This post also appeared on www.capecodonline.com/blogs in the opinion section of the Cape Cod Times, a division of Ottaway Newspapers, Inc.
I had a mini crisis last night and I’m still not quite over it.
I was playing with Will while laying down on the couch. I had him perched on my chest and as is his custom nowadays, he grabs anything and everything in his reach. This time, he grabbed a handful of my chest hair and began to pull like his life depended on it. When I recovered and began to survey the damage, I did a double take when I saw it:
A white hair!
Right in the middle of my chest, center mast, was a stark white chest hair. Easy to spot amidst a sea of black, it stood out like a sore thumb. I just stared at it for a few minutes in complete disbelief. I even switched rooms to examine it hoping it was just bad lighting. But it wasn’t. It’s a white hair and it’s the real deal.
I haven’t even come to grips with the fact that my hair line has been retreating faster than the French armed forces since my early 20s. But a white hair? I immediately went to the bathroom and did something I hardly ever do unless MJ wants me to look nice: I closely examined myself in the mirror.
My heart jumped into my throat as I checked out the hair on the side of my head. Sure enough, some of them looked a little too blonde for comfort. I’m sorry, but I’m not emotionally ready to declare the hairs on my head are turning gray. The chest hair is bad enough, but I’m not ready to surrender the hair on my head to gray gods.
I know everyone says becoming a father ages you. Hell, I take one look at my Dad and see that’s the case. Before he had kids he had a genuine afro. But soon after, most of it fell out and now he’s got one or two lonely black hairs still hanging on for dear life. But for now, I’m going to convince myself it was just the lighting. Or my imagination playing tricks on me. Anything except the truth: that I’m getting old and now there’s proof.
I was going to pluck the white chest hair but I’m superstitious and I’m afraid if I pull one out then 100 more will suddenly appear tomorrow. Besides, my son will most likely yank it out in due time.