I can only speak for myself (my two-cents), but hair-loss has occured for me over a long period of time, and I have had to find a way to deal with it. I can assure the people out there, who panic over getting ONE GRAY hair, that the journey has not been easy. People who lose their hair (both men and women) have to deal with a profound change in their lives, and looking in the mirror is not easy...and the change occurs, usually over a long period of time! And, for all you cry-babies out there, who can't stand the sight of ONE GRAY hair...pay attention, maybe you'll learn something!
Losing my hair was a surprise to me, because it is not hereditary. My father and grandfather on both sides of the family...had a full head of hair...so I don't know what happened to me. If there was baldness in the family, I could reasonbly expect to lose my hair as well...but there is no baldness in my family...not even my uncles are bald! For me, most of the hair loss, occured in my 40's and 50's, and month after month, my appearance would change...a change I was not happy about!
Throughout my marriage of 19 years, I never gave baldness much thought. Sure, I was concerned about it, but what could I do about it? I wasn't going to buy all that snake-oil on the market, that prevented baldness, etc. The hair loss didn't really become important to me, until me and my ex parted out ways, and now things were different. I was about 48 years old at the time.
And now, the ugly questions came into my mind! Would another woman ever look at me again with a bald head? If I asked a woman to dance, would she turn me down? At some time in the future, would I wear a rug? (wig) Getting a hair transplant was out of the question because of the cost. I can honestly say, that at the time, I was very nervous about it all, but how was I going to handle it all?
One thing I answered to myself right away, was the fact that I would never wear a rug! Never! Maybe the process of sewing a rug onto the head is advanced, and in many cases, not even noticed...but it was not for me, even if I could afford it! I would always have the fear of it falling into my soup...or somebody else's soup! What a scary thought!
I worked for an engineering company for over ten years, and a man named Les was the head of our drafting department. He was about 45 years old and bald as a bowling ball since his late twenties. I knew Les for many years, and got to him as he was...not as he was soon to be, etc.
One day, Les come into our lab, and he was wearing something on top of his head...which resembled a beaver or a gopher. It was a rug or a wig! My boss and I were working together at the time, and both of us did a double-take when we saw Les! Boy o boy...what were we going to say to Les? What was I going to say?
This was a delicate subject...especially a radical change to somebody's appearance, etc. As Les stood there, me and my boss just stood there with our mouths open, lost for words, and the only thing we could think of to say was...da-a-a-a-ah...oh hello Les...how are you today? For lack of words to say, I finally tried to break up the tension with a little humor...it was about mid-April at the time, so I said to my boss. "Is today Halloween, Tony? My boss and Les started to laugh! That broke up the tension a little bit, etc.
I was still tongue-tied, as I tried desperately to find something else to say to Les, and I finally said, "I've never met you before, sir, but you look a lot like our draftsman named Les...who works down the hall...there's a striking resemblence!" Have you ever met Les...I asked him. Laughing...Les responded..."No, I've never met Les!" That got us another laugh, and served to break up a bit more tension, while the entire episode was unusal! (Whew!)
Luckily...Les only stayed in the lab a couple of minutes and then he left the lab. My boss and I stood there looking at each other, and we looked like tree full of owls at what had just happened! I remember telling my boss...that no matter what happened to me as far as my hair was concerned...I would never...ever...wear a rug...NEVER! At the time I had not yet lost all my hair, but I would in a few years. The day would come, when I would have to put up...or shut up! What would I do if I lost all my hair?
* * *
To get the answer, as to how I would handle my hair loss...I had to go back to my child-hood for the answer. I'm Hispanic, and I grew up in one of the worst parts of Albuquerque, New Mexico (where I live), near the railroad yards. The neighborhood was predominately Hispanic and Black, and at the age of 14 years old, my family moved into a predominately White neighborhood...appropiately called "Snow Heights." The move was definetely a culture shock at its best...and it was the worst for me at the time!
We didn't see many White people in the old neighborhood, so I was going to have to learn to get along with White people! Scary, eh? After the move, one of my sisters wanted to be White...she was embarrassed to be a Hispanic! I told here she was not on the right track...she should be proud of her heritage and her race! But, she wouldn't listen to a 14 year old bubble-gummer like me! It was at this point in my life...after the move by my family...that I decided that if people...no matter what their color...didn't like me..they could find somebody else's time to waste! Pretty good thinking for a 14 year old bubble-gummer, right?
This all set the tone for the rest of my life, even if I lost all my hair at a later age. I'm certainly not going to try to be White like my sister...who didn't have a brain in her head!
Years later, and after my ex and I parted our ways, I joined a singles club, and now the proof would be in the pudding! There was no doubt, that I didn't feel very good about myself at the time, and I have to say, I was very nervous about going to a singles club for the first time. I've always been one of the greatest dancers the world has ever known (yeah, right!), and I've been dancing since the beginning of the rock and roll era back in the 1950's.
The live band was rocking and rolling that night, and I wanted to get out there on the dance floor in the worst way, and to shake my "groove-thing!" (whatever that is) I wanted to get out there on the dance floor and show those old...very old 30 and 40 years olds, how to shake their booty, and dance circles around them! (It's getting deep, Jer!)
Throughout the evening, I enjoyed the music, but I didn't ask a single woman to dance, for fear of getting rejected! I couldn't get up the courage to do it! I drink very little, if at all, and I wasn't going to throw down a bottle of whiskey to get the courage to ask a woman to dance, like some guys do! To make a long story short...I finally did get the courage later on, to ask a woman to dance..and she accepted! And, every woman I asked after that, danced with me, and I can honestly tell the reader, I was quite relieved!
Over the next 18 months, I would go to the club about once a week, and take a little wax off the dance floor! But, during this time, the strangest thing happened to me, in which astonished me to a degree! To this day, in 2008 I still can't believe what happened to me at that time! During that 18 month period, over 35 different women, asked ME to dance...bald head and all! I WAS SHOCKED! After I danced with a woman, I would think to myself..."What's wrong with her...does she need to have her eyes examined?' Is she so desperate...she had to ask ME to dance?
And yes, I am a good dancer, because I've been dancing so long...but...women like to dance with good dancers, who can lead...and who don't step on their feet and break their backs with moves, etc. So, being the good dancer that I am, is a big plus for me! (YAWN here...your nose is growing, Jer!)
I bring up this point of losing hair, because men and women, too, have to know that they're not the only ones going through the pain that losing their hair brings, etc. And, losing your hair is usually such a slow process, that it makes things worse. And, everyone losing their hair, is going to have to deal with the issue in their own way. As I said when I was a 14 year old bubble-gummer...I chose to just be myself!
I'm told that there are women, who like bald men...and then there are women who wouldn't be caught dead with a bald man...that's their choice! I have no idea the likes and dis-likes of women...I can only report what's happened to me. I refuse to wear a rug...or a baseball cap forever...or to become a plastic man, with a face-lift; a tummy-tuck and what not! All that's not for me! Over the years, I have had success with people...with just being myself...and just growing old gracefully...if there's such a thing.
It was the great philosopher and comedian, Flip Wilson, who was one of the great comics of our time. It was, in his character, "Geraldine" who said, "What you see...is what you get, suckah!'
Because I like that attitude...it is what I say, too..."What you see...is what you get...suckah?"
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