All bald men have experienced a bad break-up. They’ve loved and lost their hair. They thought they’d be together forever.
Plans were made for their future. He’d gain a little weight downstairs and thin out upstairs. He was going to start dressing more conservatively just as soon as his hair started to turn grey. The mane plan was to stay together through thick and thin.
So it came as a shock when he first noticed his hair had been sleeping around. Strands were strewn on bedclothes. A matted knot clung to the shower drain. Yet another clump atop his favorite lounge chair. Their relationship was unraveling. His heart ached.
Most nights he preferred to stay in. Didn’t feel like seeing anyone. His male friends were flaunting bushy manes and matching facial hair. His female friends just couldn’t understand.
Sure they tried with a compassionate smile here and a “just don’t worry about it” there. Easy to say when you’re experiencing a follicular surplus.
The bald guy is counting hairs and counting on them staying put. His well-coiffed counterpart is making plans for hair extraction and renovation. When she’s not plucking and waxing, she’s coloring and extending.
Meanwhile, he’s tried hundreds of lotions and potions. He massaged the scalp and avoided the sun. He had plenty of hair-brained ideas but none of them worked. It was like asking the ocean to stay on the shore.
The break-up was particularly painful because all around him were memories of their life together. A photo from his prom—looking sleek and styled. His graduation album with full locks buried under that mortarboard. The army snap, grinning out from his short back and sides. A crew cut. Oh what he wouldn’t give to have hair to cut.
Shamed and de-maned his baseball cap became his constant companion. Indoors, outdoors—they were simpatico. At the slightest zephyr he reached for his beanie buddy. That knitted crown had him feeling profound. Perhaps the warmth from the top deck could somehow be filtered south.
From his head to his heart, acceptance slowly grew. He was now a bald man. Defined, in part, by his appearance. His dome inferred a certain age but would not dictate his attitude.
On a good day he’d make light of his new look, determined to rise to the top sans a mop. Clinging to clichés became his new schtick. An email sign off from “Paulie Baldie,” a light pat on the head accompanied by a jovial “Anyone for golf?” Slowly, he was adapting, albeit it in a George Costanza kind of way.
So he finds himself a little more confident and gets back out there. He’s keen to start dating again but he’s wary he won’t be as appealing now his head is so revealing.
Cap in hand, he devises a plan. He knows he’s not the curly topped catch he once was but now he offers potential suitors something more. He has empathy. He’s sensitive to deep emotion because he’s experienced it. He’s faced nasty taunts and teasing. This guy’s had to develop a thick skin. He knows pain and will do everything to ensure his partner doesn’t.
His personal growth kicked in when his hair checked out. Now he’s got a good head on his shoulders and he’s determined to use it. Let it be known he’s growing proud of his hairless head and the wisdom it espouses. He has something to offer a mate well beyond a first date.
Sure there’ll be competition but it’s not about winning or losing. In love, as in life, it all comes down to how you play the mane.
—Photo credit: Vox Efx/Flickr