Thursday, April 27, 2006

"There are some decisions we make in life that become life-changing. Marriage. Divorce. Hair styles."

So writes Jan in another gem on her blog, TheViewfromHer.

In the end, Jan puts the whole hair thing in perspective.

But, women may not be the only ones whose hair can make or break their days. I've always been persnickety about my hair. Maybe it's because I'm so self-conscious about my physical deficiencies--a chin that leans in when it should jut out, a prominent brow ridge that puts one in mind of the Cro-magnon, complexion pocked by acne eruptions that continue to this day (and I'm 52 years old!), and bug eyes underlined by bags. Hair is the one thing about my appearance I'm able to control.

Fortunately, I've been blessed with a full head of hair, only now beginning to gray. Yet, even as a man, I've always perceived a bad hair day as an ever-present and potentially debilitating danger. The most important tool in my possession is a long blue comb. If I don't use it within minutes of emerging from the shower, a bad hair day--and lowered self-esteem--is sure to ensue.

My family has long threatened to hide or deliberately "lose" the blue comb. But I think they've taken pity on me, knowing that if they did this dastardly deed, I would, in a matter of seconds, be curled up on the floor in the fetal position.

So great is the obsession with my hair that our daughter has often told me, "You're just like Uncle Jesse," a reference to the character John Stamos played on the forgettable Full House sitcom. But I'm guilty as charged: I am obsessed with my hair.

A few years ago, I began to develop a clump--that's my barber's technical term for it--on the right side of my mane. I asked her why that was happening and she said that my hair was thinning a bit. "There isn't as much hair to support it as there was," she told me...I think with some glee, aware as she is of my hair neurosis.

After that, I began experimenting with several different hairstyles including, a few years back, a virtual buzz. My wife loved that look. But I decided later on to adopt a longer-locked coif, my hair swept back with the part shifted from its former location. It looked sort of like Martin Sheen's hair and since I always wanted to be president, that was okay with me.

But then, I did something outrageous the other day. I went to the barber and told her to give me that old buzz cut. It seemed like a good thing to do with spring on the bloom. I also felt like I was saying, "You know what? My hair isn't that important anyway."

To my suprise though, my wife, who had loved the look a few years ago, was upset with me. "Oh, well," she finally said with a laugh, "it'll grow out."

And when it does, my faithful blue comb will be at the ready.


jan@theviewfromher said...

Mark, all I can say is: you're way too fun to be a pastor. That, and I'm just a little disconcerted to know that men have hair-related neuroses too. :-) Thanks for the commiserating link!

Mark Daniels said...

HA! Believe it or not, I show some circumspection about how many of my personal neuroses to share.


Pilgrim said...

I also get frustrated about the hair issue. I grew up with Mennonite women who never cut or colored their hair. Partly in obedience to readings of Paul, in Corinthians, and to some verses in Peter, I think. Over the years, I some of both, though no much of the latter. As I turn gray, I begin to revert to type, like a hybrid going back to its parent. I want to follow nature's path--longer again, and balking at coloring.
It's a struggle between heritage/ faith, and culture--plus that 70's natural look mentality.
I would never post that on my blog!

Mark Daniels said...

"I would never post that on my blog!"

You're obviously wiser and more sensible than I am.