Originally Posted May 14, 2011
All my life, deceitful hairdressers have showered me with compliments on how thick my hair was. “You’ll never have to worry about going bald!” they’d say. Wrong. Apparently what they meant by my hair being thick was that each individual follicle is thick, not that I have a lot of follicles. Basically what this means is that when my hair gets remotely wet, I look like Sid’s mutant doll with the Erector Set spider legs from Toy Story. See photo.
In high school I never thought going bald would be a big deal. I thought it was weird that guys cared so much about what they looked like. It’s just something that happens when you get older. However, I was thinking it would happen when I was 54, not 24.
Roughly two years ago, my hairline started creeping back like an army of soldiers crawling stealthily in the night to attack the back of my neck. I didn’t notice it at first. But then friends and family members started mentioning how high my forehead was getting. What did I do to make hairline want to leave me? Was it neglect? I know I never treated it to cornrows, but I think I’ve always kept a reasonably fashionable hairstyle (despite maybe the blue Mohawk in my “finding myself” stage in college). I wore my hair proudly, never hiding it under hats. In fact, I quit baseball because I looked stupid in hats (well that mixed with the combination of not being able to hit curve balls and an extreme fear of fast groundballs). But despite my careful guardianship over my locks, it was clear the fur on my scalp would abandon me like a pirate on a sinking ship. God I envy Jack Sparrow’s mane…
By the time I had accepted my receding hairline a new problem had arrived. The thinning had begun. The other day I walked under one of those bird’s-eye-view security cameras that have the monitor next to it so you can see the top of your head. I stopped dead in my tracks. While I respect other religions, I have no reason to be wearing a skin-colored yarmulke. The bald spot on my once gloriously blonde head looked like an exploding sun. Devastated, I looked for positives in the situation. Maybe it was a glowing halo and I was actually an angel. I guess we’ll find out if I fly when I go jump off a bridge after writing this.
Now a defeated man, I look for solutions to my cranium’s misfortune. I could own the bald thing and just shave it all off. Then again, I can’t dunk like MJ and I don’t have a cool Scottish accent to distract people like Patrick Stewart. Hell, I’m not even in a wheel chair so nobody will think I can read minds. Hats are an option. But like I previously stated, I’m not Jewish and I look like an idiot in baseball caps so that pretty much leaves me looking like Don Draper on the morning commute, Mr. Feeny on a fishing trip in Jackson Hole, or one of Christian Bale’s buddies in The Newsies. There’s Rogaine, but if it does work the best I can hope for is to be in a before and after commercial with the other fatties with false confidence.
Maybe being bald won’t be so bad. People will make assumptions that I’m a neo-Nazi and will immediately be afraid of me. I’ll be able to trick the ticket guy at the movies into giving me the senior citizen discount before I’m 65. Maybe I’ll even get a cool nickname like “Cue Ball” and then when I walk into a bar everyone will shout, “Cue Ball!” and I’ll respond, “You rack ‘em, I’ll crack ‘em!” But if nothing good comes from being bald, I can always hope for the revolutionary powdered wig to come back in style.