Most people that look at me today would probably think that I need a haircut. Because of the pressure of looking professional, along with the headache of having longer hair, I would agree. But deep down, I wish my hair was as long as the pictures you see at the top of this post.
I liked that me. It took me twenty-seven years to get to that me. Then it all vanished at the hands of a barber, and a couple poor decisions in my life.
But I digress.
As much as I liked sporting those golden locks, there was some drawbacks. People treated you differently. Men were pissed when they discovered you were a guy.
I was driving my own truck over the road back then. That fact is the biggest reason I could get away with having that kind of hair and still make a decent living. I was penniless in that picture, but that is a story for another day.
Back to my tale. After my hair got to a certain length, other truck drivers were quick to assume that I was some hot chick driving a shiny big rig. The CB radio back then was the equivalent of chat rooms and apps like Yik-Yak today. You were anonymous and that empowered men and women alike to say just about anything they wanted.
Nasty, nasty things they would say!
I remember one time driving across Ohio on a two lane highway avoiding the toll road to the north. It was a beautiful day and there was a bunch of us trucks on the road that day. Looked like a freight train on rubber tires. A line of trucks passed me going the other way.
Over the radio comes, “Damn Johnny, did you see that pretty thing driving that North Star truck!”
Normally I would just shake my head and ignore such comments, but this time I grabbed my CB mike and said. “I hope you weren’t referring to me hand?”
“You the one driving that west bound burgundy North Star truck?” He fired back.
“Yes, I am the one.” I said flatly.
“Shoot, you sure make for a damn pretty driver hand.” They guy responded after a moment, disappointment clear in his tone.
As if he would have had a chance with some hot blonde driving a truck doing sixty miles an hour the other way. It was the fact that I was a guy that he lost his chance to score.
“You know hand, if you’re going to have long hair, then you should probably grow a beard or mustache. Give the other guys out here some way to tell you’re a guy.” Some other driver chimed in.
“I do have a mustache driver.” I said with a chuckle.
I was sporting a pretty sharp looking mustache at the time.
There was some more grumbling, but after a few minutes distance pulled the conversation apart and I went back to wishing I was anywhere but in that truck.
But it wasn’t just truck drivers. I was an active runner during that time. In the cooler months, I expected to get the occasional whistle or cat call. But one day, it was a beautiful summer day. On days like that, I ran without a shirt on. As I was stomping up a slight grade, a car full of high school aged boys passed me from behind. One of them had his head out the passenger side window to get a good look at me as they passed.
He was pissed when he saw that I was a guy. What the hell was he thinking? That I was some exhibitionist chick out running topless! It’s not as if my pony tail was hiding my sports bra.
In the infamous words of Bugs Bunny, “What a maroon!”
And it wasn’t just those who were pissed to find out they got wood over some dude. One of my in-laws commented after I cut my hair.
“You seem different, like you no longer have this chip on your shoulder.”
Me, have a chip on my shoulder. I was the same guy, well except for the sunburned ears.
I cut my hair for a job interview driving truck for Coca Cola. I didn’t get the job. Thinking back, maybe that is why I refuse to drink their products.
No Coca Cola ads on this site 🙂
That was over fifteen years ago and I made a couple of lame attempts at growing it out again, but the slow look up and down from my boss when it did start to get long usually had me sitting in the barber chair asking for a little boys haircut.
But to this day, when I see a dude rocking some great mane of hair, I look on with envy and appreciation. Why is it so taboo for men to have anything other than some variation of, off the collar, over the ears, haircut? Ty Pennington deliberately messes his up and holds it there with hair product. But I blow my bangs out of my eyes and I am a freak.
At least mine is combed!
The founders of this nation, all respected men of the time wore wigs, sported long hair, and used pretty ribbons to hold it back.
I would be called politically incorrect names if I sported that dandy look today.
So anyway. When I posted a few pictures on Facebook of me in various states of long hair, some acted as though I should be embarrassed by them. The fact that I didn’t do it on throw back Thursday was a little embarrassing. The nasty unlit cigarette hanging out of my mouth isn’t my proudest picture. But the one where I am wearing the tux, rocking the Ray Ban’s, and sporting an awesome display of long wavy hair. I make no apologies.
I like that me.