Pass the ball cap, honey, it’s getting a bit breezy overhead
Burt's Eye View
I swooned when I heard her say those three little words: “You’re thinning out.”
My buttons fairly burst — and this time not at stomach level. “Since I quit guzzling Coca-Cola and laid off downing a dozen chocolate chip cookies for breakfast, I’m down several notches on my belt size.”
“Oh, that too,” my wife said.
I scratched my head. “Isn’t that what you meant? That my stomach is svelter?”
“I was talking about your hair,” she said. “It’s thinning out.”
I nodded. “Yeah, that ol’ dark brown of my 20s sure has thinned out to a washed-out gray.”
“Not that,” she said. “I mean I can see your scalp. Through your hair. Because your hair is thinning out.”
It took me 60 years but I’m slowly going bald. Well, thin. It’s sort of like replacing the storm windows with screens, only it’s not for plate glass but for the pate.
“I’m not losing my hair,” I told my wife. “I’m just ventilated. An airhead.”
“Keep talking,” my wife said. “You’re getting closer to the truth than you think.”
In my youth, I was blessed with hair so full-bodied that it needed an aerobic workout. Now it’s getting one.
Barbers used to grouse because my wavy locks clogged and killed their clippers. I was like Absalom: “When he shaved his head — he shaved it every year because his hair got so heavy for him that he had to shave it off — he would weigh the hair from his head and it would be five pounds.” (2 Sam. 14:26)
Weight loss would be a whole lot easier if all I had to do was to visit the barber. But now that I’m thinning out on top, I’ve been reduced to abandoning Coca-Cola and Oreos if I want to thin out around the middle.
My graduating class met for its 40th class reunion this summer. I didn’t get to go but I studied the photos with interest.
“I must be looking at the wrong pictures,” I told my wife. “These old guys have no hair. I’m still thick-headed.”
“Thou speakest the truth there,” she said.
In the 1970s, some the guys in high school guys had bigger, bushier dos than the girls. If there was one thing we boys could do back then, it was grow hair. Forty years later — not so much.
There are many joys of aging, like senior discounts and no one expects you to carry the heavy stuff anymore.
Losing my locks isn’t one of them — though I am saving a bundle on shampoo.
I am learning to cope with my newfound uncluttered look, thanks to the encouragement of some wise guys of my own age.
“Bald just means your brainpower expanded so much that your head shot straight through your hairline,” one said.
“Bald men don’t waste their hormones growing hair,” another smooth-topped sage said.
“God only made so many perfect heads. The rest he covered with hair,” a third shiny-domed guy offered.
The fourth guy shrugged. “It’s just a phase I’m going through.”
I am determined to continue thinning out — around the middle, that is. I don’t seem to have much control over the top. But it might be time to start a new hobby. As the great — and thin — philosopher James Taylor once said: “I collect hats. That’s what you do when you’re bald.”
— What he lacks on top he grows on his chin. Write the thin man at burtseyeview @tribtoday.com, on the Burton W. Cole page on Facebook or @BurtonWCole on Twitter.