My heart grieves (he said ironically) for poor Butterfly who had a bad hair day yesterday. The girl writes a good blog, but I have no follicular sympathy that I can afford to send her way. Yes, her hair has vexed her for most of her life. Yes, it will not usually conform to the current fads. That can be tough on a kid: tough, but hardly traumatizing. Truth of the matter is that she has gorgeous hair: hair that is uniquely hers and also uniquely her — no cheap imitation of somebody else’s fashion statement.
Me? I am not having a bad hair day. I’m just having a bad hair life.
With a bald father and bald paternal grandfather, I knew from early on that I was in trouble. In my adult years, I was not mollified to be told by the medical poohbahs that baldness in genetically inherited from the mother: not mollified because I was already well on my way to Chrome City. On my way to Chrome City with not one bald person on the matriarchal branch of the tree but with baldness nesting all over the patriarchal branch — if it’s possible for baldness and nests to go together, that is. Baldness inherited from the mother, you say? Balderdash (so to speak), say I.
You know, I don’t really mind the baldness too much. I have lots of company, after all. If I had my druthers, of course I’d choose hair, or would have when the choice may have mattered to me. Not sure if I would choose it now though. Truth be told, at the very least, I’m getting used to the guy who I have been beholding in the mirror for more than two decades. At most, maybe I’m even getting attached to him.
What tends to irk me though is the back of my head. I actually have some reverse-baldness. I am losing hair from my neck. What I mean is this. If you look at where most guys’ hairlines end, mine is inches higher. Even worse, the hairline is even higher on both sides of centre than in the centre itself. This bothers me more than the usual male pattern baldness — because it’s rarer and odder, I suppose.
My dad, bless his shiny dome, had this problem too. His saving grace, however, was that his hair was straight. He could grow it a little longer at the back and, at least partially, cover up that bare patch. However, like Butterfly, I have curly hair: unruly, curly hair. If I try to let it grow back there … well … it becomes rather ridiculous follicular quagmire in short order. I become Pumpkinhead-ish.
Back in the hippy days, everybody had long hair, and, being both young and silly, I wanted to fit in. I started to grow my hair. Unfortunately, it would just turn up into the cutest little flip at the back and sides — cute perhaps if I had been born female and was seeking that particular look — but definitely not even remotely hippy-like. Oh, how I tried! I would try to straighten it with hair driers and curling irons; I even went under an old-fashioned hair-drier — with a net on for goodness sakes — once or twice. Gave it up after a burly workman meandered into my boudoir whilst I was sitting under there: yup, my head under a ladies’ salon-style, hair drier with my wife’s hair net on — a pink hairnet if you please!
I made a simple decision. Get a haircut and be myself.
Much later in life, I made a similar decision to go with the flow by shaving off some silly wisps that lingered on my, otherwise, bald dome.
Very recently, I again embraced reality. Since I can’t really hide the neck baldness thing, I have surrendered to reality by shaving my whole head short — of course, I mean hair, not head — that’s just how we say it.
We’re rather silly about appearances, aren’t we? We try hard to follow the popular trends and to hide our supposed flaws. But that’s not who we are. We’re not curly people, or bald people, or short people, or tall people. We’re people. We’re human from the inside out, not from the outside in.
We need to be like the ducks and the geese. If you haven’t read that blog, click here to unearth another Anvilcloudian treasure trove.