Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Wednesday, August 29, 2018 | 1 Comment(s)

I've been wearing hats since my parents let me leave the house in them.

By high school, a ball cap atop my dome was a staple. I vividly remember my excellent all-business 12th grade calculus teacher, may she rest in peace, who wouldn't allow hats in her classroom. At the time I was an observant conservative Jew (I know, I know, things change) who wore a yarmulke and tallit katan under my shirts. Most teachers in my completely Christian town didn't want to touch the whole "Jewish thing" with a 10-foot pole, and they let me wear my hat instead of my yarmulke. But not Ms. Murphy. She was way too smart for that shit. 

She said, "If you require a head-covering for my class, it has to be a yarmulke."

And, for the record, she was totally correct. She had a strict "No Hats" rule. She had no problem with my religious practices, but she knew that the Jews didn't command baseball caps in Math class, and she put her reasonable foot down firmly. Man, she was an amazing teacher. 

Anyhoo. I want to regale you with stories of my deep love for head coverings, the aesthetics and aerodynamics of brimmed outerwear, and how wearing caps changed my life for the better. The truth is, I've been waiting for my hair to fall out since I was 14. 
Let me answer all of your first questions. My dad is bald. His dad was bald. His dad? bald. 

You're all, "NO NO it's the MOTHER'S side." Technically you're incorrect (it's both sides), but my Mom's dad was bald. His dad too. My Mom's brother is also bald. The only non-bald male in my family, either side, that I know of, is my Dad's brother, who has hair. 

The odds were never in my favor.

"I volunteer to be tribute, just let me keep my hair." 
So I made sure early on, probably subconsciously, to cultivate a look that included a built-in back-up plan for when the inevitable Autumn of my years came, and my locks fell like desiccated brown oak leaves, blown inevitably from their limb-locked forever homes. 

And I made it work, if I do say so myself. Had I actually gone bald, no one would have noticed. The world would have gone on with the mental image of me having hair, and then later, they'd observe the  hair protruding out the side of my caps. Hair forever in the minds of many. 

But that's not what happened. Against all odds, I have a full head of hair at (almost) 40. Hell, I've gone grey. But I still wear hats all the time. It's simply a matter of habit at this point. I wear one so consistently, that if I ever leave the house without one, two or three people will, without fail, ask me if I got a haircut. "Just not wearing a hat," I reply. 

And now, since I've trained myself to wear hats, my plan of creating the illusion of #foreverhair has backfired completely. New people in my life now assume I'm bald, since I wear a hat all of the time. My students are often shocked to discover that my various sweet dress caps haven't been hiding a bald spot. My best plans have been turned bald-head over backwards, as is life's way. 

Perhaps you are considering the fact that, at 39, there are still many more years of potential baldness ahead of me. But seriously, who gives a shit. I wasn't a particularly vain 20-something and I am a particularly un-vain almost 40-year-old. I mean, I've had my eye sewn shut and bartended with a patch. In my mind, with my newly acquired grey hairs, I've hit the age where I can safely shave it all off if things to dicey up there later in life, and still partially pull off "somewhat sexy older bald dude." And that's more than I need at this point in my life...

... forgetting the fact that I now wear a hat everyday like a trained monkey.  

Oh shit, am I Diddy Kong?!?


Post Script

I believe, if you had told high school me that I stood a chance to keep my hair into my 40's, I think younger me would have made more protective and judicious hair-based decisions along the way. 

But I never believed the good times would last. So I made the most of the time I had. I stripped it blonde and dyed it red, orange, blue, and purple. I had Mohawks and tracks and undercuts and overcuts and everything else. I figured I should do everything I've ever wanted to do to my hair while it still grew back. Because one day, I knew, it wouldn't, and I didn't want to be left with any follicular regrets. 

1 comment:

  1. Can we see pictures of Matt through the years? I need to see current-state gray hair.