I did my normal eat alone at the bar tonight after talking for twelve straight hours. I usually give off a general air of DO NOT DISTURB but somehow it failed. The guy next to me cleared his throat for the second time that I paid attention to which could have meant he was doing it for a while. I only looked over the second time in case he was trying to get the bartenders attention or choking. Neither was the case he just wanted to talk. But as he opened his mouth I noticed it was surrounded by a beard of unnatural color.
I am not a vain man. I consider myself a realist. I am big bald and half past the century mark (wait, that makes no sense… trying to appear smarter than I am. Big words that were supposed to mean over 50. Complete communication failure) but I make a conscious effort to be comfortable in my own skin. So it makes me uncomfortable when people feel the need to fight the battle with time in obvious ways. Guys especially. The female of the species in this country is under a stupid amount of pressure to appear perfect. I have a strong feeling that if all the makeup in the world suddenly disappeared everyone would still look great just a little less painted. I like the natural look, always have, and I don’t think I am alone. Anyway, when I encounter a dude who has gone over the top, it completely throws me.
The gentleman seated to my right had a beard as black as coal. Unfortunately his eyebrows and the hair that had grown down below his hairpiece told a different story. He had also purchased a discount lifestyle lift that pulled one side of his face tighter than the other. He looked like he was smirk squinting with half of his face and luckily he mistook my look of horror for admiration. “I use Just For Men” I was now officially puzzled because I was trying to figure out if the off center thing was an optical illusion or a surgery Groupon. I apologized for not understanding and tried to turn back to my steak but he pressed on.
“It will take 20 years off of your face.” I actually asked if he was suggesting I paint a fake color on my beard with the hope that I will look younger. When he said yes I told him my friends and family were too smart for that and I would hate to have to slap myself in the face every time I passed a reflective surface. He might have been trying to frown but the face lift made it look like a facial tremor. I squinted to get a better look at his fluttering too-tight-off-center-face and he got pissed. He mumbled some weak insult and I told him that people in planes flying 10,000 feet above us could see he was an elderly man wearing a hair hat sporting a black beard and is most likely involved in a malpractice lawsuit with a discount plastic surgeon.
Yup that’s me making friends wherever I go. But I must have made the bar tender laugh because after he moved to another part of the restaurant she bought me a beer. I’m calling that a wash but I am curious what he wanted to talk about in the first place. I’m just going to have to get comfortable with not knowing.