Saturday, July 09, 2005

The Follicle Of It All


A few days ago I was assisting and elderly client with a shower, a service I provide for him three days a week. I was in the process of drying his feet when he said to me, "Mike, you're going bald."
....Knowing his hearing aid was on the kitchen table, I replied, "Yeah? Thanks for sharing that with me, John."
....His declaration, an obvious reference to my thinning pate, was no scoop. I have been keenly aware of that particular tract of deforestation for some time. My earliest recollection of that fact goes back at least fifteen or so years. My wife, myself and my daughter were at a large outdoor Craft Fair milling around the various tables of artisans. As I am wont to do, I had drifted off in my own direction leaving my wife and daughter with the knitted and crocheted wares.
....Exploring those tables themed with more manly creations, it wasn't long before I was on the far side of the grounds well out of their earshot. Later on when we met up again, my daughter innocently said, "We found you by looking for your bald spot!" Up until that point in time I had been unaware my hair was thinning on the top. I had known my hairline was receding, but was clueless about the pate. Once back home, I parked myself in front of the bathroom mirror. My hair looked fine on my reflection. So I grabbed a hand-held mirror and held it behind my head. In the two mirrors I was able to see that I was in fact ... balding! (I have been wearing caps on a regular basis ever since.)
....I am by no means a vain person, (Carly Simon was not singing about me.) and as such have not considered those drastic measures you see on those television commercials. No, if I am going be bald, then I'm going naturally. I've accepted the hand I was dealt. I am not going to buy Ron Popiel's spray paint -- beyond a doubt one of the most idiotic things I have ever seen. I am not going to get a weave. I am not going to have my hair augmented by micro-hair implantation! I even had to chastise my barber when he left long lengths of hair on my head. He apparently thought I would want to comb those long strands of hair to cover my thin spot. I nixed that notion right away. Just what I need -- to be walking on a windy day with ten-inch streamers flapping in the breeze! Finally, I will not, I repeat will not even consider a toupee! Rugs are for the floor, not one's head! The folly of it all -- make that follicle of it all!
....Look, my hair, what I have left of it, is salt-and-pepper streaked as it is. I have not to date, and will not in the future, try to color my hair in attempt to hide the gray. The same goes for my moustache and beard. Up until a year ago I was sporting a Van Dyke. When it reached the point that my beard was gray with just two brown streaks, and both on the left side, I chose to give up the chin coat. Flecked with gray, the moustache remains as a Fu Manchu.
....The ravages of time: our aging process is a slow one most of our lives. But there is that barrier that when breached, time seems to move a little faster. The hair is graying and thinning. I'm losing hair in places where I want to keep it, and now I'm also growing hair where I don't want it!
....The folly, the follicle of it all!

No.231

2 comments:

schnoodlepooh said...

Hey Mike, Congrats on #2000! You're a blog-stud! And I totally relate on the aging business. I'm not going bald, but have noticed a few minor changes relating to age. In fact, I'm considering writing a blog about it. Getting old SUCKS, but it's better than being DEAD.
peg

Hale McKay said...

Thanks. Wow that second thousand sure came a lot faster than the first.
_On aging, I had a post with an intersting take - It's in my April archives, "Mirrorority Complex" - No.122. You will probably relate to its message.