My ‘dye-ing’ wish
I think I’m becoming like Bill Clinton. No, this has nothing to do with Monica Lewinsky. I’m talking about my hair.
Well, actually the truth is I don’t have any hair. OK, that’s not technically true because I do have a little bit of hair, but what I have is turning silver like Bill’s, not to mention Richard Gere’s, which is probably better than becoming like Hillary’s because you can never tell when she’s going to have a bad hair day.
This makes me think I have to dye my hair before it’s too late, even though I have no hair to dye. But I’m a bit worried, because you can usually spot a guy who dyed his hair across Grand Central Terminal at rush hour or high in the bleachers at Yankee Stadium, radiating an otherworldly sheen that makes him look like his head is emitting plutonium particles instead of dandruff.
I know dozens of women who color their hair, some red, others Kool-Aid green, but guys just can’t get it right. For example, I saw a photo of a fellow I’ve known a long time and his hair was so intensely black it looked like someone poured Sherwin-Williams paint on his head. If it wasn’t a bad dye job, it certainly was a bad rug.
Another friend resorted to dyeing his hair because he reached that fateful point in the chronology of middle-aged horrors when you have to start going on job interviews again. For a guy over 50, that’s worse than your first colonoscopy. We all know how grueling job interviews can be, especially when you’re competing against 78 million members of the millennial generation — some of whom may live in your house — and the only thing they have up on you, besides their ability to use Twitter, is a full head of hair that’s not gray.
This fellow was so desperate that he cut 15 years off his employment history and sanitized his résumé to conceal his age. The only revealing hint that he was a late middle-ager, aside from a wrinkle or two or 22, was his hair, which was a dead giveaway.
So he did the only reasonable thing a man who is running scared could do and reached for the bottle of Grecian Formula. It became an addiction. He tried to segue into a new color a little each day, but he got carried away and couldn’t control himself. Eventually, his hair became a lustrous shade of black, blacker than that wig Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, wore. He thought he had a fighting chance in the interview, until he noticed the woman from Human Resources staring at his hair, and he knew it was over, especially since her hair was the same shade as his. She could have been Elvira’s twin sister.
Coloring hair is a way of life with women. My daughters touch up, highlight, lighten, darken, and “baby light,” which is the latest trend. And my wife, who agonizes over roots more than our income tax return, has been to three or more hairdressers, searching for nirvana and a shade that doesn’t look like it was created for Game of Thrones.
For me, the only real option is to shave my head like Vin Diesel and Bruce Willis, or maybe like Britney Spears and Sinead O’Connor. Over the weekend, I was at a wedding, and all the young studs had their heads shaved. There was so much ambient light in the room reflecting off bald heads that my eyes started to tear and I had to reach for my Ray-Bans.
Even guys who shave their heads don’t want people to know they’re bald, but it’s apparent when stubble starts to grow back and they resemble Francis of Assisi after he was tonsured. However, tattoo artists have come to the rescue and are putting dots on bald heads to give the illusion there’s something growing on top. Tattoo ink, unlike hair, lasts forever.
When I shave my head, I’ll probably do that, too, but I can do it in the privacy of my home for a fraction of the cost. All I’ll need is a set of extra-fine Sharpies and I’ll look 20 years younger.
Joe Pisani may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.