WARNING WARNING WARNING
I am going to go against my Bagman policy of anonymity and show some uncovered pics of my face to help address the concerns that are discussed in today’s post. Ya’ll just wear dark glasses to protect your eyes. Everyone protected? Oh. Please sign this confidentiality agreement. Thank you. Ok, here we go.
If you have read my blog for any length of time, you know I underwent cancer treatment in 2011 that included chemotherapy. If you know anything about chemotherapy, one of the first things you think of is bald patients who lose all their hair. That happened with me too, as you can see here on the right. The good thing is that the hair usually comes back. However, sometimes it comes back very different than the natural hair before treatment. Straight hair comes back curly. Gray hair comes back dark. Thin hair comes back coarse. It’s pretty interesting.
You need to understand something about me. I LOVED my beard and moustache. I mean, it hid my triple chin and gave me a distinguished (older) look that I liked. I had worn a beard or goatee and moustache for more than 20 years. My wife had NEVER seen me without a moustache and the idea scared her so badly she always had a way to convince me it looked so good it didn’t ever need to come off. Who doesn’t like that? She was traumatized when I first shaved the beard early in our marriage so I tried to never do that again. Of course to a guy who wears a bag on his head for camouflage, the idea of facial hair for cover is very appealing. By the way, if you don’t know the story of the bag, please read the section at the top of the page called Who is the Bagman for the explanation.
So, the loss of my facial hair was much more traumatic for me than the loss of my head hair. It not only affected me, but those around me who had to look at my fat bald face once my moustache and goatee fell out. My camouflaged triple chin suddenly sprang to life, jiggling all the way to Christmas, just in time for my impression of Bald Beardless Santa, otherwise known as Chemo Claus. Suffice it to say, he won’t be making a repeat appearance. Counselors are still helping those poor children.
So, once I was bald faced and looked like Grossberger from the movie Stir Crazy, I dealt with the differences and I must admit I enjoyed not shaving for 6 months.My hair finally started coming back in January, 2012. It has gradually returned and now is getting fuller and darker, which leads me to the current problem.
As you can see my head and facial hair are coming back in. They have been gray, and that is fine with me. However, Friday while at work, one of my co-workers asked me
“What’s on your lip?”
Caught completely off guard I was unable to respond.
“It looks like you drew on your face with a marksalot”.
“What are you talking about?”
She touched my moustache (BAD idea, by the way. Never touch a man’s moustache without being invited) and said “There is a dark line right here. Did someone draw on you?”
Staring at her in disbelief, I could not understand why she would be so rude.regarding my pride and joy…..my facial friend…….the happy hairs above my lip that brought me so much joy and self confidence over the years. I was hurt that she would criticize my moustache. It was like she insulted one of my sons. However, she was insistent, so I went to the bathroom to look in the mirror.
LOCKED!!!!!!! Panic hit and I briskly walked to the next bathroom, only to be cut off by an elderly man with a walker..
“AAAAHHHHH!!!! Oh, allright go ahead. Geez.”.
Actually I was very nice and didn’t say a thing, but i did have to decide whether or not to LEAP over the man and his walker to beat him inside the bathroom. What control I have. Like Jackie Chan, I catapulted off the wall, spun 180 degrees mid-air, and sprinted down the hall to find the first mirror I could. Not bad for 1 bad leg. When I finally got to a mirror…….I saw it.
“WHERE did THAT come from ????!!!!!” I said loudly, as my coworkers burst out laughing; the compassionate, kind souls that they are. From their response I knew they must have pranked me somehow. But I had not fallen asleep at work, I hadn’t used a marker that morning, and I didn’t remember being captured and tortured with a marksalot. My stupid nerdy sheep roommate couldn’t have opened my door and drawn on me at night. Too much planning for a man who can’t close a trash can lid without coaching.
I know. i know. You can’t help that you’re stupid.”
‘Geez, Bagman, what did you see?”
There, directly in the center of my moustache, running vertically from my lip to my nose, was the blackest line you could imagine. It looked just like a 1/4″ marksalot had been drawn up and down to make a baby Hitler moustache. How attractive. Right in the middle of my distinguished gray haired friend.
“HOLY CRAP!!!!!” as I took soap and began washing my moustache furiously to remove the marker. I checked the mirror. Nothing. I washed more.I looked like a rabid dog with foam pouring from my mouth. “AAAHHHHH!!!! Nothing!” Scrub scrub, rub rub rub, sandpaper, grinder, nothing worked. Little Hitler was still there. “AAAHHHH!”
Then I looked more closely. I touched it and it moved. A BLACK WORM? GROSS!!!! When I woke up on the floor, a light bulb slowly came on. “Marker doesn’t move. It’s not a worm. That is BLACK HAIR!!! OMG.!!! BLACK HAIR IN MY GRAY MOUSTACHE? I have NEVER had black hair. What am I going to do? This looks terrible.” I ranted endlessly for 5 mnutes to my friends, pointing it out to everyone who would listen.
Sure enough, a group of dark black hairs have grown right in the center of my upper lip, providing a lovely black divider to separate my right and left sides. WHY? In case I get confused? I can’t think of any other reason other than making my colleagues crack up. Now that I pointed it out to all of them in my frenzy, that’s all they can see. I am so smart.
“Hey Little Hitler, I mean Bagman” HAHHAHAHA.
“Oh. Shut up.”
The only saving grace is that it is right under my nose so it lays in shadow when I am in the sun. It’s hard to convince people that flourescent lights cast a shadow in the office, though. “Yeah, see the shadow? Right here. SEE IT? PLEASE?”
So now the task is how to get rid of it.
“Why don’t you just use Grecian Formula insted of that marker” one of my collegues whispered.
“No, just us the marker and color the rest of it black”
Oh, now wouldn’t that be special? Totally black moustache and gray head hair. Like a red curly toupee on a 90 year old man with gray sideburns. HMMMM. Maybe that WOULD be better. The REVERSE SKUNK look sure isn’t working for me.
Actually, I may have to shave it again and hope it comes back more evenly. But after all this time, I hate to scare my patients and co-workers again..
Remember Grossberger and Chemo Claus? Those poor kids.