Billy Crystal’s character in “City Slickers ” made a very astute observation when he said “I’m losing hair where I want hair and getting hair where there shouldn’t be any.”
I’m quickly realizing that part of growing old is recognizing that quote as a truth. Last week while I was standing in line at Dunkin’ Donuts, I looked upward to see a funny looking guy on the security camera with a blindingly shiny bald spot in the back of his skull.
That guy was me.
Although I ran the gamut of emotions in the next few minutes from denial (I did a triple-take before realizing it was actually me on the screen) to bewilderment – why does a donut shop crawling with police need security cameras in the first place? – to self-pity (sobbing “Oh the humanity!” over and over again), I realized that inevitably it is what it is.
Although an upbeat group of the hair-challenged tried to raise spirits years ago through the grass-roots inspirational campaign of “Bald is Beautiful,” being caught in the middle is pretty gruesome. You end up with either an awkward comb-over with one strand of hair that stretches a quarter of a mile and is expected to cover everything, or you look like a wayward friar that has been kicked out of the ranks.
There is a reason some monks take a vow of celibacy.
But here’s the thing: Hair elsewhere isn’t desirable either. Perhaps it works for a puppy. Have a fluffy dog walk up to you and people will fall all over themselves to pet it, not caring what the fur has rolled in. But have a shirtless guy walk down the street with a carpet of hair on his chest and back and people will run the other direction as if they just saw Bigfoot.
Ever try to concentrate on looking at a person who has a wayward nose hair wheezing in and out of a nostril? It is like staring at a hypnotist’s watch. Back and forth, back and forth, I might not be getting sleepy, but I haven’t heard the last four sentences he just said. We might consider the professor with the bushy ear hair as being eccentric or the seasoned doctor with invading eyebrows as distinguished, but we rarely look at these people as symbols of attractiveness. In fact, to increase attractiveness we often get rid of hair. People Nair their legs, trim their ear fuzz, pluck eyebrows, and painfully wax and tear away chest fur.
But they laugh at the bald guy?
I try to look at it pragmatically. Why needlessly use something like Rogaine just in a futile attempt to re-follicate? I don’t even have to justify not using a spray can of fake filler or not putting a rug on my dome, because those end up looking more foolish than the alternative. I just look at it as part of the aging process.
I’m going as Friar Tuck this year for Halloween. It should be a really cheap costume.