Rich started writing for the Honolulu Star-Bulletin as music critic for the symphony and opera seasons. Originally from Granite City, IL, he graduated from Simpson College with a degree in music education. In 1984 he received his MA in Music ...
Rich started writing for the Honolulu Star-Bulletin as music critic for the symphony and opera seasons. Originally from Granite City, IL, he graduated from Simpson College with a degree in music education. In 1984 he received his MA in Music Education from Truman State. Now retired, Rich enjoyed reading, writing music and short essays. He is the director of Kirksville Community Chorus.
MCKNOTES ON SPRING CLEANING
Did I say spring cleaning? Well, that’s not what I meant. It’s not spring, and I don’t want to jinx it. The groundhog had good news for us this year, but I’m not sure how accurate that prediction is. I’m certainly not ready for spring cleaning, but I think I’ve changed my profile picture. I say “I think” because I’m never sure that things will work as planned. I did this because I look different than when I started my blog, and even that picture was old. Since that time I have let my hair grow.
People ask me all the time why I’m letting my hair grow. I don’t really have a reason, except that I don’t like getting my hair cut. I’ve been cutting my own hair for many years. I have an extremely sensitive neck, so I cut my own hair because I am uncomfortable having someone else cut it.
I’m a neck breather. At one point some years ago, I stopped by the shop of a friend to have her cut my hair. She strapped a plastic bib around my neck and took her time with conversation and hair cutting. Meanwhile, I was breathing the small amount of air trapped under the plastic bib. The plastic bib was hot and certainly did not allow enough air for me to breathe comfortably. I started to panic. I finally had to explain to her that she had cut off my air supply as well as my hair. I’m no Samson, but she was my Delilah. From that time on, I cut my own hair outdoors or in the basement so that the discarded hair would not mess up the house
My longer hair is not a fashion statement, it’s just easier for me.
Now I’ve started growing my beard. Again, I’m just not a big fan of shaving. I do a bit of trimming so I don’t start looking like a Yeti, but it’s just easier for me to go without shaving. It’s not forever. It’s my hair and my beard. Some people don’t like my long hair and others don’t like my beard. Some don’t like either of them. I’m sorry, but it’s not about anybody but me.
I guess I should tell the whole truth here. On my recent trip to St. Louis and then Los Angeles, my hair was already getting pretty long. Several times, waiters and waitresses referred to me a “ma’am.” I’m not sure what they were looking at other than my hair, which is kind of curly. I can’t really alter my voice and speak with a lower pitch. I did think of a few ways that might help restaurant service people comprehend my gender, but I could be arrested for most of those options. The beard is just an easier way. However, the first waitress who asks me what circus I work for will suffer a huge cut in her tip.
The thing is, I’ve seen myself in the mirror, and the truth is that I’m no prize with or without the beard, with or without hair, so I do what I want. Either way, I have received no calls from People Magazine to set up my photo shoot for sexiest man of the year.
I truly hope nobody is offended by my appearance. I’m still clean and try to dress relatively neatly. It’s just not a big deal. If it bothers you, maybe you should get a hobby. It’s a little like buying new clothes. Eventually clothes get old and a little worn out. Even if they don’t, it’s nice to have a new shirt from time to time. This is just a new look. I’m sure that I’ll eventually cut my hair short again. I will also shave my beard. Then, I’ll probably change my profile picture again. It’s just nice to have a change. You can always put my photo on your dart board.