The Barber Shop


If there’s one thing in life I like to avoid and yet am glad I still have the need to do so, is getting a haircut.  For those of you who may be slightly OCD like me, just the thought of sitting in the chair where countless other men, women, and children have sat while their hair fell to the ground and on that chair, sort of grosses me out a bit.  Granted, the entire experience usually depends more on the hairstylist than the actual chair.  Their personality, styling ability, and overall kindness, will make or break it for me. 

Being blessed with straight blond hair and a cowlick on the side of my head, there are few choices for my styles.   In college, while in Navy training, I thought I would get the aviator flat-top cut that later became famous with Top Gun.  The barber on base was a funny man from the Philippines who said, ‘I cut yo hair like aircraft carrier…. Flat so birds can land.  Haaa…!’.  I’ll never forget that.  Needless to say, the 80’s girls back in college weren’t too thrilled about the style when I got back. 

Today, it seems that the hairstylist can even be more of a counselor.  I will admit, it can be humorous, and slightly uncomfortable, sitting in the waiting area having to hear some of the things people tell them while they’re getting their haircut.  I mean, it’s everything from their pet dogs to what town they grew up in to their work and so on…  They do have a captive audience there, but I’m not one to divulge my whole life story to a room full of strangers no matter how many times they try to ask about it.

How we keep our hair says a lot about who we are.  In today’s society hair has become a status symbol, a fashion symbol, and even a social/political statement depending on the person.  For me, now that my grey hair is coming in (beyond just my beard), I tend to go for the brushed back look with a few waves.  The Mrs doesn’t like my hair getting too long, but she does approve of the ‘Most Interesting Man Look’…

Whether our hair is brown, blonde, red, black, or grey, we’re all in the same boat.  We all need to get them cut sooner or later.  Most of all, under that hair, we’re all human.  So, if you want short hair, long hair, bleached hair, or curly hair, it doesn’t really matter to me.  What matters most is who we are underneath.  The rest is just the icing on the cake… 

Love always

Who?… Me?


Earlier today, while enjoying my $1.50 hotdog lunch special at Costco, I noticed a guy who I could have swore was Ryan Gosling.  It’s not that I pay much attention to famous people in public or look for them, but this guy could have been his twin.  I decided to make a game out of it for the next five minutes and see how many other people reminded me of someone famous.  I quickly gave up that dumb game when I realized that most of them looked like character actors whom I couldn’t remember their names anyway. 

A few years back, the Mrs. and I were finished shopping for some groceries at Sam’s Club and just chatting when we came up to the check-out register.  The clerk, a young woman in her twenties, looked up at me and said, ‘Oh my God!… Oh my God!..”  I thought, ‘Does she know me?’   I asked her what the matter was after she calmed down a bit and she told me she thought I was the actor Dean McDermott for a second.  I didn’t know who that was but, after looking him up on Google, I learned he’s apparently married to Corey Spelling who was in the tv show 90210.   I guess there’s some resemblance, but yeah…

The whole thought of mistaken identity, or having a look-alike out there, went deeper in my mind after leaving Costco.  It stirred something inside of me.  I’m still having a difficult time putting it to words, but if I had to put a word to what I’m feeling, it would be grief. 

Now, why would that make me feel grief?  I believe it boils down to the insecurity we all feel about who we may be in life or how we may look compared to others; especially those who are famous.   It was as though God was grieved by my need to find someone famous in others and was saying to me, ‘You are uniquely special and so are they.  I’ve made you all beautiful in my eyes’. 

We’re all created unique in God’s eyes.  Each one of us is special in our own right.  Scientists may speculate that there’s another Bradley in an alternate universe (Heaven forbid), but I am the only one here at this time and you are also the only you both now and forever.

So, whether we look like someone famous or know someone who is famous (or are famous), all that really matters is that we realize just how uniquely special we are in His eyes.  We don’t need to compare ourselves to anyone else.  We can be the best that we are and that’s enough.  No one can ever take that from us.  The gifts we have are no better or worse than the gifts of others.  As far as I’m concerned, I may look like Dean McDermott, but I’m Brad Clawson.  I thank God for what He’s made me to be (crossed eyes and dorky humor to boot) and that’s all I will ever want to be…

Love always