A baldness which is full of grandeur

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.


25 thoughts on “A baldness which is full of grandeur

  1. How do you make me laugh, then cry, then laugh again, and then cry again, and then laugh while crying? ILU, my friend. ILU.

  2. Bald as the bare mountaintops are bald, with a baldness which is full of grandeur.

    What an excellent way to end an excellent post! Thanks for the support and the shout-out!

  3. Wonderful! Thank you so much for mentioning us. You rock! I can’t wait to be bald as the mountaintops! I’m pretty certain that I’m going to look like Uncle Fester though. I am also aware of the fact that my ears stick out. It’s a trait that I hated as a kid and that most people hate, but I love it.
    There will be pictures, alright. I can’t imagine not taking pictures!
    No wonder Deb loves you so much. You’re a pretty awesome chick. Thanks again. :)

    • You’re totally welcome! I bet you’ll look better than you expect as a baldie. I had resigned myself to several months of hiding my head but I actually ended up enjoying the bare-headed feeling and didn’t even wear hats all that often. Once it starts growing back and gets a mind of its own though, that’s when shit gets real. :D

      • That’s the phase I’m most worried about. I think it might make me want to just stay bald. LOL

        • It’s one of those phases you just have to get through on your way to somewhere greater. :D I took it as a challenge to finally start styling my hair and had a phase where I stuck it straight up, and am currently doing a brushed-forward sort of Romanesque look. :D I guess I’m a little old to be just now discovering the joys of doing weird things with my hair, but whatever, I’ve always been immature. :D What I’m really frightened of is when it gets just long enough that it’s not quite heavy enough to lie down, but is too long to really do anything with, because last time I grew it out that was my afro phase. Luckily the emo look is in though, maybe I can just pretend I’m trying to look like The Cure or something. ;D

          • Sounds like a good idea. :) I like the Cure.
            I’m planning on doing the whole styling and dyeing it crazy, unnatural colors thing when it grows back in. I’m 36 and I’ve only had dark blonde and coppery red hair. I need green and blue hair just once before I get too old to care!

            • Oh man, go for it! I used to dye mine unnatural colors all the time when I was a teenager, but even then I was rubbish at spending the time to keep it up. (Those unnatural colored dyes, at least back then, faded ridiculously fast if you weren’t fastidious about keeping the color in. Hopefully hair dye technology has progressed since then. :D) My favorite color though was “ultraviolet”… it looked either blue or purple, depending on whether you were under natural lights or artificial. Totally rad. ;D

              • I was too chicken to do it when I was a teenager, so now is a perfect time! I’m a SAHM, so I have no dress code or boss to answer to. I’m leaning towards a green-blue combo. We’ll see! :)

  4. Pingback: Vlog therapy for the imminently bald « The Monster in Your Closet

  5. OK, I’m reading this two hours after I just spent a portion of my scarce dollars to get my hair cut. And during the haircut I even told the barber/stylist that I was considering shaving my head and if she thought the shape of my head would work for such a look. She said “Yes”. If I had read this earlier today, then I would have waited and shaved it for charity. Damn it!

  6. You can’t just describe the growing out process without providing pictures of it! :) I think what you did and what Deb is doing is wonderful. Hope things are going well for you!

    • Hah, well, I thought about that but I didn’t want to delay posting this blog with the added effort of getting a new photo with my out of control hair. I already have too many blogs in progress waiting for me to get pictures for them and I wanted to help drive some donations their way before the event instead of after! :D

  7. Yaee! More joining my bald club. I first shave my hair off ten years back. Would then allow my hair to grow back and I would maintain that for a year or so only to shave again. That was the cycle for a good six maybe seven years. I have since kept my head bald. I have no balding spot nor any receeding hairline; I simply got so used to it. I don’t know how much longer I’ll keep my skin exposed but for now, I’ll keep spending on shaving blades. I do so totally agree with Matthew Arnold. Being bald sure feels grand.

    P.S. It seems to work well with the women.

    • It is kind of awesome… and as far as introducing a change in your life goes, going bald is a pretty major one, especially for women. I liked it but I wish I could be bald and not be constantly mistaken for a guy. It’s kind of a buzzkill. ;D

      • I must have come across about half a dozen bald or almost bald women in the past couple of years. So far, I think they are very hot. When Sinéad O’Connor first broke into the limelight with her clean shaven head, I thought that she was truly sexy hot. I personally think the appeal is what a bald headed woman represents – pure rebellion. I just think it is so sexy.

        • I think it all depends on the woman, personally. I already have a little bit more masculine build and a strong jawline, and even when my hair was long I’d be called “sir” sometimes. It’s the same reason I can’t really wear guy clothes… on more feminine women the “boyfriend shirt” look is hot, on me it just looks butch. :D Sinead was TOTALLY hot bald, though. Mrowr. :D

  8. Very nicely done. :-)

    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.” I love this .. and I know what you mean. When I had a brush cut back in the day, that feel of high-nap velvet would keep me occupied for hours.

  9. A bald head means that you can wear fantastic earrings!

    • I definitely considered it myself when I shaved my head… suddenly earrings seemed like the obvious fashion accessory. But as much as I love tattoos and don’t seem to have a problem with having ink injected repeatedly in my epidermis, I’ve never quite been able to embrace the idea of having actual holes punched in myself. ;D

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