This is a picture of me when I turned 10. I’m looking down at my birthday cake, and I have terrible bangs. This was a running theme throughout my childhood. When my bangs got too long for my taste, I would sneak into my parents’ bathroom, find the scissors, and work my magic.
This photo doesn’t show the worst example of Carrie’s Home Haircuts, but it’s certainly representative, and I can’t find the other school picture that is way better (read: my bangs are approximately half an inch long after the “gotta even it out” school of home haircutting disaster the night before 3rd grade school pics). It may have been burned during a particularly ugly teenage years moment. Who knows.
This handsome guy is my husband Jeff. In a move that I support and commend, the Hubs decided that he would no longer spend money getting his hair cut at a real place because, well, it’s only a quarter inch long and because we are cheap. He does just fine at cutting his own hair at home. I can’t say the same for his attempt at cutting our 4yo’s hair…it required an emergency Great Clips appearance the next day.
We are no strangers to home haircut disasters, but the SAHM cheapskate in me has made this a hard lesson to learn.
Exhibit A: The Dog Grooming Debacle of 2014
This is my dog Lexi, the only being on earth who loves me without judgment or reserve. I am her person, and she is MY dog, a golden retriever we rescued 4.5 years ago. If I were half the person Lexi thinks I am, I would probably be walking on water by now. She’s a rock star, and I can even forgive her muddy paws on my hideous white kitchen floor because she’s such a sweetie.
Last spring, she was smelling a bit ripe, so I decided to give her a bath on a Friday afternoon in the front yard while I was watching the cul de sac critters (my kids and neighbors’ kids) run around. They all wanted to help, of course.
As Lexi is a golden, she sometimes gets that pretty long curly hair behind her ears matted together, and I wanted to free her of this during the bath. I got her all bathed up and ran to get the scissors to cut out the knots. As I was cutting, a child distracted Lexi, and she jerked just as I snipped the scissors. (*This is the point where you can freely cringe and shed a small tear.)
I cut her ear with the scissors. I cut her ear…with the scissors. I…cut my dog’s ear…with.the.scissors. I put Lexi in the car and left the children to fend for themselves.
Long story short, this household accident which could’ve been avoided if I hadn’t been too cheap to take her to a $35 groomer or too impatient just let nature do its thing…put six stitches into Lexi’s ear and cost me $250 at the vet. Yep. The Hubs was thrilled, as you can imagine. I am happy to report that Lexi has only had about 2 baths since then, neither of which included grooming her ears.
So you would think I’ve learned my lesson, right? WRONG. I now give you…
Exhibit B: The Cat Grooming Shenanigans of April 14, 2015
This is our cat Georgia, our oldest child whom we adopted as a junior-sized kitten in 2004 when we were still dating. As you can see, she is fluffy, and each spring, she sheds her winter coat all over the house, constantly grooming, picking at her coat with her teeth, and occasionally throwing it up on our floors. Several years ago, she was sprayed by a skunk, and our vet recommended shaving her coat to help alleviate the God-awful smell. So we did.
And then we got the bright idea to shave her every spring to avoid 97,000 tufts of cat fur and barf all over our house. It was a genius move.
Our vet Jason in Tennessee is also a good friend, and he confided that Georgia is one of the roughly 25% of cats who need to be, um, sedated in order for all parties to have a pleasant grooming experience (Georgia mauled his nose once while we were getting her shots). Yep, we were all for riding that friend discount, slipping her a mickey, and having her come home skinny, svelte, and groomed into her lion’s cut, ready to take on back yard birds, etc.
But now we’ve moved to Arkansas, the land of full-priced veterinarians, and there are tell-tale tufts of fur popping up all over the house. So, having learned nothing at all from previous home grooming disasters of myself, my children, and our dog, I sent this text to my vet friend Jason.
I have totally got this, I thought. My cat loves me. This can be over in no time and I will have saved our family, like, $125. Totally worth it. Surely it can’t be that hard, right?
My inner monologue was so, so, SO wrong.
And Georgia never scratched me, bless her precious, kind, still-loves-mom-even-though-she-did-this-to-me heart.
This is as far as I got. It looks like she got in a fight with the business end of a weed-eater. I think she’s embarrassed…she’s done a lot of hiding and meowing at me. A neighbor kid actually saw her yesterday and asked, “What happened to your cat, Ms. Carrie?”
Ugh. I’m the worst mother ever. I’m probably going to start a GoFundMe account to fix Georgia’s jacked up fur because Jeff is in “I told you so” mode.
And yes, y’all. I’ve learned my lesson. Be they for child or pet, NO MORE HOME HAIRCUTS.