Monday, February 13, 2006

Hair Apparent

I composed the below piece a few months ago, but never posted it. It was an admittedly vain piece regarding my hair, and some of the subtle changes that were beginning to occur as aging set in. It was intended to be somewhat tongue in cheek, but didn’t really come off as such.

[Trivial Vanity Break]
With apologies and acknowledgement to Dave Barry, who has probably already covered this topic with a lot more wit in the past….

Found my first gray one a few weeks back. Ugh. The only upside is that I haven’t lost any of the hair on my head. This was a trade off I always said I would accept, so I guess I’m okay with it. Heck, I knew guys who started losing their hair in their twenties, so I feel like the follicles are on borrowed time anyway once a guy hits 25. The flip side is that now, not only is hair springing up in previously hairless places (ears, nose), but some existing hair is doing odd things. To wit, I’ve noticed a few rogue hairs in the eyebrows begin to take on lives of their own, and shoot off in wildly different directions. When these few rebels decided to assert their independence, I don’t know. I never received a list of demands, or a deadline, they just took off. Are they to be plucked? Ow, that seems really painful, but if you’ve looked at Andy Rooney lately, you see what happens when the rebellion isn’t crushed early. Think about how pointless your eyebrows are in the first place. What is their purpose? Of course, you would look like a pretty large freak if you shave them off, so I guess they’ll have to stay, even they start wandering. Makes me really appreciate how much crap women do all the time to keep themselves beautiful.

Like most other guys who’ve never had facial hair, I am about to make my annual attempt at the Mid-Life Crisis Beard. It should be noted that every other attempt can be classified as an abject failure, but I am undeterred, or perhaps just delusional. Last years effort was the lengthiest one yet, and despite my wife’s constant admonition that I just looked like I had a dirty face, I pressed on for about three weeks before giving up. (She was sorta right). This attempt will likely result in a similar fate, yet I forge ahead in the futile hope that this time will be different.

[/Trivial vanity break complete]

First things first, the facial hair experiment failed, yet again, and possibly for the final time. Whatever.

I didn’t post this item because after reading it, it sounded like so much self-indulgent bullshit, which was not my aim when setting up this blog. This would be the kind of stuff that nobody would ever care about, other then perhaps to have a quick laugh.

Perspective arrived in the form of a fund raiser being coordinated by some folks in our office. The organization is called St. Baldrick’s, which is a group that raises money for pediatric cancer research. The hook is a simple one: gather people who will solicit donations from friends and co-workers, who sponser a few brave souls who will shave their heads. The literature puts it in plain English – these kids are about as brave as one can be, undergoing painful chemo (which causes their hair to fall out), so the least we can do is undergo some temporary humiliation to help the cause by showing some solidarity. Besides, it’s gonna grow back eventually, right?

I hemmed and hawed a little on this, trying to make sure that if I decided to do this, it would be for the right reasons. Donating a few bucks was one thing, but I began to contemplate becoming a “shavee”. It’s fun to be the center of attention and all, and I really wanted to make sure I wasn’t going to participate to make myself look good (not in a physical sense, obviously).

Eventually I got around to browsing the St. Baldrick’s web site, and it got me. I contacted the team leader for our company and signed up. Now there is no turning back! My dome will be revealed on March 16th in all its glory. I’m looking forward to it, and hopefully will be able to raise a lot of cash for a worthy cause. Those in attendance might want to bring sunglasses to combat the glare from my lilywhite scalp, which hasn’t seen the light of day since I was an infant.

Please check out my site here, and make a donation if you have anything to spare. It is tax deductible, and most appreciated. The "Before" photo is up, and the "after" shot will be posted shortly after the event.

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