Wednesday, August 31st, 2016
When I was a kid, I loved to tease my dad about his ‘bald spot’. Honestly, he had just this round thing at the crown of his head – it started when he was in his mid-thirties and never went anywhere interesting. Eventually I got over making fun of my poor old dad who always took it in stride, having more important things on his mind like paying the electric bill and educating the youth of America. In fact, when he passed away at the age of 86, he had a full head of hair and a wonderful professorial beard. So much for youthful impertinence.
I recently got a bald spot, myself, giving credence to the “you’ll get yours” theory of life. I was out working on an alpaca farm. The alpaca was restrained and I was doing some dental work using a dremel, when I felt the maddening sensation of a biting black fly landing on my head. I of the quick reactions raised my right hand (wielding said dremel) and swatted that fly … and in the process, dremeled about 2 inches of hair right out of my scalp. It took ages to remove the hair from the tool. And I am now learning the joys of creating a comb-over.
Sullivan the dog also has a comb-over of sorts. One doesn’t often see bald dogs, especially in the lab family. The other day a young volunteer at the farm made a remark about his naked bum. I, now learned in the ways of hair loss, jumped to his defense. “Oh, it used to be much worse,” I said. “He had a terrible flea allergy when he arrived at the shelter. His hair has grown out beautifully since then.” The skeptical youth, sporting a luxuriant full head of hair, said dubiously she thought perhaps he was still a bit bald. Thank God I had my own comb-over in place that day.
People can be so quick to jump to conclusions based on external irregularities. But we are a farm FULL of irregular beings, me and my bald spot included. Madison the sheep has an extraordinarily big booty (due only to his own gluttony and nothing he can blame on his genes). Mehitabel the donkey has a sideways foot but she still serves up a mean kick to anyone who messes with her dinner. Joey and Newman Goat have chronic nose boogers, Dee Dee Donkey drools, Little Di the goat smiles sideways with her ‘wry mouth’, May May the goose has half a foot due to an unfortunate encounter with a snapping turtle. And Sullivan has a bald bottom.
Unless an irregularity presents a medical issue or causes actual distress to someone, it does not matter. A ‘special feature’ is just like color or height or shape or length of nose – or the beautiful sound of their voice.
A staff member at the Fairfax animal shelter told me that despite Sullivan’s friendly personality, a family who might have been interested in adopting him said, ruefully, “he’s just too ugly.” I have to shake my semi-bald head several times because I personally think Sullivan is so far from ugly that he’s never met the word. That is to say that love is blind to baldness. Which is a darned good thing given my recent hair loss. Now go out and hug a bald person.
“I yam what I yam and that’s all that I yam.”