Male pattern baldness will effect up to 70% of men at some point in their lifetime which forces me to thank my father for his genes, thereby placing me in the remaining 30%. (For the moment.) I have what you might call a head that needs hair. Male pattern baldness is nothing like blogging, unless off course you count the times when you pull out tuffs of your own hair whilst staring at the blank screen, who by the way, taunts you like a middle school playground bully. Those moments when you have a desire to write but your head remains a black hole.
Another way that male pattern baldness is nothing like blogging is when you consider the progression of your following.
One never forgets the first follower who appears out of nowhere. He/she comes unexpectedly, a wonderful surprise, like Mary Poppins at the front door. And just like Mary Poppins she opens her bag and plucks out more and more followers. And soon you have ten, and you want to scream like a Banshee from the highest mountain, celebrating how great life really is. Every follower makes you want to pee a little. (From excitement obviously.) Unlike standing in the shower and finding seven hairs clinging to your fingers which is an unpleasant surprise, filling you with more dread than the theme from Jaws. Like ending up as the jock in a slasher movie. You just know you’re gonna die. And you curse your Dad and don’t tell anyone. You just want to forget it ever happened, especially if you’re 23 and single.
Then time passes and the followers become more and more, slowly trickling in. And your confidence grows and you challenge yourself. Try new things. Explore your creativity. And you say cocky things like “I’m on WordPress because my family is on Facebook.” And the followers is coming. Like moths to a flame or Irish to a beer tent. And you feel invincible because people like you. Unlike facing the reality of losing more and more hair every time you shower. Feeling like your manhood is slipping down the proverbial drain. And you try to hide it and say cocky things like “This hair style makes it totally inconspicuous.” And you reduce the frequency of washing your hair. You even change the shampoo to a brand for sensitive skin.
Then something amazing happens and you get Freshly pressed and there’s a flood of new people exposed to your little piece of the web. And the following gains momentum like a running freight train. You sit in awe as your mood flies off to the stratosphere somewhere, exhilarated by this dreamlike reality that is unfolding in front of you. Unlike the feeling when the first person comments on your hair loss. Followed by an arsenal of confirmations when the arse, who you call friend, makes the devious comment in a crowd. And your mood flies off to the stratosphere because that’s where you want Scotty to beam you up. So that you don’t have to face the pretty girl who is laughing at your expense. And the idle chatter seems to trigger anxiety in the remaining hair follicles and they start shredding hair like their little lives depend on it. Only to die shortly after.
Then you happily blog along and life is good and before you know it you reach a thousand followers. And then another thousand and you feel like you’ve lifted Thor’s hammer with one arm. You are simply the greatest blogger the world has ever seen. And you visualize interviews with Ellen and wonder why Hollywood hasn’t called yet for the movie rights. You practice your signature on random bits of paper in preparation for the inevitable book tour that will take you to remote places like Montana and Michigan. You are invincible. Unlike the moment when losing hair becomes a mass exodus. A promo for the reaping. When you have difficulty showering as the hair keeps clogging the drain. When the dog gets up from your lap and has to shake off YOUR fallen hair. And you realize one morning that the comb over looks ridiculous and you have to accept reality. You enter the salon and ask the nice lady to put down the scissors as you awkwardly signal for the clippers. The time has come. And you leave the salon feeling utterly vulnerable, somewhat exposed, like you’re the only person in the world without hair.
But life has a way of slapping you around just to remind you of who is in charge. Most highs are followed by massive lows. Just like your wedding day. (I’m kidding!) Once the period of escalating followers pass, you are stuck with nothing. The flood shrivels to a little dribble. Or maybe even nothing. The worst drought in living memory. And you wonder if the website broke. You actually shake the screen. The regulars still pop in and you love them for keeping you from feeling like an utter failure, but you can’t shake the gnawing feeling of imminent disaster as days go by without a new visitor. And you tell yourself that it doesn’t matter. You’re not writing for people, you’re writing for your kids. And you tell yourself that you do it because you like to write, you don’t need approval from random strangers. But you still link to other social platforms in the hope of squeezing out a person or two. And you consider all other kinds of bull shit like changing the theme, or writing poetry. In the end nothing helps. Unlike the time when you see a dark shade appear on your clean scalp as some hair finds their way back to sunlight. And you suddenly have hope and you start considering alternatives. You Google options for hair replacement therapy. And you replace your sensitive skin shampoo for Horse soap that people pledge success too. And you buy bucket loads of Minoxidil and Finasteride and slug it down with so much water that you might never get a hangover again. Maybe you’ll get an additional hair or two. In the end nothing helps. Then out of the blue, totally unexpectedly, you receive another follower after weeks of silence. Like Mary Poppins. And you go berserk and jump for joy and drop an unexpected f-bomb, confirming the suspicion of everyone in the office that you’re not working. And you feel a desperate need to tell everyone that the evil spell has been broken, the Internet is fixed. Just like that very first follower, so many moons ago. Unlike losing your hair, because once it’s gone, it’s never coming back just like last month paycheck. Unless you fell to the temptation of the website and go for implants. And for once I’m not referring to Boobs.
PS – If you want to prevent hair loss then you should never watch porn. Don’t believe me? Believe the Internet.