Zep is a good friend of mine. We have known each other for over 15 years. He is a very intelligent fellow who is happily married. He has a beautiful daughter. He loves to talk and gamble. He has been reading my posts and we discuss them from time to time. I asked if he would like to write a guest piece and he happily agreed. I can verify that Zep is completely bald.
I was only 18 years old when I noticed my hair loss. It was very troubling. Young ladies would look at my receding hairline and cringe. As I chatted them up, I could imagine their thoughts, “I can’t believe life has come to this: A balding guy asking me out.”
I eventually grew into my baldness. Some women thought it alluring and bold. One girlfriend found it sexy to shave my head.
However, I still encountered embarrassing situations as a result of my baldness. I learned how to deal with them through humor over time.
For example, I was rooting through the trunk of my car one day when the door slammed down on my head and left a large and visible wound. Later that day all of my coworkers asked how I got hurt. If I told them the truth, they would have laughed and mocked me. So I lied. I told them that my neighbor’s house caught fire and I had to save their triplets and puppies. I told them it must have occurred in all of the smoke and chaos of the moment. Suddenly, I was a hero.
Buying dandruff shampoo often puzzles grocery cashiers. They scan the bottle, look up at my head and make a face that says, “Really? I would never have guessed.” Sometimes I tell them that the shampoo is for my eyebrows. The good thing is I only have to buy shampoo once every two years. The bad thing is that my eyebrows really do get dandruff.
When you are bald, nonverbal communication is almost impossible. You see, I cannot have “I-just-woke-up-hair” or “why-are-you-bothering-me-I-was-working-in-the-garden-hair” or “I-just-finished-jogging-hair.” I cannot display “shower-hair” or “sex-hair.” I remember the time when solicitors came to my home. I opened the door and exclaimed, “Can’t you tell that I was busy!” They acted confused and shocked because I can’t display “busy hair”. It is just not possible. When they walked off I am certain they were thinking, “You know, I couldn’t tell if that bald guy with the flaky eyebrows looked busy or not. Do you think he was lying?”