure you, I was wearing socks. You will also note a serious mullet. If only we all had a good friend with a talent for honesty and a eye toward the long range significance of fashion trends.
I had no business with long hair. I was shooting for Mel Gibson in Lethal Weapon, but ended up with Richard Marx. Alas. At least it wasn't the 70s.
In the 90s I tried reversing the style and going from short on top, long in the back to short in the back, long in the front. Coupled with a closely-cropped and thinly-populated beard, I had unfortunately at that point transformed myself into a reasonable facsimile of Bud Bundy from Married with Children. Again, not a good look.
Next I think, I tried the George Clooney Caesar hair cut. Another one that doesn't work for me. Then I end up married. With children myself. Or at least one on the way. About that time, I requested a little too much off the top at one haircut and ended up buzzed. My darling, and ever thrifty wife at that point saw a pair of clippers at a yard sale and bought them, offering to start taking care of my tonsorial needs at home. After the 2nd or 3rd cut, I realized upon closer inspection that these were actually dog clippers. In a few short years, I had gone from being a young professional groomed by an appropriately alternative-lifestyled hairstylist with his own studio to getting my head shaved by my wife on the back porch with a pair of used dog clippers while the baby took a nap. Talk about domesticated. I even sat perfectly still for my shearing. Oh how the mighty have fallen. Ozymandius has missed his cue.
Why this barber shop confessional? I'm not sure. I didn't change my hairstyle every other month, but I was looking for something. Or someone. Namely someone different to stare back at me out of the mirror. If you glance back up there, keep in mind I was 21 in that first picture but would probably have been lucky to be taken for 16. To say I was boyish, was an understatement. If you've been by Lisa's blog lately, you have probably seen her mention of my late-bloomer status. Unfortunately, that stigma of looking young haunted me most of my teen and adult life.
Now that I'm on the back half of my 30s, I'm finally reaping some benefits of a youthful appearance, but I'm probably over-estimating that youthfulness. And I wonder how much of my psyche is touched by either the pains caused by being small, nerdy and physically immature as a teen and young adult or warped by efforts to overcompensate. More than I probably need to think about.
We got a pair of actual new human hair clippers a few months into the hair-cut-at-home experiment and I stuck with those for a few years. Finally I realized the buzz cut wasn't a good look for me either. I returned to visiting a professional barber, albeit a relatively inexpensive one at the local mall. I'm 37 now and thankful I'm turning grey. I'm not trying to look like anybody in particular except a slightly more fit version of myself. My father-in-law did tell me recently that I looked like Keifer Sutherland on 24. I'd heard that before, but it'd been a few years. And I'm reasonable sure the last time I heard it I was single and it wasn't from a guy in his 50's.