Mouthing Off: Hairway to Heaven


Josh Soltman’s meticulously obscene mop, circa 2006. 

None of you kiddies really know me at all (and count your blessings for that), but I assure you I am a simple man: I like golf, long walks on the beach and swivel chairs. For most of my life I haven’t given much thought to the complexities of the human condition. I dislike most people I meet so I figured, why bother?

That is, until I recently discovered what could be my weirdest flaw to date; I suffer from tonsurephobia. It sounds dangerous, but it’s really just a sexy way of saying that I am afraid to get my hair cut.

Before you guys feel too sorry for me, you should know that I have conquered that fear and, about a month ago, got my ears lowered. I am man. For the first time since I was a mere tyke trudging my way through the fourth grade, I have succumbed to the call of the clippers.

I always just thought the reason I never got my hair cut was because I was lazy or something, or maybe that deep down inside I was a rebel with a cause. That cause was growing my hair out until everyone and their mother thought that I was the stoniest of stoners, or that if I were to lop off my locks, like Sampson, I would lose the very thing that makes me Josh Soltman; whatever the hell that may be.

So time went on, and my hair got longer. During my high school years, it got to the point that my luscious locks were the only memorable thing about me (think Joe Dirt/Encino Man hybrid).

People I went to school with every day of my life didn’t have a clue what my name was, but the moment they gazed upon my flowing mane, they would figure it out. It was about this time in my life that I was plagued by recurring nightmares of an Edward-Scissorhands-inspired barber who not only wanted to chop of my hair, but my head as well. The fear grew.

My predicament got particularly bad during my senior year of high school/summer before college. At this point, I literally consisted of 90 percent hair and 10 percent whatever else makes up my body. I knew that in order to impress the foxy ladies of Oakland University, something had to be done.

So, I began to trim my hair. Little by little I began to look more human-like and less gorilla-like. By the time school started in the fall, I was a regular lady killer  or at least I would have been if I didn’t have a terribly grating personality to offset my more approachable mop.

So this brings us to the present. I’m as much of a pathetic jerk as I ever was, but for the first time in what feels like forever, my hair is gone. Maybe I’m just in shock over what I’ve done, but I really haven’t been bothered by it. It’s kind of like the machine at the eye doctor’s office that blows a puff of air into your eye: the anticipation of the air-puff makes you squirm like a little girl, but the puff itself is not so bad after all.

All unnecessarily convoluted metaphors aside, I think conquering my fear was the right choice.

Now if only I could dispel my crippling fear of commitment, spiders and microwave popcorn, I might be just fine.