MY FEMALE colleagues—who commend us, men, when we pick good shirts, who harshly (and lovingly) criticize us when we don't, and who, after some meaningful and substantial arguments about fashion and utility, convinced Ulysses Gopez to finally buy a new pair of shoes—have been successful in their pursuit to make me change my hairstyle. "Grow your hair long," they'd say. "If you don't like it, you can always have your head shaved. No harm done."
I thought the argument was hard to contend against. And so, yesterday, I went to Kuya Vio, my trusted barber in Bocobo, and told him that I wasn't going for semikal dos, my usual. "Sa gilid mo na lang putulan, Kuya—ikaw na bahala," I said. I was telling him to stop intermittently, so I could put on my glasses to see the progress of my haircut. "Okay naman?" I asked, to which he answered in the affirmative.
He went on to do the finishing touches, then gave me a free back massage for three minutes.
I went home self-conscious. When I looked at the mirror, I felt I was looking at a different person. I still do. You see, this is the first time in more than two decades that I have decided to grow my hair longer, to more than an inch. We'll see what happens.