I love my pillow, my Mineral Area Football League T-shirt, my blue sweats of unknown origin, and a white blanket that I lovingly call my ‘stink blanket’, but not because it stinks (please do not mistakenly refer to it as my stinky blanket, because I consider that highly offensive). Due to my propensity for being slightly quirky, my emotional attachment to a few inanimate objects will surprise exactly zero percent of people. However, revealing the odd relationship my logical, sensible, meat-and-potatoes husband has with his beloved hairbrush is perhaps another matter altogether.
For two decades I have shared my life with this strong, silent, giant of a man. We have had many ups and downs, laughter and tears, good times and bad but through it all one thing has remained constant—his green hairbrush. This simple grooming tool has stood the test of time and while its value to Big Kevin remains a mystery to our family, it is something we certainly all have learned to respect (sort of).
When the kids started getting to an age where they were able to get themselves ready in the mornings, trouble started brewing. Inevitably, one of them would carry the brush off to another bathroom and Kevin could be heard yelling, “Where is my hairbrush?!” There wasn’t exactly a shortage of hairbrushes in the house, so we all sort of blew him off at first. “Just use a different one,” we would rebut. He wouldn’t hear of it, “I DON’T WANT TO USE A DIFFERENT ONE! I WANT TO USE MY HAIRBRUSH!” Inevitably, he would go to the store and buy half-dozen hairbrushes and proclaim that anyone in the house could use any hairbrush, except his green one. Life would be good for a while, but then one of us would slipup and use his brush and forget to return it to its proper location and we would all be scrambling and blaming one another for the infraction.
My oldest daughter, Riley, was blessed with an amazing mane of hair. She also sheds like a Sasquatch in full molt. She would often use Kevin’s brush to flat-iron her hair and leave wads of long strawberry blonde hair tangled in the bristles. “SOMEONE HAS BEEN USING MY HAIRBRUSH,” he would accuse as he extracted the hairs. We all know he hates for us to use it, yet like moths to the flame…
Let me clarify. Kevin is not a Type-A personality who has to have everything in its place like some sort of Sleeping with the Enemy character. I take his tools and don’t put them back. He can have his underwear and socks crammed in the same drawer and if the glasses are put in the cabinet up-side down, right-side-up or a combination of both, he absolutely does not care. This is what makes this random hairbrush OCD so baffling (and funny) to all of us. I have used his toothbrush on many occasions with not so much as a grunt or a growl from him. But the hairbrush–it’s sacred.
One evening several years ago, after the hairbrush had been tracked back to one of the kids’ bathrooms and Kevin reiterated the off-limits hairbrush rule for everyone for the six-hundred and thirty-sixth time, Evan told Kevin, “You are like Larry the Cucumber with that stupid hairbrush.” He produced a YouTube video of Larry the Cucumber singing a dreadful song about losing his hairbrush. It was epic and quickly became Kevin’s theme song for times his brush went missing. (You can watch Larry sing in the Hairbrush Song by clicking the link below):
This hairbrush is ragged. Its once shiny green color is chipped and faded. It has been burnt with a hot flat-iron (for which I have no comment), and the bristles are worn and frazzled. It has been left behind and retrieved home. Our family has fought about it, laughed about it, sang silly songs about it and spent countless hours looking for this old green hairbrush. As our 19th wedding anniversary approaches, I realize how I am not so unlike this raggedy old brush. I am scarred, sagging, wrinkled, and frazzled, but Big Kevin is still hanging in there with me! I know that I am not the shiny young thing he married so many years ago, but I know he still loves me. I don’t understand why the man loves his stupid green hairbrush and there are many days I don’t understand why he loves someone as fallible as me. All I know is that I am extremely grateful that he can value something seemingly so insignificant and I am also pretty okay with him hanging onto that silly hairbrush!