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Lynn Garth View Drop Down
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    Posted: November 10 2001 at 1:48pm
My husband and I married young three years ago (we are now 20 and 21). We ran into some real money problems and to make a long story short, we are now living with his parents. They are pretty well off and my husband now works for his dad. The problem is that my husband had long hair (that I loved) and one of his dad`s conditions in having us stay with them and work for him was that my husband get his haircut. Short! As in a crewcut.

We were like "whatever" at first but now it is really ticking me off. He has no right to demand such a thing. We are stuck living here at least until the summer. I want to say something but my husband doesn`t want to make waves. He also doesn`t like talking about it because I think he`s embarrassed about it.

Has anyone else had to deal with this kind of thing? What did you do? Should I keep my mouth shut or say something?

Lynn
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dianefromcanada View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dianefromcanada Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 10 2001 at 4:21pm
Reply to message: 10.3501.1
In Ann Lander`s column there was a similar story and her advice was to move out. People can demands lots of things in their own homes.
dianefromcanada
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kat_02 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kat_02 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 11 2001 at 10:04am
While I think your father-in-law is kind of silly to require his grown son to get a crewcut...I agree that you guys should probably move out. As long as you`re living there, you have to go by their rules.
- kat
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Pauline View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Pauline Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 13 2001 at 6:43am
Im not sure whether your husband has had his hair cut or not, but without wishing to upset or insult, I think you are being a little selfish.

I think you and your husband are very lucky people as youve obviously suffered a bit of bad luck and whether thats your or not, you are very lucky that someone is willing to help you. Your husbands father has been a real help to you and has turned your lives around by giving you a nice home and giving your husband the opportunity of employment, which in turn gives you the opportunity of sorting your financial problems and if you are sensible, the chance to save for a home of your own!

Although you could see your fathers insistence on your husband having a crewcut as a power thing, it could also be seen from many other perspectives. For example, from a work point of view, many employers insist on a dress code where short hair is required as employees need to look neat and tidy or for practical reasons hair has to be short to avoid it getting caught in machinery. Another perspective could be that your father has seen yourselves get yourslf into trouble and feels that a sensible haircut may result in a more sensible attitude to life and the future. A final perspective is that your father may prefer to see your son looking neat and tidy and it may give him great pride to show-off his presentable looking son, if this is the case, your father has given you both plenty, so why not give him something back!

This situation isnt just about you giving thought and respect to your fathers wishes, but also to your husband. You say that he doesnt want to talk about it because he is embarrassed, this is probably true, but in addition he may also feel awkward because he knows you like him wearing his hair long and he perhaps feels that you are not happy with him.

In conclusion, maybe you should try and look on the positives and grasp this as an opportunity to move forward. Rather than feel aggrieved at the situation, why not provide support and encouragement. If your husbands hair is still long, why not encourage him that perhaps it is time he gets his hair cut, go with him to the barbershop and give him your love and support by being with him whilst his hair is clipped and once its done, give him your reassurance that you still love him and find him attractive with his neat and tidy haircut.

If his hair has already been cut, remind him you still love him, tell him you are proud of him for doing what it takes to look after each other and let him know that you still fancy him and that its really nice to have a husband who looks neat and tidy.

If you really want to support your husband and show his family that you are serious about your marriage, why not show your support by joining your husband by having your hair cut too! Im not suggesting a crewcut for you, but you could adopt a shorter more conservative style. This would show your husband that you appreciate what he has done and would reassure him that that you are in it together. He probably wouldnt feel so bad about loosing his long hair if he knew that you had given up yours as well. It would also give your parents the confidence that you are both totally committed to making your marriage a success and will probably encourage them to help you further.

The drawback is that you would both end up with short hair and you may end up looking and feeling less fashionable as you do now, but this would only be for a little while and once you were back on your own feet and in your own home, you could always grow your hair long again.

Life is about give and take, if you cant give, then you shouldnt take. So I suggest that you either march your husband to the barbershop and make sure he gets a crewcut, or you dont. If you want the help from your husbands father, then present him with a son who looks respectable with his neatly shorn hair, or you stop accepting help and move out!

I`m sorry if my thoughts are a little blunt, but I hope I`ve been of some help!
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Shery View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shery Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 13 2001 at 12:57pm
So in order to look respectable you have to have neatly shorn hair? Pauline how old are you? I ask because only someone old would associate respectability with hair length. I agree that while under his parents roof you must go by their rules(no matter how asinine) but please why should she cut her hair short. My advice use his parents give them what they ask but as soon as you can move out.
Once i know who I`m not then I`ll know who i am. ~alanis morissette~
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Pauline View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Pauline Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 13 2001 at 1:27pm
Sherry,

I dont know what age has to do with points of view, but for the record I am 37. Within my message I did not say Lynn should cut her hair, but suggested that maybe she could consider cutting her hair. My point was made purely to provoke thought with regard to how Lynn could support her husband. With regard to associating short hair with respectability, I was purely trying to envisage the mind-set of the parents, who are obviously at the route of the problem, I personally dont feel that you must have short hair to look respectable, but know of plenty of people, both young and old, who do! It is possible that if the parents (or maybe the father only) want to see the son with short hair, then perhaps they would also be pleased to see Lynn with shorter hair too and that if this was the case (Im not saying it is!) then perhaps Lynn could find herself helping the situation by doing so! Surely, if Lynne wants opinions on her quandary, she would rather have views from all perspectives rather than be told to get what she can and get the hell out! After all, whatever the outcome, it would be good if Lynns situation could end with a positive, whatever that may be!
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phil View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote phil Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 14 2001 at 5:25pm
Reply to message: 10.3501.1
Sorry to go against the grain but I think the whole thing is ridiculous. I mean, what kind of father-in-law first thinks he can demand, then actually does demand, that a 21 year old have a crewcut? Was he a sergeant-major in the army who still thinks the war`s on or something? It seems to me like a power thing. Honestly, I thought this heavy "my house, my rules" thing went out with the ark, or at least it should have done. I`d have moved out straight away to make a point and then - just for cheek - got a crewcut.
phil
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dianefromcanada View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dianefromcanada Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 14 2001 at 8:34pm
Reply to message: 10.3523.1
Pauline I had to read your message twice. I have to respond to this. The first time my pause was racing because I read it as a good guilt trip. The second time I saw what you were trying to say , you probably been there and you have some good advice in some points. I know, go with the flow and thing will go smoothly but you know what? It doesn`t always go that way. In some families the more you give the more they take. Hey I could easily write a novel about controling parents or families. I am a surviver!! At times no matter how far you bend you cannot and will never pleased them.
I will strongly say firstly our friend never said she didn`t appreciate their kindness. She complained about her husband`s rights as a human being, being taken away and I do not know one soul who wouldn`t complain about that. I do not think our friend is a bit selfish. If they were such great parents they would give a gift of helping without any attachments. Sure one should be expected to chip in the expense of groceries, doing the laundry, dishes and whatever to help around the house but when we help we shouldn`t expect the recipient to be our slave or be stripped of what they are in life. That in my opinion is a crime being committed to another human being. If there was such a great concern about the hair in the workplace that parent should have explain to his son the reason why and never never use the wording" as long you are under my roof etc......"
I have to agree with Phil about the hair thing. I worked in environments where short hair was prefered but making sure that the long hair is tied so that machinery won`t catch it works well!
What really killed me with the pause thing is your thing about if she would cut her hair it would show her parent in law how committed they are in their marriage. If that shows their parents how committed they are then I would strongly say those parents are shallow.

Man I really wish our friend moves out soon and get an unlisted number or call display.
dianefromcanada
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Hal View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 15 2001 at 10:45am
Seems like a no brainer to me... there are two sides to every story... dads side, My company, my money, my image, my son,(which he feels reflects on him. Your side, his hair, your wishes, pop imposing his wish on you. When you grow up and take care of yourselves you can do as you please but as long as you are living in dids house on dads dollar and working for dad.. you really have no choice but to HONOR his dads wishes. (since I bet moving out on your own is to hard) If he were not his son would he hire someone with long hair to represent his company? Bet not... If it were me I`d be getting a cut every 2 weeks and thanking dad for his generosity rather then whinning cause the world isn`t fair and pops is mean!
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Sam View Drop Down
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Reply to message: 10.3501.1
I dont know what your problem is. My mother came to the rescue when I needed to escape an abusive relationship, she gave me a home, a part-time job and helped clear my debts. She owns a small bakery and gave me a part-time job during school hours. My mother is in her fifties, is a respected member of the small community in which we live, takes a huge pride in her appearance and dresses in a classic but conservative style. I on the other hand arrived with a suitcase full of short skirts, tight jeans and a long main of bleach blond hair. My mother made absolutely no conditions on me apart from the fact that if I wanted to work in the shop, I wasnt to wear short skirts and my hair would have to be cut short. When I asked why I had to cut my hair, she said for 2 reasons. Reason one was that there was a dress code that stated all assistants should wear their hair short and that as all her employees conformed to this rule, it was only fair that I should too. My mother was really honest with me and explained that the other reason was a selfish one, she explained that she didnt really like long hair and that she would really like to see me with a short conservative style. She stressed that there was no pressure on me to take the job and that if I didnt want the job then she didnt expect me to cut my hair. I didnt have to think too long and that afternoon I visited the hairdressers and had my hair cut short. It was a strange experience and I did feel sad as I watched my hair fall to the floor. I left the hairdressers having been given a plain and simple short layered haircut, I felt very proud of what Id done and pleased that Id made my mother happy by bowing to her wishes. It was the least I could do after all she was doing for me and it certainly felt like the right thing to do.
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duke View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote duke Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 23 2001 at 9:11am
It disappoints me to see how many people promote treading on others. His father ought to be ashamed of himself. Imposing such a condition only tells me that his love for his son is conditional. There is nothing particularly generous about giving temporary shelter to your child and their spouse. Your kid is not your guest, and did not beg you to be born into your house. According to the ethical code I follow, the parent`s home is automatically the kid`s home, and as long as the kid is getting an education, is contributing to the home or is handicapped, and does not harm the other members of the household. As for the case when a kid grows up and VOLUNTARILY moves out, it might be understood that (s)he won`t be permanently returning, but what these parents are doing is no great personal sacrifice, just a favor that should be done between members of the family when in need. Anyone who says "as long as you live under my roof you must obey my rules" is behaving uncharitably for a parent. Pauline, your idea of her cutting her hair is ridiculous. What makes you think her husband would automatically feel better if she cut her hair. If I were in her position, I would not want her to suffer alongside me, and in any case, if my wife cut her nice hair, I would not be happy about it (though I`m not saying it`s not her right, don`t misinterpret me). It`s like those people who shave their head because a relative is on cancer drugs. Why would the patient want to have to look at another bald person.

Sam, your mom is not as bad as the people above you, for she did not make you cut your hair in order to move back into YOUR house. But I still say people like her do not belong in our society. She can`t refuse to hire black people in her store, so why should she discriminate against something so arbitrary as long hair? Only real wierd people would say a woman is not "conservative" because she has long hair. In the ultra-conservative Victorian era, a woman who CUT her hair would be an utter non-conformist. I dare Lynn`s husband to whine to his dad "it`s MY roof too", but he clearly does not want to do anything, and perhaps Lynn should leave him alone, but at least tell him dad is not giving him his due.
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Lynn View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lynn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 14 2001 at 1:06pm
Thanks for all the advice.

I`ve decided to just keep quiet about it until we move out in the summer. I`m still angry about it though, because as several of you mentioned, it is a power thing. I`m getting used to it now, but my husband is thin and looked like a kid with that stupid haircut. His dad gets his own hair cut very regularly and makes my husband go with them.

I thought the idea about me getting my haircut was a nice thought, but I would never do it because it would only fuel the power game my father-in-law plays. I`ll bet he would love to see me shorn and he`s not going to.

I`m glad to know that we are not the only ones in a situation like this, but it sounds like we are one of very, very few.

Thanks again.
Lynn G
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Waggy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 14 2001 at 3:41pm
Lynn - I`ve been avoiding this one, but feel like I have to toot in now.

Since they have the option of not letting you live there you are basically screwed.

But keep in mind when you do get out what nasty, controlling, castrating creeps they are. I say that completely without reservation. This character will rear it`s ugly head throughout your relationship with them.

Once you are not dependant on them - hold strong and do not let these poisonous people manipulate you...wagsnotwaggin`
Be yourself - unless you suck...wags
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lgp82 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 17 2001 at 10:43am
We don`t know the whole story here. Maybe the type of work the son is doing requires short hair. Perhaps the father only suggested a crew cut.
~*~*Lisa*~*~
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Waggy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 17 2001 at 3:55pm
If the work required it (how would that be anyway) I don`t think they would be complaining.

I don`t know of any job that requires really short hair. Sure there are safety concerns, but even those jobs only require it to be somehow put out of the way...wags
Be yourself - unless you suck...wags
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