The Scott Shaw Blog Be Positive

1968 or 2024

I was walking into my local Starbucks this AM, to pick up my traditional morning latte, (non-fat, of course), and my everything bagel. I always order on the app before I leave home, so it’ll be ready by the time I get there.
 
I walk in, and there’s this little blonde girl, I would guess her to be maybe four years old. She is standing next to a table by the door, with her nanny, who was of Latin American descent.
 
The little girl looks at me, and loudly says to her nanny, (obviously so I could hear), “Is that a man with long hair or a woman?” That made me smile…
 
I mean there are a lot of ways one could tear that statement apart. First of all, I have a full beard, okay… So, obviously, I’m not a woman. It was just this kid trying to be an obnoxious little shit. I mean, it just goes to show that some people are born, or trained very young, to be an obnoxious little shit. And, that’s how they go through their entire life. Some people are just obnoxious little shits from the beginning.
 
Now, at three or four, or whatever that girl was, I would never have voiced something like what she said. If I had said something like that to my parents, as I never had a nanny or a babysitter or anything, I’m sure my face would have been smacked. But, more than that, that was and is never the kind of person I am.
 
On another level, where does a kid get such a judgmental ideal by such a young age? I mean, men have long hair all over the place at this point in history. Several men who work at that Starbucks have long hair. Who knows her inspiration??? But, there she was, spouting it out.
 
As I left the Starbucks, she again, loudly makes her statement, “Is that a man or a woman?” Fuck you, little kid. Happy
 
All this sent me back to 1968, as that was the first time when I heard a child make such a statement about me.
 
Me, I was ten years old, living in Inglewood, as my father was the manager of the nearby Forum. Now, The Los Angeles Forum. Back then, if you were a part of the counterculture, which I was aspiring to be, you wore what were commonly known as, “Love Beads.” Which were generally a neckless of small colorful beads. I had my set.
 
Back then, if your hair was even just a little bit over the top of your ears, you were thought to have, “Long hair.” Which I did. There/then, this young girl, again, maybe four or five years old, loudly inquires, “Is that a girl or a boy?” Her mother quickly held her in check. Then, unlike today, I didn’t find the statement to be funny.
 
It is so weird how the length of a man’s hair is still a subject in this day and age. So much so, that it is voiced via the mouth of a child.
 
I mean, back in the ‘60s, it was a big deal. Many times, when male protestors were arrested, the cops would cut their hair right on the spot. They even reference this in the film, Easy Rider. It was still going on into the ‘70s. One time, my mother wanted me to get a haircut when I was thirteen and I refused. That night, when I was asleep, she cut my hair. What a mess, she just chopped off whatever pieces she could find. I had no choice but to go to the barber the next day to get it cleaned up. That was devastating. That was the last time I had my hair cut until I had that bad motorcycle accident when I was twenty-one and they shaved my head to crack open my skull and stop the bleeding in my brain.
 
When I was at Hollywood High School, there were times when my friends and I would go into restaurants and they wouldn’t even serve us due to our hair and appearance. In that era, when someone like me, with long hair, would be walking down the street, it wasn’t uncommon to have people yell, “Get a haircut, hippie,” or “Cut your hair, faggot.”  
 
There was this one time, in the early seventies, when I had hitchhiked to attend this rock festival in the mid-west. This guy made a very funny/truthful statement that has remained in my mind. We had all congregated at this little coffee shop and we were eating. (They served us there). One of the partitions, an old-school sort of guy, said to this one guy, “Why don’t you cut your hair?” The guy jokingly responded, “I have. But, every time I cut it, it just grows back.”
 
I’ve had long hair most of my life. It’s never really been a fashion statement. It’s just who I am. I don’t even consider it. But, ponder this, think of all the money I’ve saved by not going to the barber every few weeks like most men do.  
 
Kind of a funny side note here… My lady was speaking with one of her company’s co-workers one day. He was talking about his teenage daughter. He said, “I hope she doesn’t end up with some guy with long-hair.” Inside, my lady told me that she was smiling, as the man hadn’t met me yet. When he did, she just stood there grinning. I wondered why? When she told me about the guy’s previous statement, after the fact, we both laughed.

Speaking of my lady… She came up with a great response when I told her today’s story. She said, “You should’a asked the little brat, was Jesus a man or a woman?”
 
I don’t know… Life is this strange thing. We do what we do. Most, let people live and let live. They let them be who they are. If you not hurting anyone, shouldn’t that be the way it is? Yet, there are some people who just want to toss their judgement onto others. Some start this practice very young. Why? Who knows? Maybe they are simply born an obnoxious little shit. And, that is simply who they will always be. Happy