Sunday, February 10, 2019

The End of Vanity

A couple of years ago, I left my wife for another woman. To cut my hair, that is. My wife always did it somewhat reluctantly, so she was thrilled when I found someone a few blocks away who did a better job in a shorter time for a mere $15. 

But just when I went to see my new locks-and-tresses-trimmer yesterday, she was on vacation and someone else was in her place who convinced me she could  do a good job.  I took a chance and emerged with the haircut from hell. Way too short and not a good look for me at a time when I could use every square inch of good looks. 

But really, what’s the point? Physical attraction is designed to ensure a mate to help hold the ladder while washing high windows, keep you company on long, lonely rainy nights and if you so desire, partner in continuing the species and creating children who will entertain you and visit you in the Old Age Home. At my age, whatever good looks I had has done its job. Why care about my appearance? 

I was devastated when I first noticed a receding hairline at a tragically young 19 years old, one that kept diminishing so I went from a virile Samson-like shoulder length hair to officially bald by 30 years old. But I had time to get used to the new look and though my granddaughter often brings it up, “Pop-pop, why don’t you have any hair?” I can’t say that I’ve noticed that people seem physically repulsed by my presence or loved me any less because I failed the George Clooney test. I comfort myself with the fact that Gandhi was not exactly our definition of handsome and somehow Frank Sinatra still inspired school-girl crushes. 

Yet to be honest, some measure of vanity persists in me. The mirror that  keeps not showing the face I think it should seems even more broken than usual. I think I’ll be wearing my Spanish hat both indoors and out for the next few weeks. 

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