of Hair, Spinach and Children...

In October of '95 I took scissors to my hair, followed shortly by clippers.....and then a razor not long after that. I was 24 years old, going on 13.

But, lets back up some first.
One of the handful of early memories I've retained as I've gotten older is when I was a toddler and staying with my uncle Darwin and aunt Charlene for a short time. To be more precise, I remember a dinner we had together where my uncle blurted out in pure grown-up to child fashion, "Eat your spinach now....it'll put hair on your chest." Just for the record, I already had every intention of eating said spinach. I loved spinach, and no one needed to tell me to eat it as if it were a plateful of green, steaming shit. But, his words that night caused two things to happen: First, I instantly had a vision of the man we saw a day or so before at the pool who was one of those unfortunate males who can take off their shirt and make everyone wonder why they were wearing a sweater under it....Second, I didn't eat my spinach and got spanked. I wasn't able to eat spinach for years after that night.....even today I have to consciously remind myself that I like spinach in order to eat it.

I have written about this subject before...that is, about the fact that even the most mundane of utterances to a child can make a lifelong lasting impression.

Another memory of mine, this one vivid, is of looking at myself in the mirror when I was 6 years old. My brother had recently been born and I recall sessions of family members crowding around him in marvel and plotting out his life already. He'll be a doctor, a lawyer, a great man. I remember my father trying to console me, the first child, in case I felt neglected, by telling me that I was grown-up now and had to be an example for my brother. I stood looking at myself in that mirror, alone, and promised myself aloud that I would NEVER grow up. Screw my brother, let him suffer that fate!
Besides the little things that imprinted themselves into my psyche, there were also the larger things that help shape our view of the world and who we will become. I remember my mother repeatedly lying to me, knowing that she was lying to my face, and juxtaposing that with the time she told me that grown ups never lie.....as if they were a benevolent race that was unable to do so. I remember my father coming home from work too tired to even look in my direction. I remember being amazed at the lack of imagination adults had in general. I saw grown ups as a flawed species and harbored a contempt for them....as if they were Canadians. (c'mon...I haven't made an anti-canadian comment for a long time...allow me this one....and I suppose, let the hate mail flow once again)

Couple these together and we arrive at one of the strange quirks of my life. That is, ever since the first hair sprouted from my chest when I was a teen, I have made it a personal goal to remove them as fast as they would arrive. I think that in the back of my mind, I associated having chest hair as a part of being an adult, which I was not ready for. Insert routine and/or habit and you get the fact that I have been actively shaving my chest for over twenty years. That is, until a few months ago.

I decided to try a little experiment. I stopped shaving, and today I have a full chest of hair.....which I hate! It's itchy and strange and every now and again it'll get caught in my shirt, which is all alien to me. But, I have grown it out nonetheless, for whatever reason. Bah!
This brings me back to the fact of shaving my head. Like I said, I have been shaving it for over a decade now, ever since the first hint of receding. I have not seen the hair on my head, other than a week's growth worth, in all that time. By the way, here's a little of the remaining proof that I had a full head of hair at one point:

The second I believe was taken the night of the hair chop.....and apparently, I thought I was John Lennon.

The reason for all this is the fact that I have been struggling with the thought of a second experiment; how many kittens can I fit into a pickled egg jar? But that really has nothing to do with anything here. No. I have decided to again, stop shaving, to just let my hair grow and most likely destroy any lingering threat of being attractive to the opposite sex.
There are a few reasons that I have decided to try this: First, I am curious as to what I'll look like as a balding man and not just a bald man. Second, I have always considered that I would eventually do the 'George Carlin' look which consists of beard, ponytail, and bald head. And Last, I promised myself that at least once in my life I would try to grow a comb-over like that that Bill Murray sported in Kingpin.

Now, I make no promises as to the success of this endeavor. I could easily find myself two weeks into it and freak out, diving into a bath of Nair and razors.....but I WILL make the attempt. Plus, I hope to document it all with a daily pic from my webcam, that later I can string together as a hair-growth animation to the theme of the Dating Game (thank you Annie).

And, I apologize for the melancholy feel to this post. I have been writing this in short bursts throughout the day, having stayed home from work do to a severly pinched nerve in my shoulder/neck, which is a result of years of bad posture and time spent bent over a drawing board.....and, as both a doctor and a chiropractor has told me, something to look forward to more and more frequently as I get older.
I might be forced to admit that it's impossible to win against adulthood physically, but I still promise that in all other ways that make me who I am....I will NEVER grow up!