Tip of the Day: What We Learned in the Army, Part Deux–The Importance of Grooming

by Eubie on October 8, 2013

“I’m late. I’m late… for a very important date. No time to say, ‘Hello,’ ‘Goodbye.’ I’m late, I’m late, I’m late, I’m late, I’m late.”–The White Rabbit, Disney’s 1951 animated Alice in Wonderland.

Off-track but a nice quote, and a nice thought: to be so late as to be unable to do anything other than explain why you are so late to begin with. Ah, the White Rabbit. We will always remember the part the White Rabbit played in Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream (1971). Pesky little bunny. None’s the matter. What is the matter is today’s tip: high-and-tight! Yes, a wonderful double entendre, but in actuality the simple instruction to your barber on how to cut your hair. Standard Military Issue (SMI). These days, we are hairy here at the HUB, and that’s because the Winter of Our Discontent approaches and we are in need of Extra Layers… always Extra Layers. But as Fall turns to Winter turns to Spring, we one day will again be shorn for the planting season, and the preferred ship-shorn-shape is high-and-tight, meaning a very short hair cut with the sides thinner (tight) than the crown (high). Just enough hair to let the world know you have it, but other than, only there to be out of the way, an aspect of personal grooming requiring no investment of time, energy, or contemplation to maintain. The objective is to simplify, which in turns presents an image of sharpness, crispness. Apply this to your overall personal grooming strategy (keep everything short and neat, clean). For example, you may want some hair on your face to protect you from the cold, sure. But you want to keep that ‘stache and beard–or any combination or permutation–cut neatly and washed regularly. Best not to have any facial hair at all, though, as a total shave is much less time-consuming than the regular trimmings of a beard and mustache. Also, there is something of vanity in the daily snipping of facial hairs to approximate symmetry and make a hair-free hole for your mouth.

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