Sunday, March 25, 2018

An old man’s advice; the road not taken

When I was pushing 30, I saw my hair was thinning and, having seen pics of my grandpa’s monk-like pate, I acted to preempt it. Rogaine was prescription-only back then, and $60 a month. My doctor, a portly bald dude, tried to dissuade me. 

“Take it from an old man,” he said, “If you invest that $60 every month instead of pouring it on your hair, when you are my age I guarantee you will be happier.” I glanced at his hand. He was unmarried.

I dabbed my head with the stuff for a month or two, which made my hair look perpetually greasy, and it itched like the little pump sprayer was filled with fire ants. 

I let it go. I also neglected to make those monthly investments, so now I am bald AND poor. I never was good with “either/or” scenarios. I also wish I hadn’t gone in so big on that initial offering of MySpace stock. Well, we live only to learn.

I see Rogaine on the supermarket shelf now and, adjusting for inflation, it costs less than half of what it did in the beginning. I look at the bottles nostalgically, the same way I look at a VHS copy of “Star Wars.” 

Oh yeah, I think, we used to do that, didn’t we? 

I have not researched it, but the stuff probably doesn’t itch any more, and I bet it smells like Old Spice or a stack of vintage books or something else great. We call it progress, but it still stings a little.

I read a men’s magazine which suggests self-care products, but following its tips feels a little prissy, even for me, who was once called “effeminate” by a stranger in a restaurant. 

I was raised by a guy who came up through the Great Depression, and for whom the idea of a “moisturizer” was rain. I tried moisturizing my face for a while, but that regimen eventually fell off, like so many others in my past. I’m looking at you, kale.

I have to think that nature meant for men to look more and more decrepit, if for no other reason than to allow hot nubile young women to practice feigning disinterest. You should see them. They are very good at it. It is a valuable skill, and the practice increases their prospects at attracting a mate their own age. 

They don’t fool me, but I am only glad to be of help. 

. . .