Okay. The thing you should probably know about me is that, well, I’m balding. Gasp! Arghhh! Hiughhhhhhhh, kerplunph (that was the sound of you passing out and falling to the floor in shock). Yep. It’s truth. And here’s why it matters:
So, it actually doesn’t. It doesn’t affect my life at all. I forget about it most the time. Or if I do remember, it usually involves preparing to spend all day out in the sun, and you only need to burn your scalp once to remember that experience. Or maybe I just burned my scalp so deeply, it burned right into my brain. Anyway, I protect it from the sun. But otherwise, it just isn’t much of a problem.
Until I saw my wedding videos. Yep, it was the happiest day of my life, I can’t lie. And not for all those reasons that I rolled my eyes at before I got married. No, it was being surrounded by so much love. Nearly all the important people of your whole life, there in one room, smiling with their eyes and their mouths and their ears. Clapping and cheering! Crying! Geesh, it was like I hadn’t really known just how crazy intense love could be (in a non-husbandly way) until my husband and I stood up there in front of all those love-laser eyes.
So while Pete and I were withstanding the pressure-cooker of joy that was the audience of our wedding, all of our audience members only had to withstand the occasional glances of our shiny faces. Now we can circle back to the problem with the wedding videos: I got to be one of the audience members, and what I saw was not only Pete and my shiny faces, but my shiny scalp, as bright as the snow, a sizeable wafer of cuticle-free crown. My reaction? I cringed. Yiieeeeee.
My bald spot haunted all of the videos, like the baby bump nobody is supposed to notice, or a lazy eye (that’s a whole other introduction I’ll have to give you sometime.). The first dance video might exhibit the best example of bald-spot-hostage-takeover. I’ve included it here:
Yeah, I know, right? That man can dance! And then there’s me, holding on for dear life. No, I was so in love, so swimming in the Niagara Falls of love, that I gladly threw myself in the barrel with my husband and so goes 4 minutes.
But back to the bald thing: so, while watching our first dance video, instead of remembering all those happy feelings, I felt the shock and surprise about my bald spot, and it seemed to me that I had a few choices about how I could move forward with those feelings. I could:
a) shove ’em down real deep and good,
b) make a resolution that it’s enough already, living in this half-world shadow existence of not quite being the man I dream of being, and order my first round of Rogaine, then signing onto WordPress to write an inspirational blogpost about taking control of my life,
c) do nothing (always an option),
d) panic (always an option, though usually the least helpful),
e) determine that my bald spot just doesn’t matter all that much and enjoy the goddamn video for all the happiness that it documents, or
f) not only do e), but realize that, in fact, that bald spot makes the video, because it is a part of who I am, the man that Pete fell in love with. And that bald spot rests on the peak of the head of the man that fell in love with Pete, the same head on the same man who was a part of the Alex-Pete duo whom the crowd was cheering on. And the crowd knew that man and loved that man, if not because of the bald spot, then certainly with full inclusion of it. Pete claims he loves my bald spot. And so I let him touch it more often than I would prefer.
Guess which option I chose.
Humans can change all sorts of things about ourselves. Our primeval ancestors, hundreds of thousands of years ago, probably wondered if they were beautiful, mirrors or no, and went about trying to make themselves different. I know I do. But my bald spot? I’m over it. And, in fact, if all of those people cheering and screaming and crying love me, love my love, then they love my bald spot. I’m trying to love it too.