My Barber’s Hands

That overriding sense of happiness dawned on him after their first encounter. She did not wipe away all the doubts and insecurities in his life, however, whenever he was with her, his self-esteem was at its best. His instincts were telling him to pursue her because she made so much sense to him. She was worth holding on to. – DBM


“My proposal story may be categorized as ‘weird’, because I still think of it as weird. I had taken my five years old son to the barbers shop. It was closed, as at the time it was supposed to be opened. I called the contact number on the signpost, and a lady answered. Her brother was battling with malaria, and could not make it to the shop that day. She asked where I had come from, and then apologized on her brother’s behalf. Barely a minute later, she called and asked me to wait, and that, she was on her way to the shop.

A lady with her daughter came to open the shop. Her child was almost my son’s age. I watched her sweep and arrange the place, and then prepared a seat for my son. She was going to work on my son’s hair. Now, I thought that was funny, and worrying. Did she know what she was about to do? Did she know her way around those blades and other equipment? I had to ask her, because my son was going to attend school in the weekday. She touched on my son’s hair, and after 25 minutes, it had been neatly done.

Her daughter was an interesting sight to behold as well. She was reading a book and was enjoying reading it. Which was rare, because my son does not like reading. He would only play games. The only time he touched a book was when I force him to do his homework. What was the woman doing right with her child, because I was curious!

I asked her to work on my hair when she was done with my kid. In fact, I was arguing with her about her profession. She told me she wasn’t barbering for a living. She just knew how to do the job. Her brother taught her. She is an auditor by profession. But sitting in her chair and getting my hair cut, I couldn’t argue any further because she was the one cutting my hair. She kept disagreeing with my notion that, a male barber could do the work better. She saw the logic in my assertions, however found it faulty. According to her, barbering is an art, and she’s developed the skill to do it right, because she took her time to learn and master it.

She was still working on my hair, and I loved the level of attention she paid on my head and its details. I loved the way she touched my face with care; how she shaped the front and sides with the blade, the ‘aboy’ she created, how she massaged my chin while turning the head. She had been trained well. We laughed after she was done with me.

I liked her, but she was not my ‘ideal’. I had been married before. My ex-wife was extremely beautiful. I like beautiful women, they excite me. And I think that had been my weakness, because I always wanted to connect with any available beautiful lady. My ex-wife was enough, yet not enough, and that got her to walk out of our marriage because I couldn’t stop flirting and cheating and lying and seeking for attention from other pretty girls. I had always wanted to get married, however, it seemed very difficult for me to stay married and not look at others.

I’m a fine guy too, Dave. No doubt!

My current wife (the barber… Lol) used to be married too. And according to her, jumped into her relationship with her ex-husband, right after a man she loved had broken her heart. She had been heartbroken, and had contemplated on dating as quickly as possible to deal with the pain. Her ex-husband married her in a haste because she wanted to be married. But after two years, they divorced. Rebound relationships have always had a high rate of failing. We had both learnt our lessons, that marriage was not a shoe we tried on for the right size to wear, and that, if it did not fit us at a point in time, we choose to either put it aside or go in for a new pair.

I loved something about my wife after our first encounter at the barbering shop: she had this soft spoken tone of voice, very calm naturally, had a lively smile when she smiled, listened a lot when I spoke, and had this intelligent outlook on life. She had average looks, which wasn’t my type, but somehow, got me to see something else beautiful about her. As at the time we were at the shop, I was dating a very beautiful woman I had no plans of replacing. However, the connection and realness in my chat with the barber was so intense, I could not let go without taking her phone number.

She lived in Techiman, and had only come to Accra to check on her sick brother. I wanted to marry her after that first encounter. I wanted to commit to her in a special way I had never imagined. I wanted to give myself permission to experience something different. I wanted her trust. I wanted her respect. I wanted to know her more, intimately. I wanted to reveal so much to her about myself, things no one else could have been aware of. I am talking about the cautiously protected feelings, memories, and experiences I had kept buried inside of me, and had now found that one reason to want to freely share, be heard, understood and cared for, loved.

It was love at first sight. She had an inward beauty that I had fallen in love with. It was a Saturday. That Monday, at work, my staff were curious in knowing who had cut my hair, and the first response that came out of my mouth was, “My wife”.

I called and told her what had happened at work, and she laughed. She then asked, “What do you want to ask me?

Will you marry me?” I replied

“What is the one thing about me that you like?” She asked

That was a question that threw me off for a second. Because inasmuch as I wanted to date and marry a good looking woman that others even would admire, which she may have been nothing close to, I also considered what I would do should the physical beauty fade at a point. What was going to keep me glued to her when we aged and started to wrinkle? And a pretty face and great body was no more… What was going to still keep me focused on her?

“You have a wonderful behavior that I think I like.” I responded

“Yes, I will marry you!” she cried.

We had known each other for just two days and had seen each other for just a few hours in a day, in those two days. We’ve been married for 10 years, and Dave, those have been the best 10 years of my life. We’ve had our bad and good times over the years after we married. Those moments when growth abruptly stopped and that season of boredom stepped in to test us. My sexual desires were awakened by the women of my taste and I was so confused. It was during that season that I had the opportunity to decide whether or not to keep my promise to her, those vows I made to her to stand the test of time: It was time for me to survive the droughts… I survived!

Whenever I see her daughter teaching my son how to find delight in reading, by reading to him, or helping him out with his homework, I cry. She’s brought so much order and peace to my home. Her personality challenges faithfulness in me. I am proud to be a faithful man today, because of this rare gem of a woman and a wife. Nothing extraordinary about her, but she’s my extraordinary. Dave, it’s like I’m deaf when I am with her. I know she nags sometimes, but because her presence commands deafness in me, all I see is the glory around her. She chooses to be blind to most of my misdeeds and this is keeping our marriage intact.

My wife appreciates me, and she makes me know she does, all the time. I’m her favorite person, always cheering me on. Dave, behind my greatness is not a great wife. Behind my greatness is my admiring wife. She holds on to our love even when it gets to those times she should have just let it all go. She sees the good in me even when I don’t see it in myself. I play my part as her husband to inspire all these sacrifices from her. I try to do same for her. I think before I speak to her, because I just cannot afford to hurt her feelings. Her daughter loves me so much because she sees the way I love her mother. My son loves her dearly because he loves the way she loves me. I think we are doing just great as their parents. Every child needs that in their parents.

I fell in love with my wife’s personality, but I am living with her character right now. Such an amazing woman she is.” – From FJT

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