Late last year, I shaved my head. A few days later I went to a doctor for a physical and as she was taking my medical history, she kept glancing at my head until finally she couldn’t take it anymore and she said, “So, what’s the situation with the… um…”
I wondered if I ought to be offended. Can’t a woman have a shaved head? Didn’t Sinead make that inroad for women’s liberation back in the 90s or something? But medically, I guess it was a fair question. I could’ve been withholding a secret headlice infection or something.
So I just said, “It’s nothing medical, unless poor judgment counts as a medical condition. Hey, is there a medication for that? Anyway, it was a charity-related incident.”
Normally I wouldn’t call shaving my head to raise money for pediatric cancer research to be an act of poor judgment, but it was autumn in the Rocky Mountains and my head was already cold. I had begun to dread the winter. Plus, I was having a hard time getting anything done because every few seconds I had to rub my head. Had to. It was mesmerizing. But there were down sides (like people wondering if I’d joined a punk rock band and having to face the disappointment of realizing I should’ve also joined a punk rock band). Without my hair it became painfully obvious to me that my ears stick out and also that my glasses have carved permanent grooves into my flesh. Once again people are calling me “sir” all the time, but that might just be a side-effect of living once again in Utah. (Oh Utah, I love you and I hate you simultaneously, but most days it’s like 70% hate at least.)
Plus, I’m now at that stage of re-growth where my hair has become its own independent being and refuses to bow to my control. Every morning I look in the mirror and think to myself that while my long hair was higher maintenance, it was also not quite as gravity-defying. In another few months, I will undoubtedly have an almost-afro.
I am beginning to understand Joe Flanigan’s hair-pain on a deep and personal level.
Still, having your head shaved in a pub full of drunken strangers is certainly a unique and rewarding experience, and in all seriousness I haven’t regretted it for an instant since. (Well, more than an instant anyway.) It’s such a small thing to deal with when you consider that the people you’re helping have to deal with much greater challenges. And also, it’s a great story to tell at parties. I mean, it would be. If I ever went to parties.
What I’m leading up to here is that having yourself sheared like a sheep is just the sort of behavior I admire, so I was chuffed when my BFF Deborah decided to throw in her lot with friends Chris and Karin for a ritual hair-shaving in aid of St. Baldrick’s. I hope you’ll consider making a donation in support of their team or an individual shavee, and help Team Blissfully Bald shatter their fundraising goal. (As of this writing they are incredibly close!) You can also read Deb’s blog about her epic undertaking over here, and presumably she’ll keep us updated on all the latest in baldness as this story develops. Personally, I’m hoping for lots of baldness pictures from all three of them. I expect that, as the poet Matthew Arnold once wrote, they shall be “Bald as the bare mountaintops are bald, with a baldness which is full of grandeur.”
Pics, my friends, or it didn’t happen.