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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of “Don’t Try to Walk before You Can Crawl” (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/17/08)

TITLE: Cut to the Business
By Ann Renae Hair
01/23/08


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Teenagers. You gotta love ‘em. Confidence in spite of ignorance. Where does it come from?

I remember the day I was sleeping over at my best friend’s house. We were just hanging out, not really looking for anything to do, when Beth said, “I really need to get a haircut soon.”

To which I responded, “I can do that.”

“Do you think you can?”

“I spend forty-five minutes every morning curling my hair. How different can it be?”

“Good point. You’re sure you want to try?”

“No problem.”

And it wasn’t…the first time. We dragged the dining chair to the linoleum (for easy clean up – we really were thinking). We draped a plastic bag over her shoulders to shed the falling hair and commenced to our task at hand. It turned out great.

But times passes. And hair grows.

“Hey, I’m ready for a haircut again. Are you still planning on staying over night this weekend?”

“Sure thing. We’ll have plenty of time to cut your hair.”

So once again we set up shop.

“Uh, Beth. I don’t remember how I started last time.”

“You’ll figure it out,” she said flipping the page of her magazine. “You did a great job last time. You can do it again.”

Just the boost I needed. “Okay, I think I just pulled this hair up here and this hair over like this…”

Monday at school-

“Something’s not the same this time with my haircut.”

“Yeah. I see what you mean. Sorry about that.” I eyed the random dips and lumps and wondered what I had done differently the first time.

“It’s okay, my Mom is going to give me a perm this weekend. That will fix it.”

“That’ll be good. It really doesn’t look too bad.”

One week later-

“My Mom permed my hair this weekend.”

“I see that. It looks way better.”

“Yeah, well, it’s a good thing you weren’t there. She was furious about the way it was chopped.”

My eyes bugged out at the thought of my best friend’s Mom being furious with me. “What did she say?”

“She said, ‘Don’t you ever have her cut your hair again!’”

I gulped and said, “Tell her I’m sorry. It turned out so great the first time. I just don’t know what went wrong.”

Twenty years later-

“Hi. It’s Beth. I need a haircut. You’re the only one I trust to do it right. It’s been a long time since I’ve had it cut. I have a picture in my mind of what I want. Hopefully I can describe it well enough.”

“I’ll be able to figure it out for you. That will be a blast. I have an opening for a haircut at ten on Monday. See you then.”

Monday morning-

I, in my uniform, listened carefully as Beth described the ‘little flip’ she wanted at the bottom of her long brown hair. “No problem. I know exactly what you mean. You’re in good hands.”

I professionally draped the nylon cutting cape over her, shampooed, conditioned, clipped, cut, and blow-dried her beautiful hair with a ‘little flip’ at the bottom.

“Here’s the hand mirror. I’ll turn the chair so you can see the back.”

“Perfect. I knew you could do exactly what I wanted. I’m so glad you went to school to be a hairstylist. You’re the best.”

I laughed. “Remember when we were teenagers...”


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This article has been read 388 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 01/25/08
Very realistic and written with a fun, wry voice.

The phrases that indicate the passing of time, like "One week later-" could easily be tacked onto the next sentence for a smoother flow.

I like the way you gave it an unexpected twist at the beginning by having her first try actually turn out well.

LauraLee Shaw01/30/08
Great job illustrating the topic. Liked the little twist at the end. ;)
Dee Yoder 01/30/08
You're so good with dialogue that it makes your stories flow very naturally. This story is a great take on the topic, too. Another nice entry, Ann!
Sharlyn Guthrie01/30/08
What a cute story! I like the fact that she grew up to be a hairstylist, also that her friend still trusted her.
Beth LaBuff 01/30/08
I loved the teenage "barber" to professional hair styliest progression. I could picture this (and wondering if it actually happened this way :) ). Your title is clever and perfect!
Catrina Bradley 01/30/08
Such a fun read! Perfectly on-topic, great dialog. Loved the ending - especially the last line. Great job!