Friday, June 19, 2009

Bald Could Be Beautiful, I Suppose


A few years ago, my wife and I were out for brunch when we met the man with the ultimate comb-over.

Women laugh at comb-overs, but a guy knows when something runs, you chase it. At that time, I was in the race myself. And I'm no fool. I knew was searching too close to my ear to find hair to cover my dome.

My wife was less subtle. "Keep parting your hair like that, and you'll be combing your armpit."

But the guy with the comb-over had defied the laws of physics. He had parted his hair at the back of his neck and directly over each ear. The long cultivated strands were woven in odd shapes and met atop his head.

My wife looked at this disaster, glanced at me, and lifted an eyebrow -- an elegant comment on male vanity.

Okay, at that time, sure, a walk on a windy day was a hassle. A little breeze, and one rope-like strand of hair would blow up, flutter about, and then flop on my shoulder like an irate squirrel.

A toupee? No thanks. Let's be honest. Even if I could have afforded the Rolls-Royce of rugs, I would have been hauling that high-dollar hairpiece atop a face reaching the end of factory warranty.

So what to do?

Pay attention, for one thing. I should have realized the armpit part comment was a clue. And I should have remembered what I learned in my first month of marriage -- a decision delayed is a decision made. By my wife.

A week after we had watched the guy in the restaurant, she sat me down for a trim. The clippers hummed. Scissors snipped.

Suddenly … "Oops!"

Six magnificent inches, trained to provide an acceptable illusion in the mirror, now covered my lap. I think I heard them scream.

It may have been me.

"Sorry, babe." she said. "I slipped."

I believed her. Then. Color me gullible. But she knew where she was going, and she was in a hurry to get there.

"Lookin' shaggy, lover," she said a week later. "Time for a trim."

I should have realized then we were too far along on the journey to Mount Baldy to turb back. But I'm good at accepting the inevitable. So what if I get manipulated? The only thing I never seem to learn is that it's a waste of time to object.

"Can't find the scissors," she said. The clippers were topped by a suspiciously short blade guide.

One thing certain, I would never find those scissors.

Silence. One of us was praying. Her arm slipped around my neck. She rested her cheek against the top of my head.

And then clippers clattered to life, and she buzzed me down to a modest reflection of Michael Jordan.

"Oh, babe. That's sexy," she said, kissing me on the ear.

Since that day, I have been a bald -- but perhaps no better -- man.
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