One Way Streets, Blind Spots and Earfros.
When I was younger, so much younger than today…
I was arrogant, judgmental and self important. I would be disgusted by what seemed to me to be a human giving in to aging and laziness. Be it the comb over to hide any baldness, the dying of hair to hide any aging and the stupid glasses which sat half-way down their nose as they walked around the office.
Another thing that always grossed me out was the sight of ear hair.
I would say to myself, “shit, shave that Afro growing in your ear.”
I would be disgusted at the sight. My ear was always very cute – one girlfriend used to love to kiss it. So when I would notice an “earfro” – I would shake my head in judgment.
To me it always conveyed a sense of “slobitude” (Yes I think I coined that phrase). It just looked like a half-untucked shirt, an untied shoe or a necktie where the shorter side was longer than the long side.
Men who had just gotten married were gaining weight and they looked bloated.
Take care of your looks man!
In my 20’s and 30’s I went through an anxiety and panic stage, laced with some depression. After several months in therapy I was given a pill to take.
Then…I turned 40.
I would open the newspaper in the morning, with my contacts in my eyes and I would not be able to see the words without pushing the paper away as far as I could. I thumbtacked it to the opposite wall of my table just so I could make out a word.
I went to the optometrist who told me to get 1.25 reading glasses. I put them on and I was able to see the words and even the smaller captions beneath the pictures. OK, I could live with this.
One day I was speaking with my son when he said, in his usual loving and sensitive manner, “Dad you have an Afro growing in your ear!”
I laughed him off. “OK, funny.” Then I ran to the bathroom, I took a selfie of my ear and I saw that bushel of hair.
My cute ear was now a bearded man. If my wife kissed it she could probably floss with it. No wonder she never looked at me.
What the hell?
This was 45.
My hairline began to recede, my stomach to protrude and some grays appeared on my chest.
I took off my clothing; I weighed myself, “oh my God.” I stepped off the scale as if it was hot coal.
So here I was, losing hair on my head, gaining weight all around and as an extra gift I had a mountain of hair coming out of my ear.
What happened, how did I not notice?
I went for a check up and my blood pressure and cholesterol were high.
I started taking two different medications.
One morning I was reading the paper, my reading glasses on my nose and I caught a reflection of someone in the mirror…who the hell was that? Upon further investigation it was not a stranger or a horror movie poster; it was me.
All this time I think; when I would look in the mirror I never really “saw.”
I had been filtering what I wanted to see. I would see myself as a younger man, thin, full head of hair and two cute ear lobes.
This was denial to the point of delusion.
Now I was looking at myself, really looking at myself, all filters and delusions were turned off.
My hair – it had receded too far back to even call it recede – it had surrendered.
I then noticed my nose hair…
“What happened to me!” I yelled out loud.
I had more hair growing out of my ears and nose than I had on my head. To top it all off? There was one hair growing on the outside of my nose staring at me like a middle finger.
I was disgusted but over time I conceded and made peace to the new, albeit old me. I bought tweezers, increased the font on my smartphone and purchased an ear and nose trimmer. (which looked like vibrator, so each time we had a day worker she would discreetly place it in my wife’s top drawer.)
This was 50.
I began to have to use the bathroom with more frequency. I couldn’t get there fast enough and let’s just say the water didn’t leave the hose with the same strength as it once did.
I went to the doctor…Ouch.
I had to make a “piss stop” before going anywhere; I could not forget my reading glasses because I would not be able to read without my glasses on, even if my life depended on it.
I was now shaving in three different spots, I was unable to see my feet and the realization that karma was a bitch hit me. Karma was a fat ugly hairy eared bitch.
So I learned my lesson right? What good would it do me if I couldn’t go back in time and be a better, less judgmental person?
I was on a runaway cart down a one way street; but what could I do? Take better care of myself? So I eat better and do some walking here and there.
Although this truck that used to be a sports car is breaking down slowly – I will quote Maurice Chevalier; “Old age isn’t so bad when you consider the alternative.”