Friday, September 12, 2008


I've always been, to say the least, unsympathetic to people with issues. We all know them - if it wasn't for some minor and probably non-existent parental slight they received twenty years ago their life would have been so much different. Or the ones who would be out there running marathons if it weren't for the debilitating physical or psychological condition that has blighted them for years yet the entire medical profession seems unable to diagnose. You just want to grab these people by the lapels - or somewhere rather more direct if they have no lapels - and tell them to bloody well just get on with it and stop moaning. If they invested as much time and effort into actually trying to achieve their goal as they invest in complaining about what holds them back they'd be surprised by what they could achieve. Of course I don't confront them. They're people I have to be cordial to such as work colleagues, or friends of friends, or people who are perhaps only passing acquaintances whom I may never see again, so frankly what's the point?

I of course, have no issues. I am baggage free, completely attuned to my own strengths and limitations. Whatever's wrong in my life might have been caused by somebody else, or may be an inevitability of my genes, or might even, perish the thought, be something I've brought upon myself, but there's no point in labouring over it. Adversaries are unlikely to come back and undo their wrongs. My genes aren't going to fix themselves and magically undo the few petty ailments that irritate me. And if I've screwed things up myself, then I've only got myself to blame.

Of course, none of that's true. We all carry around a head chock-full of self-doubt. It's what defines us. The best we can hope to do is mitigate its day-to-day effects, try not to burden others with our problems and get on with the matter in hand. Except of course, we don't. In our self-indulgent, self-regarding society we're all encouraged to articulate our problems. We're all expected to be in touch with our emotions and foibles. Confront your inner demons they say, and you will find enlightenment and ultimate peace.

But I have something. Something I still can't cope with and haven't been able to cope with for the past twenty years. I think of it daily, maybe even hourly. It makes me cringe with embarrassment at times. It stops me attending certain social events where I think it may be too conspicuous to nonchalantly imagine people aren't slack-jawed in horror at it. It makes me act ridiculously in certain company. And you know what it is? I'll tell you......I'm bald. "Oh for chrissakes grow up!" I hear you cry. Well it's just not that easy.

I've just never come to terms with it. It makes me feel prematurely old. I simply do not believe women who occasionally tell me it's actually quite sexy. How could it be? It's horrible. I feel I always stand out in a crowd because of it. My bald head is a point of reference, like a roundabout. I imagine people saying to each other in the pub"Yeah mate, the loos are over there on the left, just behind that bald bloke." I hate people standing behind me because I'm convinced they're staring at my bald pate and my silly hairline. Even those 'guess your age' games you occasionally end up in; I'm usually guessed as being at least five years younger than I really am, but I know the score, you always guess someone's age and then deduct five years to avoid offence so that's no comfort. I'm convinced people pity me - much more so when I was a younger man definitely, but now they just consider I'm unfortunate. If I'm on a first date, even if the conversation is flowing, I'm sure the woman is thinking to herself "Can I really date a baldy? What will my friends think?" I'm sure people think I'm genetically below par because of it.

Sure it has its upsides. I can wash (what's left of) my hair every day and it's dry and perfectly positioned five seconds after I exit the shower. I never have to worry about how it's styled - there is only one style. I wake up in the morning and my hair is exactly how I left it the night before. I never have to scratch around in the plughole and drag out those horrible congealed lumps of hair and other crap that accumulates. I never have to discuss with my barber how this week I'd like to look like George Clooney, and a few months later, well this time I'll have a Johnny Depp. I never need to be worried about the job he does - he always does exactly the same job, every two weeks, in five minutes flat - and even then he's taking his time. But all that is to do with ease of maintenance and has nothing to do with aesthetics.

So what to do? As soon as I know it was going, I started cutting it short lest anyone suspect I was in the slightest way bothered by its disappearance. First rule - NEVER try to disguise it. That would be the worst thing to do. Combover? No thanks, you're fooling no-one with that. Wig? Oh don't be ridiculous. Transplants? And end up looking like Elton John? Gimme a break. Hats? Well they have a practical use - they keep my bleedin' head warm don't they! That's why I don't wear them in the Summer or indoors. So yes, I have one hat, which I use when it's cold and only when absolutely required - it's not a disguise!

This has been quite cathartic. I think I've just come to terms with my condition....well, maybe just for the next hour or so.


sabrina said...

This is such an awesome post dude

I soo agree that people prefer to blame their actions, characteristics and behaviour on their past...their screwed-up childhood, relationship woes etc...but what good is that gonna do in the long run if we don't actually learn from whatever shit happenend to us in the past and move on?!

Cos isn't that what evolution is supposed to be about?

King of Scurf said...

Hi Saby: For the benefit of future generations I just hope that evolution does something about baldness.

Whether evolution will rid us of our increasing negativity is another thing.

Thanks - I've never had a post called "awesome" - I'm dead chuffed!

Delirium said...

Great post! I certainly do agree about the whining and complaining about your life... you're given what you get and you should make the most of it in whatever way.

ButI don't agree with you on one thing... I do find bald/ing men really quite attractive and will tend to make a bee line for anyone folically challenged...

Probably a genetic disposition I've inhereted from my mum as my dad was brushing his hair forward when he was 16 because of his ever receding hairline and now has less of a combover, more of a fluff over, but I prefer men with less hair!

Make of that what you will!

King of Scurf said...

Hi Delirium - good to see you back in the blogosphere, I thought you'd retired.

One day I hope the whole world will be populated by women who share your impeccable taste regarding baldness.