Today was another stupidly traumatic trip to get my hair cut. In recent years, I have learned to wear glasses on these occasions, so that I can just take them off and stare ahead blindly, rather than study my wet head for twenty minutes to determine if, where, how, and the degree to which I am/might be/could be/definitely am/holy shit, what if I am, balding. So today I was in the chair and when the unsmiling yet sort of friendly Russian lady asked what I wanted, and I said really short all over, she said:
"Oh no, it is too cold outside. And it would show your bald spot."
Wow. Wow. I started sweating from the forehead as I thought about how there was nothing hypothetical about her statement; this bald spot was here, and lo, it is mine. This started the same old wheels turning (vanity clanking into self-esteem, etc) but then I actually tried to stop this process.
Hold up, I thought. I considered that I'm already married, and that I'm rapidly approaching the end of my 20s. I thought of how, sometimes, when I catch my reflection unexpectedly, I can sort of see myself as a generic man, anywhere from 25 to 50, looking not like myself or a young upstart or a 22-year old, but just looking like a grown up man. I'm not saying youth is over (even though it is), but that I'm a man, baby, and this is what happens sometimes, and there you go.
The cool part of me, the part that reads short stories and is going to be a high-powered lawyer, was telling myself all this to combat the part of me that was sweating out my forehead. What this means is that my future looks less like Mitt Romney and more like some sort of John McCain/Mike Huckabee situation (maybe even a modifed John Edwards). But that's cool.
Instead of panicking in the chair, today I feel like I actually stopped myself from having a stupid and pointless attack of vanity and self-esteem. There are things I can control, and things that I can't. Really, what it all boils down to is: who the fuck cares. And I look good anyway.