June 18, 2003

Aging Gracefully. . .Well, Not Really

I don't mind aging. I mean, when it comes down to it, aging is a whole heck of a lot better than dying.

For the first 26 years of my life, however, I viewed the aging process as something other people did, particularly old people. Growing up, I would look at the people inhabiting my block and I was always aware that they were growing older. On the other hand, I never thought of myself as a recipient of the aging process. The smoking hot specimen of male hunkiness staring back at me from the mirror always seemed to look the same.

For 26 years, that was the case. Sure, I shaved my head, and grew a goatee, and a tropical rain forest of body hair sprouted from my legs, arms and chest, but generally I saw myself as a strapping young lad with a killer smile, bulging muscles and a really cute butt. As an added bonus, I remained very modest about how great I looked.

Then, one day when I was 27, I noticed something about the man in the mirror: he had a strange solitary white hair protruding from his otherwise jet black goatee. Curious.

Now, I had seen the occasional red hair volunteer itself from my facial stubble, owing to my supposed Irish blood, but a white hair had never before been encountered. I tilted my head to the left and right, up and down, making sure that the light wasn't playing tricks on me. In the end, there was no denying it: I had a GRAY hair.

In retrospect, I think I panicked. Rather than simply acknowledge the silver chin thread and move on with my aging life, I instead fumbled for the tweezers and yanked the intruder from its follicle, thereby setting a painful precedent for all other future gray hairs.

However, despite daily vigilance on my part, carefully scanning for any other emerging grays, after a couple weeks with no further chin plucking, I forgot about the whole thing. I fogot about it all the way into my 28th year. Until. . .

Last week, my girlfriend casually mentioned that she saw a couple of gray hairs jutting forth from my goatee. Although she laughed about it, I made a mental note to do a chin inspection of my own when she wasn't around and dispose of any and all gray facial intruders. I was not at all prepared for the battle that awaited me.

Upon close inspection, I realized that gray whiskers had staged a monumental offensive in the year since I plucked out their gray scout comrade. There were gray hairs EVERYWHERE! I plucked and plucked and plucked until nary a shimmer of white remained, and then I looked between my left thumb and forefinger, where the dead follicle soldiers lay.

All told, I removed 14 silver soldiers, and each assassination made me wince with pain. I don't care who you are, pulling whiskers out by their roots with a tweezers is an incredibly painful undertaking. In the end, I came to a sad conclusion: there is simply no way I can continue to yank every gray whisker that assaults my face.

So, I'm left with the sad resignation that I'm growing older and there's nothing I can do about it, no matter how much I pluck and wince. Therefore, I'm retiring my tweezers and allowing my whiskers to sprout in whatever color they so wish.

I can do this because I'm secure within myself. That, and I'm still a smoking hot specimen of male hunkiness. Yep, for an older guy, I'm pretty darned cute. And, did I mention my butt?

Posted by Ryan at June 18, 2003 11:30 AM
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