A different way to prepare my heart for church (or why I cut my pastor’s hair).

There’s a distinct possibility that I’ll be going into work early tomorrow morning.  This is one of those rare instances where I’ll be doing somebody else’s hair to benefit myself (and a percentage of Northern Virginia) as much as to benefit the client.

You see, my client is my friend, neighbor and pastor, Mike McKinley.

People who benefit from Mike getting his hair cut:

  1. Mike (obviously).
  2. My friend and neighbor, Karen McKinley.  It’s nice when her husband doesn’t look like a “goon.”
  3. Guilford Baptist Church (on some level, I’m sure).
  4. Mostly me.

Listen.  It’s a hard life being a hairstylist.  Everywhere I go there’s hair staring back at me, sometimes good hair, sometimes bad hair.  Being a decent cosmetologist + being analytical + being specific & square piece in nature = a very distracted me.

Here’s a snippet of my brain at church:

Me, scanning the congregation from the back of the church and trying to locate a friend by the back of her head, Black hair.  Red hair.  Highlights.  Bed head.  Neck shaved too high.  Perm.  Blonde.  Brunette.  Ooooh, now that’s a pretty head of hair!  Someone really knows what they’re doing!  Who is that?  Oh!  That’s Jenn!  Oh!  I DO her hair!

Leader, “Please stand for this next hymn.”

Me, singing, “Come thou fount of every blessing…”  I wish Ben would let me cut his hair.  I know if he just let me give him a razor cut after three months of growth I could totally make him look like a soccer player.

Leader, “Please join me in this prayer of confession.  Dear heavenly Father…”

Me, Dear heavenly Father… I wonder what I’m doing with Sherri’s hair for the next photo shoot.  I’m thinking updo.  Animal print extensions?  Should I do a second look?  What will she wear?

Finally, Mike begins his sermon.

Me, What?!  Is that a ridge in the back of his head?  Why didn’t they smooth that out?  He must have a weird growth pattern.  I can’t believe they let him leave the shop like that.  How’d they get their license?  Man that looks pointy.  It definitely needs to be fixed.  I could totally fix that.  I HAVE to fix that.  And while I’m at it, I’d texturize it, too.

Now that is why I’ve been doing Mike’s hair for the past five years or so (and why I’ll be going in early tomorrow).  It was so bad that I offered to do it for free.  Now I can focus at church.  If Mike’s having a bad hair day, Sunday morning is shot.  It’s almost not worth showing up because I won’t hear a word of the sermon.  I can’t help it!  I’M A HAIRSTYLIST!  Thankfully this dilemma has mostly been curbed because I usually physically call him myself and make sure he’s coming in for regular haircuts.  It might seem generous, but don’t give me too much credit.  No, it’s definitely selfish.

(By the way, if you’ve been enjoying a post or two of Square Piece, look on the upper right sidebar on your screen.  You should be able to enter your email address to subscribe and receive a notification when new posts are published!)


  1. August 18, 2011

    Whatever happened to client/cosmetologist confidentiality? Oh well, I’m grateful for how good you are at your work!

  2. August 18, 2011

    Now that you’ve posted this I feel like we need a permanent sign that we can use on Mike’s forehead when preaching that says something like this, “I procrastinated too much this month…. this is not suzy’s hair art….. this is the worst 15 bucks spent at hair cuttery.” A little disclaimer seems necessary?! So glad you make us beautiful!!

  3. August 19, 2011
    Jacob Baum

    I just read this to Hunter and now he’s scared to preach to you. It’s been a few weeks since his last cut. 😉

    • Luckily for him I’m out of town this weekend. There’s still time to remedy this problem. But make no mistake! It’s not how LONG it’s been since the last cut; it’s whether or not the last cut was even a good one.

      • August 22, 2011

        You’ll have to talk to Snyder about whether the last one was a good one or not.

  4. August 26, 2011

    If it comes so naturally to you to be critical of someone’s hair, why can’t you give it to me? You know I want you to be critical with my hair. It’s time to take off the kid gloves. Maybe it will be easy for you now that you don’t do my hair.

    • When I scan a crowd, I’m not being critical; I’m making impulsive descriptions in my head for the sake of identifying. Once I’m engaged w/those same people, I’m usually not thinking about their hair at all!

  5. December 29, 2011

    Why did it take me so long to read this? I am with Ollie, this post makes me happy 🙂 eventhough the roofers woke the entire house up way too early this morning…

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