Another Year, Another Wrinkle

I’ve got a birthday this week.  I turn 47.  And yet I don’t feel a day over 46.

Do you ever look at yourself in the mirror and wonder what in the hell happened?

Since when did my hair turn white?  Not only on my sideburns and around my temples, but the stuff is taking over my chest.  Out with the brown, in with the gray!

It’s like old man kudzu.  And I’m not excited about where it might appear next.

The older I get, the more grooming I do.  As if showering and shaving isn’t enough every day, I now have to hunt for rogue hair all about my being.

Oh there’s a thatch growing out of my nostril.  A pompom of fuzz protruding from my ear canal.  And the one, only one, standing fully erect right on the top of my left shoulder-blade.

My eyebrows remind me of the fringe on my grandma’s handmade afghans.  I could serve spinach dip out of the crevices in my forehead.  Not only do I need glasses to read the menu at a restaurant, I also can’t see my food without them.  Imagine my surprise when the blurry “carrots” I bit into turned out to be rutabaga.  YUCK.

My grandfather, Woodrow, had a forehead the size of Montana.  And as Spurgeon, the other, added years to his life, his ears expanded like a Magic Towel wash cloth.  What a future.

I pee all the time, and there’s a 3″ x 3″ patch of skin on my back that’s as dry as a bone.  “Oooooo Dad!  What is that?  Scabies?”

“No!  It’s not scabies!!  It’s dry skin – it’s called eczema.”

“You need to get that checked out.  It’s gross.”

My girls are outstanding at pointing out all my flaws.

“You’re belly is jiggly!”  “You have warts on your feet.”  “I didn’t know you could get pimples at such an old age.”

I’m thankful I had the opportunity to develop a strong self-esteem before I had girls nearing the teenage years.

They haven’t discovered the vein that’s popping out around my right ankle although they relish the opportunity to discuss the volume of lint that collects in my bellybutton.  “Pull it out dad, I need a new scarf for winter.”

Where does that stuff come from and why is it in my navel?  I feel like a dryer.

I’m like an old house that needs major repairs.  I’m just not sure I could recoup the investment.


The Toes of a King

Posted by Danny

I am in love, truly in love.

It started with a gift certificate from my mother-in-law for a pedicure.  I’d never had one before, and I was scared to death.  I’ve had a massage and enjoyed it, but the nail salon seemed so…so…female. 

I prepped my feet before the girls and I headed over, trying to disguise the stench.  I was sort of feeling sorry for the employee who got stuck with my puppies.  The toe jam was difficult to clean out, but I did my best.

The first thing I saw when I walked in the salon was an elderly woman at the manicure table, the tips of each of her fingers were wrapped in tin foil.  Yes, tin foil – like baked potatoes.  I don’t know if she came in that way or if the manicurist intentionally did that to her.  Were they going to cook her?  

I wondered if my toes would see the same fate.  What if one of my buddy’s wives walked in and found me with a baking bag tied around my feet?  I’d never hear the end of it.  This was a mistake, I thought to myself.

The owner escorted me to a large chair with a miniature bathtub at the bottom.  She pointed to the least senior staffer she could find – I’m not sure exactly what she said, but I think it was:  “You, new girl, Nasty Feet is yours.”

My savior looked up and gave me the once over.  To my surprise, she did not flinch – perhaps she’d seen worse.  As the warm water started pouring over my feet, she gloved her hands, a very wise move.

I was watching her closely when she handed me the remote control to my massaging chair.  Vibration – MAXIMUM; Massage – MAXIMUM.  At least my back would be happy.

She gently lifted my right foot; she used no words.  She squirted blue Dawn dishwashing detergent on my toenails and with finesse rubbed each toe.  My breathing slowed; my heart palpitated – I was beginning to fall.

After a good clipping and the chiseling of dirt from beneath my nails , she pulled out a small pair of pliers.  My cuticles had no idea how to react.  I thought it might hurt, but she was so tender and loving that my toes felt nothing.  It was as if hummingbirds were dancing across my feet.

Her next move surprised me.  She took out a cheese grater and began scrapping the tough spots on the balls of my feet.  As the white skin droppings fell, I couldn’t escape the thought of parmesan.  I wondered if they had a deal with the Whole Foods next door – that place is all about recycling.

It was not long after that I could tell she was falling for me too.  I closed my eyes, and at one point, I’m fairly certain she briefly rested my foot on her breast.  I can’t be sure, but I think she was sending me a signal. 

We didn’t speak the same language – or did we?  Was it the language of love?

Finally, she pulled out toe Amorall and buffed until my nails glistened. 

As she drained the water, panic ensued.  Should I ask her to marry me?  I don’t want this to end.

And then she vanished – out the back – no doubt to deliver my shavings next door.

That’s OK, I’ll be back.  And I’ll request tin foil to extend my stay.



It Comes with Age

Posted by Danny

I’m getting older – a  birthday coming up this week.  In ways its difficult to believe I’ll be 46.  But at times it feels like I’m 78.  The changes in my hair are an indicator of my movement toward the AARP.

The most random hairs are popping up in the most unusual places around my being.  These aren’t normal hairs.  These are hairs on steroids!

They’re hanging out of my nose.  They’re poking out of and growing around the outside of my ears, one random piece at a time.  One day I found a rogue brow hanging down into my eye.  I discovered it when I thought I had a piece of dust in my eyeball.  But it was not dirt.  A strand from my eyebrow curled across my lid, through my lash and was resting on my cornea.  His lone brother was growing out of a pore on my left shoulder.   

When one pops up in my nose, I know I have to trim.  I’ve not had luck with my blunt end scissors – they can’t cut butter and the thicker ends won’t easily fit into my nostril.  Sticking a sharp pair of scissors into my nasal passage freaks me out!  I’m afraid a kid is going to run into the room, bump up against me and the blade is going to get shoved up into my cerebrum.

So, I shut and lock the bathroom door and pray that there won’t be an earthquake during my olfactory organ grooming session.

The grays are becoming more and more apparent, especially on my sideburns (the fact that I still think sideburns look cool is yet another indicator of my destiny).

This summer while on the beach, I noticed that about 25% of the hair on my chest weren’t brown – I feel like a silverback gorilla – except in the front.

I’m having to get up 8 minutes early each day to make sure I’m all cleaned up.  It’s like checking for ticks.  In a few years, I’m going to look like Cousin It. 

It’s as if I am taking hair fertilizer.  Do they sneak that in the aspirin I ingest each morning to ensure that I don’t have a stroke?  I guess if my body gets covered with hair I’ll be warmer.  My circulation is slowing down so that could come in handy.

Hair, Hair, Everywhere

Cut them in the Fat Daddy's parking lot

Posted by Danny

I’m having grooming issues. 

This is a new problem.  Lisa always took care of that for me – sort of like a monkey caring for its young.

One day we were at the intersection of South Saunders Street and I-40 heading to my parent’s house in Fayetteville.  When the light turned yellow, I began our ascent onto the on ramp.  Simultaneously, Lisa reached over, without my prior knowledge, and yanked a hair from the top of my ear.  I swerved onto the shoulder.


“You had a really long hair growing out of your ear.  It was nasty!”

“Was I in imminent danger???”

“It was bothering me.”

“But I was fine with it.”

“You don’t want to walk around Fayetteville with a horse hair hanging out of your ear baby.”

“I guess I should say thank you?  Don’t do that anymore!  Especially when I’m driving!  It won’t matter if I have a horsehair hanging from my ear if I’m dead.”

She warned me about zits that crept up on my post pubescent face.  Why are females enamored by zits?  It’s like guys and sports.

She’d keep an eye out for nostril hair that crept, like an ivy vine, out of my large nose.  And she also reminded me to cut my toenails.

I can’t seem to remember to clip those things.  Four or five times this year I’ve found myself in the car, flip-flops on my feet, and realize it’s been weeks (maybe months) since I cut them.  I look like Howard Hughes. 

I finally put one of Lisa’s many pairs of nail clippers in the car.  I’ve given myself a pedicure in the Target parking lot, at the Y, and even at church one day this year.  I’d suggest everyone keep a pair in their cup holder.

My brother recently told me to get a haircut.  One good friend told me I needed a new pair of shoes.  Another that my sport coat might need to be taken to the dry cleaner.  Everything I eat looks good on me.  

I’m like my grandfather was at age 92.  I need assistance.  Jesse said he was willing to help me with a lot of things around here but he wasn’t touching the hair on my ears. 

I’d like to give each of you permission to pull me aside and discreetly tell me if you see something astray.  I won’t be offended.  I need your assistance.

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