Growing older gets you thinking.

My birthday is a week from today, next Wednesday, and I’ve noticed that over the past few years as I get older I spend more time thinking about my age as they loom on the horizon. I caught myself staring at my soon to be 37 year-old face in the bathroom mirror this morning looking for tell-tale signs of wrinkles on the brow or around the eyes. So far I’ve got a few minor creases, but nothing that really counts as a wrinkle yet and my gray hairs appeared to be largely confined to my beard where they are multiplying at a surprising pace, though to be completely honest it’s tough to tell if I have any gray hairs on top of my head as my hair is in the early stages of growing out and is fairly light toned at this stage anyway. One sign of aging I have been noticing as it becomes more pronounced are my ‘Madman Eyebrows.’ You know what I’m talking about, right? It’s like the trials and tribulations of life slowly drive your eyebrows insane and they start growing really long with individual hairs twisting out in wild shapes that can be really cool if you look like Gandalf the Grey or really scary if you happen to look like, well, me. Honestly I think they make me look kinda cool, but Anne doesn’t like my Madman Eyebrows and will occasionally feel compelled to try and force the straggling hairs down into line with the rest of them so I don’t look so scary. This morning they were sticking up all over the place again as is their wont to do at the start of the day and I think I noticed in my moment of self-study that one of them has turned gray. So it looks like the bleaching process may have begun there as well now.

The hair on top of my head is about a quarter inch in length now and I’m thinking that with as cool as the summer has been I may just let it grow out for the coming winter. I haven’t had long hair for the better part of a couple of years now and I’m curious to see how many gray hairs show up once it gets back to its normal length. I should note that “long hair” for me is roughly shoulder length as I’ve never been capable of growing it any longer than that. Once it hits my shoulders the individual hairs become depressed and commit suicide by leaping from my head when I shampoo. Those that don’t commit suicide in the shower just roll up into curls along the back of my neck making it look vaguely like I’m wearing one of those stupid wigs that were popular with the Founding Fathers way back when. If I ever go completely gray then it’ll definitely look like those stupid wigs.

Overall though, I’m holding most of the signs of old age at bay for the time being. Or at least I don’t have any big need to start stocking up on anti-wrinkle cream yet. It’s amazing to me that I’m within three years of being 40. It doesn’t feel like it’s been that long. OK, some mornings it does feel like it, but most of the time it doesn’t. They say you’re only as old as you feel and most of the time I still feel pretty young despite my Madman Eyebrows. I must say that so far it’s been an interesting trip and I’m looking forward to what the future will bring.

16 thoughts on “Growing older gets you thinking.

  1. My eyebrows have been going bonkers for a couple of years now.  I remember once thinking, when I saw them on an older gent, “Hey, that’s pretty cool,” followed by, “And now I’ve jinxed myself to discover that they’re not.”

    So far the jury is out.

  2. I have one grey eyebrow hair that refuses to go away. It is longer than my other eyebrows and I despise it. Just for posting this I am sure I will get more

    Myself, at the age of 21 my hair is thining and I definetly suspect a receeding hairline has begun. I don’t want to go bald but I am sure that I will.

    Le sigh. grrr

  3. lol – It’s nice to know that there’s another wife out there that tries to tame the Madman Eyebrows.  My hubby’s have a tendency to go pirate (like Dustin Hoffman in Hook) on him and so I try to force the wild ones back into line with the rest.

  4. On my monitor at work (a low-end Dell 19”) you look kind of dark and scary.  On my high-end Samsung at home, you look youthful and friendly and full of life.  Could gamma differences of various monitors account for the perception visitors have of you?

    I gave up “styling” my ever-thinning hair and just buzzed it – and people thought it made me look younger.  I lost some weight and again people thought I looked younger.  Great!  At this rate I can start scoring college girls, if I can think of a reason why I’d want to.  (“The Beatles?  Well, sure, I’ve heard of them, but…”)  Plus Mrs. DOF might…

    Worst thing about getting older: people who say, “What are you feeling old for?  I’m eighty-five!”  But every minute you’re the oldest you’ve ever been.  Damn that Einstein.  I’m way too strange to hang with the older crowd and not nearly hip enough to hang with the younger crowd. (And nose hair is really embarassing.)

    Only solution: become a celebrity and other people will have to imitate you.  You’re halfway there, Les.  Looking forward to your Wired interview!

    (… Spocko, them’s some eyebrows!)

  5. Les,

    I think you should grow your hair out so that it resembles those old powdered wigs.  I think that’d be a great look.  Well at least a distinctive look, and really that’s what people should strive for in life, to distinguish themselves.

  6. I’m a redhead, and my eyebrows are an alarmingly light shade of blonde…combine this with the ghostly shade of my skin, and I look from a distance as though I have no eyebrows at all. Although this does mean that Mad Eyebrow Syndrome probably won’t be an affliction I have to worry about anytime soon, it also means that I have to go through each and every day in the knowledge that at least a few people will honestly believe that I’ve shaved them off or something. Count yourselves lucky.

  7. Yep, with my last birthday I did the same thing.  The only thing that stood out were a few grey hairs and ma’s under the eyes shadow.  But I don’t think of you as so close to forty either.  In my mind I’m keeping us in our twenties.

  8. DOF, you can hang out with me (41 and plan to stay that way for a while).  I’m depressingly boring to the younger crowd and too immature for the older crowd.  I’m technically a boomer but don’t really fit in there.  Join me in the no-man’s land of ambivalent age!


    PS – Les, if there’s anything worse than Madman Eyebrows, it’s Madwoman Eyebrows.  The kind that makes the spa technicians sweat.

  9. Thanks, GM!  I’m not quite ready for feeding pigeons but I do have that feeling of not having a generation to identify with.  Don’t worry, I have no dishonorable intentions anyone knows about.  No, wait, I meant…

    Hey!  I just realized: MrsDOF just started a class in Children’s Literature at the community college.  So I DO have a chance with a college chick!

    Growing up is definitely on my list of “Things To Do” as soon as… Hmm…  Uh…

  10. Hi Les, I was 40 when my first child was born, I think its all relative to where you are in life. My eyebrows didn’t go haywire until 50. Now I buzz them with the trimmer once a week. Can I ask a question? How about your ears? Sometimes I feel I have more hair on my ears than on my head!! My wife is not very mechanically inclined so usually I am on my own when it comes to getting the little buggers. I have three children now and we all windsurf. Life begins when you grab it by the ass and don’t let go no matter how much it screams!

  11. No ear hairs as of yet, or at least not enough that it’s sticking out and making me look like someone shoved a toilet brush in my ear canal.

    I do get the occasional long nose hair, though, which just drives me nuts when it vibrates against my nostril when I breathe. Plucking those suckers is stunningly painful as well. Not quite as bad as a swift kick to the balls, but almost.

  12. Life begins when you grab it by the ass and don’t let go no matter how much it screams!

    Larkinsjapn, this is great!  May I quote you?

    Les, it’s even worse when you have disrespectful offspring who helpfully reach up and pluck those nose hairs for you.  Brings tears to your eyes.  I’m not sayin’ who started that tradition, but let’s just say that he’s gotten his comeuppance already, and his father (of blessed memory) is probably out there laughing his ass off … wink

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