In the harsh light of my hotel bathroom, I caught my first glimpse of an old Italian lady chin. There near my right ear, yet thankfully not directly on my chin was a rouge hair and a gray one at that. I wondered what would be next, rolled down hosiery into chunky black “widow heels”?
I thought of my own Italian grandmothers, Amelia and Virginia. For the record, Grandma Virginia did indeed have chin hairs and spoke frequently of them. (ugh) My Grandma Amelia however never even ushered a peep, but then I was in my early teens when she died. Her room always seemed dark and she used a handheld mirror, which I now have. I smile and talk to her when I use it. Maybe she never saw them?
Yet, did she too have these reminders of aging as an Italian woman? Did she care? Did I? When I snuggled in close to her, cheek to cheek as she told me stories and read me passages about angels from her Novena book, did I see it? Did I notice a tiny gray hair when we shared a Stella D’oro cookie and coffee? No, I did not. Not once and better yet, if I did, it wouldn’t have mattered.
Do men have an old age body change fear? Is it nose hair, ear hair, a combination of the two or perhaps the fear of mowing the front lawn in old man shorts and black socks and I do not mean Under Armour black athletic socks! Chip gets his razor blades from Dollar Shave Club and this month’s newsletter talked about and I quote, “The Best Ways to Tame a Hairy Butt.” Enlightening. Manscaping is the thing now so maybe there is a man fear of old age body changes. By the way, other articles in this riveting piece of literature include, “What’s Actually Underneath Your Fingernails” and “Here’s What the Most Common Prescription Drugs Do to Your Sex Drive”. Not exactly the New York Times but it is touted as a good bathroom read.
I think we all may share a where did that come from? moment. The moment may vary but the reaction probably does not. I am here to tell you that at almost 55 years old, I know I will have a random stray hair, a varicose vein, a hot flash, and even memory loss. It’s alright and frankly it is going to happen with or without acknowledgment or blessing.
Don’t get me wrong, I plucked that sucker right from its roots and sent a Sicilian message to any other gray hairs on my face, eyebrows or chin: “say hello to my little friend the tweezers!”