My birthday has just come and gone and for one reason or another, this one was a bit tough on me. It wasn’t the birthday as much as it was the year. I really applied myself to physical fitness this past 360ish days and didn’t quite see the results I was aiming for. I’ve worked harder on my person this year than I have in the last two decades and I don’t have quite enough to show for it. I’m thinking age might have something to do with it. Something came up recently that hammered the point home.
Here’s the thing, I’m not generally a prideful guy, but I did something that kicked me square in the shame button. I’m generally the opposite of prideful. If I go to a high-end restaurant or hotel, I feel out of place, like an imposter waiting to be sniffed out.
I have spent years trying to change that a little bit. Trying to not mind being pampered a little, but thus far, I have failed completely.
My ability to accept being pampered isn’t the point here. We are here to talk about my shame.
A little back story. I was not a popular kid. I lacked fashion sense and probably should have mixed in more salads than I did. That may be true, but what I lacked in hygiene, and style and svelteness, I made up for with really good hair.
I’m talking “Flock of Seagulls” good. Perhaps is wasn’t that flamboyant, it was rock solid. Jason Priestley would have looked at my hair and said, “damn, that fat kid has great hair!”
But all of that has changed.
With great hesitation it was time to take action.
I have shaved my head.
To some, that probably isn’t a big deal. To me, earthshattering.
I used clippers set to #1. I knew that I would regret it instantly, so I decided to go as short as possible on the first run. I started by shaving in a mohawk. Little did I know that my balding had made it wo my mohawk in profile looked more like Morse Code than teen angst. As the last strip of hair left the top fell into the sink a few things dawned on me. The first is that my head, although fairly round, is a touch off putting by sure size. I’ve always known that I had a large head, having it shaved really put on full display how bulbus it really is. The second, perhaps less obvious to outsiders, is that I have a few “Klingon Wrinkles” on the back of my head. If a bulbus head is slightly off putting, alien lines are just awful.
Truth be told, I didn’t hate it, not exactly, it was more that the person looking me back in the mirror didn’t resemble me very much.
Here’s the rub. I don’t know that keeping my head shaved is something I want to keep doing, but I also know that Mother Nature is an angry lady and isn’t going to let me keep what I have now. It’s a follicle Catch-22 and there is no way out that doesn’t involve toupees and hair plugs, so I guess this is me now.
The lesson here ladies? For starters, I hope male pattern baldness isn’t a problem you’ll have to face in life. I truly do, but there’s something else. Its pride. There’s a funny balance between having personal pride and being prideful. Its great to have personal pride. It keeps you studying hard and staying fit and keeping things clean. Being prideful is a different animal altogether. It can rear its head in a few ways. For some it’s a feeling of superiority. Like others are beneath you. For others, its unrealistic expectations. For me? It was being unhappy about something “surface” that I couldn’t do a darn thing about. It was being completely unable to see the silver lining. Interesting choice of words considering my head now actually has a silver lining of grey hair. Bit realistically, there are bright sides. I’ll never have to pay for a haircut again and my shampoo budget just got cut by 90%. I don’t have to worry about my hair on a windy day or after I step off my mid-life crisis motorcycle, I may need to pick up some day.
But more than that, I’m surrounded by people who couldn’t care less about how thin my hair or my waistline are. They apricate the work I’ve put in this year despite the lingering results, and I suppose that lesson is a good enough one to end on.
So, happy birthday to me, ya old, creaky, bald dummy! Go get yourself some cake!