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Jimmy finally agreed to get a haircut yesterday. It was so good to see his face again and only cost us 315 bucks!

Fifteen dollars is how much I paid the barber to trim a good 2½ inches of curls from my son’s woolly head. The rest of the money will go toward paying for the NASCAR tickets Ron promised to buy if Jimmy would agree to be shorn.

How my 13-year-old son managed to pull off that smooth deal is something I’m still trying to figure out.

First, came the possibility of Ron taking Jimmy to a NASCAR race. They started talking about it last winter, Ron agreeing Jimmy was old enough to handle himself among the beer-drinking crowd of racing fans.

I have been to my share of NASCAR races and readily agreed to stay home with our not-yet-ready-for-NASCAR children.

During the summer, Jimmy’s hair grew … over his eyes, down his neck and past his ears. I enjoyed seeing little curls on his head for the first time since he was a toddler, but knew my son was long overdue for a haircut.

In the meantime, it was driving Ron crazy. Whenever he fumed at Jimmy about “looking like a girl,” Jimmy would come up with a new excuse for avoiding a haircut.

One of his more brilliant defenses involved pulling out his father’s high school yearbooks and reminding Ron how long his hair had been before he joined the Marines.

“But that was the style then,” Ron explained.

“Well, this is the style now,” Jimmy countered. On and on and on it went.

A couple of weeks before school started, the two of them came up with a deal: Ron would take Jimmy to a NASCAR race if Jimmy got his hair cut. I started looking for tickets online before Jimmy was even out of bed the next morning.

When I called Ron at work to ask where in the stands he wanted to sit, he said, “I’ll take care of that. Oh, and tell Jimmy he has to get his hair cut before I order the tickets.”

Jimmy stubbornly refused to visit the barber until the tickets had been ordered. They reached a stalemate as the new school year started and race day approached.

By then, Jimmy’s hair was pointing in a million directions and doing little flippy things at the ends.

Ron accurately described it when he told Jimmy, “You look like you’re walking around with a dog on your head!”

Four days before the race and two days into the new school year, Jimmy came home and announced he was ready to get a haircut. After he repeated this a few times so I actually believed him, we headed to the nearest barbershop.

It was so good to see my son’s face again; I wanted to hug him right there in front of the barber.

By the time we made our way home, Ron was there, playing with fishing stuff in the garage. He inspected the new haircut and agreed, “A deal’s a deal.”

The rods and lures were put away so Ron could search for tickets online.

It was the last-minute timing and Ron’s preference for excellent seats that made them so pricey.

I can only guess that Ron really wanted to go to that race, too.

Tommy, on the other hand, sees the situation differently. As we left the barbershop, he looked at me and said, “I’m not getting my hair cut until Daddy gets me Redskins tickets!”

A mother of three boys, Pam Zich has moved eight times in 16 years of marriage to her Marine Corps husband. They have been stationed in various locations, including Okinawa, California, Texas and their current home in Springfield, Va. E-mail her at or find the Zichs online at


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