11 November, 2008

What I Learned After Seeing Myself Naked

So last night, upon returning from Timber Lakes and the snowed in cabin we'd been staying in up past Heber, UT, I decided it was time to throw Logan a little "spa night." When my wife throws it, "spa night" consists of cuticle cuts, facials, head massages and cool cucumber eye naps. It's fantastic and rather relaxing. I feel like a million metrosexual bucks when she's done pampering me. Tonight though, the schedule of events was a bit sparser and I'd be doing most of the pampering on my own. Actually, you could just call it a shave and a haircut.
To start the show off, I asked for some assistance on shaving my neck. Since I began giving myself haircuts about a year ago, I've discovered a rare-sighted anomaly that is kinda gross and counterproductive to the intent of hair cutting: Neck hair. I get it and it comes in droves. I can't trim it myself for fear of carving myself up like an Etch A Sketch, so I end up giving myself two or three haircuts before realizing that the collar of fluff back there actually looks worse with a well groomed, yet thinning head of hair. So I called the Missus in for a quick shave down. I asked her to buzz the hairline low so it doesn't look like I'm wearing a wool sweater under shirts with a stretched out neck or wide collar.
Then I stood expectantly in front of the mirror. From belly button to the top of my head I inspected. I look good with a heavy beard and grizzly mustache. Wish the beard didn't have to go tonight but it did. I felt bad for the mustache. It's like seeing a nice car on cinder blocks, wheels only recently removed. The car, so lonely and helpless, waits to be reunited as it sits awkwardly and uselessly beside the road. Like the lonely car sitting uselessly and wheel-lessly on the side of the road, I trembled sadly thinking of how lonely and bastardly my mustache would look without his warm and cuddly beard friend.
But I moved on, knowing that all trimmings would be for the betterment of the whole. With billowing neck hair now trimmed back, I moved on to the actual hair cutting on top of my head. I continually delude myself into thinking that my thinning hair will look better if shorn shortly but I find myself disappointed and mildly chilly after every cut. Without choice though, I bent over the tub, flicked my clippers to level three and worked my way against the grain on the sides and back of my head. As I trimmed from sideburns and ears up, I envisioned a gorgeous, European faux-hawk forming on the crown of my head. I envisioned it having always been there, always waiting to be freed from the greasy thin-ness that is my hair by the liberal and brave application of Wahl hair clippers. I envisioned myself standing up and seeing some kind of bare-chested, faux-hawked David Beckham look-a-like staring back at me. I imagined staring back at myself in the mirror and being impressed with the sexually attractive man I had groomed out of my old self.
But it wasn't meant to be. I finished the sides and top, running my fingers through what was supposed to be a thick mane of pure sex. A mane of stoic beauty and shockingly dense, Fabio-like fibers. But it wasn't there. The thickness just wasn't there and neither was the hair.
I stood up and again, from belly button to the top of my head, I inspected myself in the mirror. Naked as a lab rat, I've got nothing to hide. Nothing to tuck, shade or obscure all that is me. And when I say all that is me, I really mean all. There's a lot there.
The beard was still there, so I imagined it gone, as it would be shortly. The sideburns blended gorgeously with the field of beard, so I imagined them triangular rather than the usual straight. But something was wrong. Other than the crime of me being naked I mean, I just felt like something was wrong with what I was seeing. I felt like something about me was folically disproportionate. Somehow the lack of hair on my head and soon-to-be baby bottom face didn't work.
Then I saw it. I shivered, shuttered and gagged. Body hair. How had I forgotten it was there? How had I forgotten the roll it played? It had always been there and had often played an integral roll in my grooming habits. Once, while a junior in high school, I shaved it to look like a giant arrow. I didn't intend for it to be an arrow really, but that was roughly what it was shaped like by default. So arrow it was. Then, later in life when I was living in Ukraine, I learned that if you shave your armpits, it makes you sweat less. So I promptly and trustingly shaved them. The results were all but immediate; not only was it refreshing, but I did notice a distinct decrease in armpit perspiration.
But tonight I noticed that my chest hair was making a dash for my long since unshaved armpits. A sprint across my male mammeries that I just couldn’t' t tolerate. I always get teased that my scarf of neck hair connects to my beard when neither are shaved by way of an under ear bridge. It's like those vintage, leather football helmets with holes for ears. But here, it looked like my tank top of chest hair was trying to convert itself into a full on t-shirt by stretching its wings outward to my armpits. So I did the only thing I could think of: I shaved a shallow, white trail between the two, separating their intimate relationship before it had a chance to develop and grow. White, pale flesh now separating the two, naturally different regions of my body made me feel proud and normal. I stood tall, brushed off the trimmings and looked at myself in the mirror again. But tragedy had struck, rearing its cocky little head and laughing as I realized what I had done. What had I done? What I had done was shave 2 little lines into my body that resembled quite literally thin little backpack straps. I had attempted to improve my failing appearance, but instead I had made it look like I was wearing a wool sweater and a white leather knapsack. Yuck.
Spa night needed to be over. I couldn't handle it anymore. A relaxing evening of man-scaping and proper hygiene had degenerated into a night of humiliating myself and over doing a simple job. A hair cut. As I looked around me, I was convinced that some how I had accidentally shaved a Long Haired Mongolian Yak by mistake. It looked like I had fallen into the dumpster of a barbershop. Hair clippings and swirls of pillowy fur surrounded me on every side. I was trapped, sad and disgusted.
I learned that night to just leave yourself alone. If God saw fit to cover you un-humanly thick hair and thin the universally normal patch a top your head...fine. That choice is his. Don't try and play God. Don't distort the work of the Divine Creator. It's not a game and you'll lose anyway. I did. Learn from my pain. And by golly, never make the mistake of looking at yourself naked in the mirror; you might notice something you didn't want to see.


Joseph said...

I'm not sure if I should be excited or extremely, extremely scared.

Robert and Lisa said...

I would stay far away from intimate details and definitely no pictures. :)

Anonymous said...

Though I cannot say that I share your pain... I feel your sorrow.

Jeremy said...

Logan this made my day! Bless you! way to sacrifice yourself for the greater good!

Leslierush said...

You are and always will be in my top 5 for coolest people I've ever had the privlege of knowing.

Anonymous said...