50 Shades Of Gray

“Do you know what I found yesterday? Hair in my ear. I’m losing hair where I want hair and getting hair where there shouldn’t be hair. I found four big fat ones on my back; I’m starting to look like the fly.”
Billy Crystal in City Slickers

There comes a time when you realize that it has happened; you have gotten old.

I’m not exactly sure when it happened for me, but I do know¬†the warning signs. The first one? Hair.

I confess that I am lucky. I still have a good chunk of my hair. When I look back at my high school pictures, I don’t see too many differences between now and then.

And then I put on my glasses, and I can see all the differences.

I worried about my hair. Do you think that’s vain? Tough. Deal with it. I’m vain when it comes to my hair.

The reason I worried, though, was my brother. In his late 30s or so, he started going bald up top. It kept going, and soon he was rocking the popular Friar Tuck look: bald up top with the fringe around.

I believe this came from my mother’s side of the family. If the men start balding, it’s up top.

My dad’s side of the family has a receding hairline with a wicked widow’s peak. The men’s hair seems to recede back in line with their ears and then stops.

This seems to be the situation for me, and I prefer it to the up top look. I’ve got some nasty scars and flat spots and humps, up there. I wouldn’t look too good showing them to the world.

The grayness doesn’t really bother me. Anymore.

It bothered me when it started. What the heck? I thought. What have we here?

At first, they were easily pluckable. Pull a couple and you’re done. Time has increased the grayness, though, and I can’t keep up.

Not even close. I’m pretty sure that there is now officially more salt than pepper.

Actually, it wasn’t the gray hairs on my head that bothered me. No, it was the gray hairs, uh … elsewhere, that made me feel old. Real old.

I’m over it, now, but the first one was quite a shock.

The latest thing, though, really sucks: ear hair. Oh, I’ve had them for quite a while. Years, I suppose, but they were never that noticeable. Or maybe I was just wearing my hair longer and didn’t notice them.

I got my hair cut a few days ago. I got home, looked in the mirror, and nearly had a coronary. In addition to the usual “fuzzy peach” look of my ears, there were some monsters.

Huge. Like something out of Little Shop of Horrors.

I’m not saying they were a foot long, or anything, but I was able to braid them into a rope.

My hairdresser never let on, but it must have been a shock. A bit like hacking her way through an Amazonian hair jungle.

So I just finished plucking, tweezing, and buzzing my ears. They are much smoother and less ape-like.

And they don’t look a day over 40.


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