Even though we haven’t been at the Harbour for a few weeks now, Marty has still been super busy trying to finish Important Projects on tight deadlines. One of these projects involved creating a rather large painting for a business that was celebrating its 125th Anniversary this year, and as we all know, 125th anniversaries don’t come around too often. Needless to say, finishing this painting on time (and especially before the end of the year!) was a pretty big deal.
It was finished during the middle of last week. Marty e-mailed a photo of the painting to the business when it was completed, and we both ended up getting invited last-minute to the organization’s celebratory soirée because of it. How exciting! Marty and I were going to dress up like socialites (he in a suit and tie and me in The Dress), set up the painting on display at the event, and hob-knob with Victoria’s elite for an evening. Plus, there was going to be chocolate there. Lots and lots of chocolate. What wasn’t there to love?
Well. An hour or so before we went to this Very Important Event, Marty and I were taking the usual steps to get ready. We showered. We laid our evening wear out on the bed. We wrapped up the painting and loaded our van with installation supplies. I checked to make sure I had a pair of nylons that wasn’t full of runs and snags. I put some change for the parking meters aside. Ho-hum. It was all good. Before showering, Marty gave his head a quick shave (like he always does) with ye olde Home Haircutting Kit, and he called me in to clean up the back of his neck.
For the record: I do this all the time. Just a few simple ‘zzzzzz’s with the clippers on my part, and Marty’s shaved head ends up looking clean and complete. Anybody can do it, but it’s obviously difficult to reach the nape of your own neck with the clippers at the proper angle, which is why I end up getting recruited for the touch ups. Once again: I do it all the time, and every single time, it ends up fine. So why, exactly, did I pick The Most Important Evening Of Our Lives to bugger everything up? Um… Yeah.
It started off like it always does: Marty handed me the clippers and turned around so I could do my simple swipes on the back of his neck. This time, though, I noticed that some of the hairs higher up on the nape of his neck were slightly longer than the rest of them. I knew that all the hairs needed to be perfect for this Very Important Event, so I decided to even them out a little bit. No problem, right? Even a child could do it.
I forgot that the clippers were, at this point, bereft of the comb that enables Marty to cut his hair evenly without completely cutting it off. Thinking I was just going to bring a few stray hairs to the same length as the rest of the cut, I glided the clippers up the back of Marty’s head and effortlessly proceeded to mow a strip of Marty’s hair right off, right down to his scalp!!! A totally bald, white stripe of scalp now beamed out prominently from the middle of Marty’s head, practically yelling ‘Wheeeeeeee!!! Look at meeeeeeee!!!!’, and ending abruptly at the point where I suddenly realized with horror what I had done and practically threw the clippers out of my guilty hands. Oh, what a sickening sight it was.
I wish I had been able to maintain some semblance of composure, and to absentmindedly mumble ‘oh, oops! Hold on a sec– I just missed a spot here.’ On this– the most important of Important Evenings– I should have saved face. Instead, I dropped the buzzing clippers like a hot potato onto the bathroom floor, clasped my hands to my mouth, and repeatedly exclaimed ‘Oh no! Oh no! Oh no!’ while swaying back and forth like a frenzied believer consumed in prayer. Marty, suddenly distressed (and with good reason), wheeled around in alarm and asked, ‘Why– what did you do?!‘
In between my gasps of dismay and regret, I managed to show him the back of his scalp using little mirrors. The bald stripe on his head was positively gleaming with snowy virginity and self-congratulation. “Wheeeeeeee!! Look at meeeeeeeee!!!!!” it trilled. God, it was sickening.
Undeterred and remarkably calm, Marty simply started to shave the back of his head with a smaller comb than the one he had originally used. He hoped, I presumed, to blend the stripe in by making its surroundings shorter as well.
It didn’t work.
My eyes were still as large as saucers at this point and, in my panic, the most effective thing I could do was to keep reciting my new mantra: Oh no! I’m so sorry! Oh God! I’m so sorry! (Clearly, I am not the best person to be around in an emergency situation.)
With steely resolve, Marty took the comb off of the clippers completely and gingerly tried to shave the back of his head some more, hoping to blend the stripe in. By this time, we were running late and Marty’s whole scalp was an angry shade of red, having been rubbed raw by too many swipes of the clippers. At least the stripe kind of faded out with this last attempt at a haircut, even though Marty’s hair was now way shorter than he had intended it to be when he first pulled out the kit.
For the record: Marty owned it and totally rocked the ultra-short hair look. Tyra Banks would have been so proud.
I have to say, I was totally impressed with how Marty handled the situation and totally embarrassed by how I failed to handle it. I swear– I was so consumed with the IMPORTANCE of the evening that my ability to act rationally and effectively was completely eclipsed. Completely. Utterly. Totally. Eclipsed.
Anyway. We ended up having a great time at the event, and Marty looked smoking hot in his classy suit. We indulged in way too much chocolate, I wore metallic high heels without twisting my ankles or falling down, and overall, the evening was a success. Not as IMPORTANT a night as I had made it out to be in my mind beforehand, but still, we were happy to be there.