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.

Curly Brush?

Posted by Danny

The last few years of her life, Lisa had her hair done by a guy named Chris.  She said he could work wonders.  I remember her coming home and me saying “How’d he make your hair look like that?”  Looking back on it, I can see how that might have come across as your hair doesn’t usually look that great, although that is not necessarily what I meant.  He could just take an A and make it an A+!

One time she left home with fairly big hair.  When she returned, it was short and straight.  Again I questioned, “Are you wearing a wig?”

“No.”

“How’d he do that?”

“He put some expensive product in my hair and took a big round brush and blew dry it straight.”

“Can you do that?”

“Not like him.”

“Could I help you?”

“Seriously?  You’re going to do my hair?”

She never took me up on my offer and I actually preferred her hair more flowy, but the change was nice for a while.

Last week Stephanie’s Nana took her to get a haircut.  They decided to go with a shorter look and it is really, really cute.  It’s sort of “stacked” on the back and drapes longer in the front. 

But a strange thing happened one day about a week later.  On this particular day, the top layer of her hair seemed to rebel.  It grew bigger and didn’t seem to be in sync with the bottom layer. 

I’m not really sure what happened, and it didn’t seem to be a consistent phenomena.  My hair and Jesse’s hair seems to be fairly consistent.  It looks the same at 8 am and at 8 pm.  Our hair is similar in winter, spring, summer and fall – rain, sleet or snow.  But the girls’ hair has personality; sort of moody, like a child. 

DJ told me that if she brushed her hair when it was in curly mode she’d look like a lion.  I haven’t seen that but I’d like to. 

As I ran my fingers through Stephanie’s disobedient hair, the thought of Chris and his round hairbrush came to mind. 

“Steph, we’re gonna try something.  Do we have a hair dryer?”

“What are you doing dad?”

“Just trust me.”

“With my hair?”

“Yep.”

“DJ!  Do you have that stuff to make your hair calm?”

“I think I’m out.”

“Well look.  We’re trying an experiment on Stephanie’s hair.”

“As long as it’s hers.”

“Found some.”

“Do you have a round brush?”

“Yep.”

I collected my tools and we headed to the bathroom.  I scooped out some hair goop.

“That stuff makes my hair stiff,” Stephanie complained.

“It’s magic baby.  Magic!”

It took both hands to get the hair around the brush so I had to hold the dryer under my neck.  It was a little uncomfortable, but we made do.

After just 10 minutes, her hair was dry and every strand was in place.  She went to bed and I held my breath:  what would tomorrow bring?

When she woke, to our amazement, her hair was calm, cool and collected – following all of the rules.   No frizz in sight!  The top layer embracing the bottom layer is if they were identical twins.

Where ever you are Chris, I thank you!  Another tool in our toolbox if needed.

Borrowing My Genes

Posted by Uncle Jesse

Without a doubt (in my mind, at least) DJ is the child most like her mother. This makes sense, of course–being the oldest she spent 13 years by Lisa’s side, 30% more than did Stephanie and nearly twice as much as Michelle.

And though we are very different in some aspects, Lisa and I were most definitely cut from the same cloth, so naturally I see a little bit of myself in DJ. She is a leader among her peers, funny, social, and is a sucker for guilty pleasure TV shows (I’m more bad MTV reality shows and she’s more America’s Next Top Model). She even slid in nicely this summer at Capon Springs as my new partner for the vaunted shuffleboard tournament, replacing Lisa. She adopted the team ethos: if we win, great. If we lose, even better–more time to do other activities!

Our assessments of our team's shuffleboard chances differed slightly

Of course (and never having been an actual parent, I’m not sure but maybe this is something all parents go through) sometimes I worry about DJ and I being similar. I think back to difficult times or mistakes I’ve made in my life and fear that the DNA or genes or character traits or family attributes that may have contributed to those will then fall on her (or any of the girls, for that matter).

Fortunately, there are certain things she won’t have to worry about getting from me.

I hope she always looks up to her Uncle....but not TOO much

Recently DJ was hanging out with Kimmy Gibbler, who was asking her about her hair. A total towhead as a child, DJ’s blond has been looking more and more brunette-ish the past few years. I was the same way–in fact I was so accustomed to being “blond-haired and blue-eyed” as a child that when I got my first driver’s license I checked “blond” for hair color despite the fact that my hair was pretty much light brown at that point.

“Where did you get your blond hair from?” Kimmy asked her, noticing that no one else in our family has such light-colored locks.

“I don’t know,” said DJ. “I think maybe I get it from my uncle. He had blond hair as a kid, but it became brown when he was, like, a teenager.”

“Oh, no!” Kimmy replied. “Does that mean you’re going to start balding soon, too?!”

Funny kid, that Gibbler.

Hair?

Posted by Danny

Women can do anything.  Men struggle.  I continue to be amazed at the number of varied talents my wife possessed.  Leadership, organization, care and support of others, cooking, shopping, fingernails, working – and the list goes on and on.

Without a woman in the house, hair can be a challenge.  But I’m determined not to let my kids wander around this earth  looking like the orphans from Annie.

Uncle Jesse tells me not to be afraid of technology:  “Just try things.  You’ll figure it out.”  Taking that same approach with hair…

See Michelle’s braid?  I did it!

It took 37 minutes and Stephanie had to hold one of the three strands of hair, rotating with me as I weaved them together.  I’m not sure how you braid with three pieces of hair and only two hands.  But add in a buddy and it’s very doable.

I’m actually very proud of myself!  I think it looks GREAT!  New skill mastered – (ok, mastered may be a strong word).

Oh, and here’s a cool song about hair (only it isn’t really).

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