Okay, I have a confession to make. I love looking at pictures of my old classmates. Now, it’s not like I’m doing this out of a sense of superiority; I myself have not managed to conquer the world in the twenty (God forbid I say “20” out loud) years since high school. However, it must be said that there’s a certain morbid fascination in how everyone’s lives turned out. It’s like watching a train wreck, only it’s less destructive, and it touches me on a much more personal level. Anyhoo, I noticed something through the magic of Facebook that I would not have known otherwise.
My friend from high school married Michael Bolton.
Not the Michael Bolton, the singer from the 80’s and 90’s. No, she married a Michael Bolton look-alike. Now, of all the looks I could see her going for, Michael Bolton was not one of them. I try to keep in mind that love comes in all shapes and sizes, and I of all people have no right to judge. But, the fact remains, she married Michael Bolton. You know the guy who’s balding in the front and has long hair in the back? Yeah, that Michael Bolton. Now, Michael Bolton (MB from now on) was big for some unknown reason in the late ‘80’s and early ‘90’s. He’s sort of retired right now, but let me throw out a brief description for those of you who either don’t have a clue who he is or need your memory jogged.
MB sang remakes of hits made by more talented musicians and singers. He was bald in the front, but had long hair in the back. Now, we’re not talking the classic 80’s mullet here, we’re talking BALD in the front and long in the back. A mullet means business in front and party in the back. What does nothing in front and party in back mean? I’ve got nothing going for me here, but if you stick around, you can take a ride on the “steamin’ geezer”! It’s hard to imagine any takers on that. Seriously, who are you kidding? You’re going bald. No amount of hair growing down your back is going to change that. I don’t care how much hair you can grow back there. You’re bald. Just admit it and get on with life. There’s no shame in going bald, it happens to millions of men. Hell, men like Montel Williams, Jason Statham and even old Yul Brenner made a living off it. It happens. It’s when you try to hide it with a half-assed pony tail that makes it look bad.
We all know one of those old guys who are balding in the front and still keep the back of their thin, greasy, sad old hair in a pony tail. Who are they kidding? This look says one thing: You’re old, balding, and trying to hide it with the world’s saddest pony tail. Just shave that shit and be done with it. Seriously. You look ridiculous, it’s just that we’re all too polite and this is just too awkward a situation to mention it. The saddest fact of this is that I used to make a regular point of making fun of these guys. Now I find that friends of mine are marrying them.
Getting old is hard. You realize that you don’t remember a quarter of what you used to, you start having physical problems you had nightmares about as a child and strangest of all, your friends start marrying men who look like MB. I think the worst part about this is it seems normal. After all, we don’t get hotter as we get older. If we did, we’d all want to get older. However, I don’t believe in aging without dignity. Part of that dignity is just accepting that we are who we are, and there’s no point in trying to cover that up. Especially if we’re trying to cover it up using a pathetic half-bald, half-assed pony tail. Maybe my shock didn’t come from the fact that my friend married an MB wannabe, it came from the fact that she didn’t call that guy on his bullshit. I guess I just expected her to marry someone with a better grip on how thing are now, not on how they idealized how things were. Life marches on. The receding hairline is just a sign post of that. You can accept it, or end up like MB: aging prematurely, trying too hard and just copying a better singer/writer/musician. No amount of combing strands into a makeshift hairstyle can cover up inadequacy or compromise. If you don’t believe me, just check out the video for “When a Man Loves a Woman.”