Bad Haircut . . .
When I wore a younger man's clothes - I had thick hair. THICK. The kind where, like deep pile carpet or those meditation sand trays (with little rakes and stones) on mid-level executive's desks, you ran your fingers through it and it stayed in that pattern until you ran your fingers another way. I loved it. And it loved me. But we knew our love affair would be brief because EVERY MAN on the branches of my family tree is bald. Mr. Clean type bald (other than my one, super awkward uncle that does a comb over that makes Donald Trump stop saying stupid things, lean to the right, and simply mutter "Dammmmmmmmmmmmmmn." (like Chris Tucker and Ice Cube in Friday)).
So . . . fast forward to the ripe, "old" age of 22 and I'm a recent college graduate and I'm dating a woman in DC and she says "Your hair is almost too gray and is thinning almost too much for you to be just 22." (She was older, sophisticated, and liked to verbally abuse me as foreplay (in my head - at least).) So by the age of 27 when I met my soon-to-be-wife I breathed a deep sigh of relief that I could give up the proverbial ghost, go bald, and live happily ever, please-don't-get-me-scalpal-melanoma-after.
I started cutting it really, really short and just letting go . . . to the brown and the thickness and the luxurious nature of my former hair.
And here I sit - nearly 11 years later - and I can honestly tell you I just want it over. I think, frequently, of going all Mr. Clean on myself and just letting my beautiful, cue ball dome reflect sun, sweat, and t-zone skin oil. It is exhausting to get my hair cut every four to six weeks and see my hair line marching, ever so slowly, to the back of my neck. It is horrifying to have my eyebrows and ear hair take almost as much time to trim as my locks themselves. It is demoralizing to add the "that" to the middle of "It is not bald."
BUT I have figured it out (get out your notepads, balding men and the (wo)men that love them). The "Zero-to-Finger-Length Fade". THE perfect hair cut for balding men everywhere. It is exactly as it sounds - it starts with no hair on your neck and lower head that gradually lengthens to the depth of the width of a stylist's fingers on their "holding" hand (the other hand - of course - being the scissor/cutting hand).
But even this, apparently, is not fool-proof. Asssssssssssss witnessed by the WORST. HAIR. CUT. EVER. on Friday evening.
(All say, in unison) "How. Bad. Was. It."
(again) "HOW bad?"
Let's just say I only did ONE social thing after the chop . . . went to services. My classmate John made fun of me three times before the Torah portion. My Rabbi making fun of me in front of the congregation bad (apparently I know have the same haircut as every male member of the ruling family of North Korea). The President of the congregation (himself sporting the aforementioned Mr. Clean cut) just laughed. Repeatedly. A nice, older woman - herself with a shock of fucshia hair in her otherwise white locks (that my daughter and I both truly love - not sarcasm . . . it is a wonderful bit of individuality) said "Oh THANK YOU for saying something bad about that hair - I was wondering what was going on earlier."
SO - I went Saturday, looking like Forrest Gump (the movie vs. Frank Ocean's), and had my hair not CUT but FIXED.
And fixed it is. The proud, subtle fade without notable steps or seams. The top exactly a finger's depth. My ears, eyebrows, and neck pristine. I feel whole again . . . until I look to admire it in the mirror and see the retreating, greying spectacle that is left behind.
Oh well. I once had really good hair - ONCE.