I duly noted this major life event on my Facebook page, but my post didn't garner much sympathy from my less follicly fortunate friends and family, many of whom are younger, grayer and balder. Some even implied that I was lying, or worse, coloring my hair. But a different sort of chemistry is at work here. There's a rare piece of DNA floating through the family gene pool that's responsible for my portrait of Dorian Gray. Unfortunately, this tidbit of genetic code seems to be attached to the shortness gene—none of the carriers are taller than five-foot-six.
My sixteen year-old daughter was shocked and alarmed when she learned her daddy was experiencing "the change."
"Your not supposed to have gray hair, just mom. Why does hair turn gray anyway?" she asked.
I explained to my child that getting gray hair was just a normal part of the aging process, the onset of the inexorable decay that rapidly culminates in death. My reassuring words failed to comfort her. I tried to show her the offending hair so she could grasp the magnitude of my predicament, but I had trouble finding it again.
I can sympathize and empathize with my daughter's shock and grief. An integral part of my identity is that I am—excuse me, was—the old guy with no gray and a hairline rooted like AstroTurf. Without my Samson like mane I'm just another short, chubby, graying, balding, old man. People will no longer stare at me in disbelieve when I tell them my age. I have become so accustomed to the permanence of my hair that it's hard to accept its demise.
I know it's ridiculous to let one single, little strand of gray hair redefine my self image. So I yanked it out–only to discover that it had a friend. I contemplated pulling that one out, too, but I decided this was likely a loosing battle.
Kellie is relieved that the gray day has arrived, telling me that I can now stop obsessing over gray hairs. I thought she knew me better than that.
Just so you don't think I'm blowing this out of proportion, below is a picture taken earlier today. I considered adding a PayPal Donate Now button so my readers could help fund my treatment, but that would be silly.
|The Face of Death|
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