Friday, September 14, 2012

Trend Spotting. You're Welcome.

Of late, I have noticed a trend among menfolk in the western world. I have spotted it in city centres on a Friday night, on my Sunday morning hikes, in the line up at Canadian Tire and atop tractors in the corn fields near my house (Just so you know, the trend-spotting that I do for you never, ever stops. I am constantly on the look out for what's hot, what's not, what's up, what's down. It is an obligation that is a blessing for you and an exhausting curse for me. Just wanted you to know)
This trend knows no age barrier or demographic limitations. It is favoured by the tall and the short, the wealthy and the less financially favoured. The only common denominator to these diverse if misguided folk is that they are all, to one, "barber-challenged". I am speaking – through clenched teeth and tearful eyes – of the comb-forward.
For those you unfamiliar with the phenomenon, a comb-forward is when a man, self-conscious of his balding pate, combs the hair on the back of his head up, forward and over his flesh-flashing dome in the mistaken belief onlookers will say, "Wow, look how thick and lustrous that man's hair is! " as opposed to: "Oh look – that man has a comb-forward. Jesus H. Christ." Donald Trump is the best known and most extreme example of phenomenon and his technique - which could be a comb-over or a candy floss machine that emits hair instead of delicious hair-like candy strands -  has taken on near skyscraper proportions. In fact, according to architectural insiders, it was the inspiration for Ai Weiwei's Bird's Nest.

Gentlemen, I'm calling time on these ridiculous attempts to disguise disappearing hairlines and encroaching scalp. I am going to go out on a limb and say the following: balding does not make a man look bad. Attempts to cover up balding, however, do. In fact, I would say that they are insulting to the average person's intelligence. Do you think the world is fooled by your masterful hair disguise? Any woman worth her salt would rather spend sexy times with a man who knows he doesn't have a lot of hair than one who foolishly believes that she doesn't notice that his own hair is wrapped around his head like a turban. 

Let me be even more plain: I would rather be squired around town by Ed Harris look-alike than the Donald any day of the week.
So chaps, consider this page a cease and desist order, that you cease fretting about this whole balding thing – and you may as well, it does come to many of you in the end – and that you desist trying to disguise it. And yes, this is legally binding.
Thank you for letting me get this off of my chest. And t-shirt-wearers-who-also-wear-scraves? Consider yourselves on notice!  

Monday, September 3, 2012

True New Year

September is almost here and it’s transition time again. The leaves are changing, the kids are headed back to school and Matthew Perry is making yet another weak attempt to return to primetime (When will he learn?).  In our home, we refer to September as "True New Year". There is a sense of excitement that a new school year brings, when we shift from the schedule devil we know, to the devil we don’t know. In many ways, adapting to September's new schedule is like a signing up for your first step aerobics class (Remember when?) -- first week, just get your kids to school on time, figure out how to get them picked up. Step back and forth. Second week, dance starts. Back and forth and grapevine. Third week, back to school nights and jiu-jitsu stars starts. Back and forth and grapevine and add the arms. Fourth week, swimming begins. All that and step up and down. Fifth week, guitar begins, whatever board meeting you're supposed to go to once a month is scheduled, projects are starting to come due, and kids have the audacity to make inquiries about Halloween costumes. Back and forth and grapevine and add the arms and step up and step down and TWIRL. 

Straight on til December.

Because besides being transition season, September is also cheque-writing season. Cheques for swimming lessons, cheques for guitar lessons, cheques for agendas, cheques for Pizza Day, Sub Day, AK47 Day, dance lessons, protection from the Mob. It never ends. Plus, guess who drives them? Every September, I schedule the inevitable existential breakdown I have each year in which I question whether my university education prepared me for my job as a full-time chauffeur. Answer: not so much.

This year, though, rather than deal with it by swigging wine after hours and bitching to people who do the same, I intend on taking a page from financial guru Suze Orman: I will  show the kids how to write the cheques themselves. Nice, huh? You want the money, you write out the cheque. This will be a great way to help them to understand how much cash we spend on their extra-curriculars and it will give my hand a rest, as well as the portion of my conscience that tells me that it is important that kids figure out how much the "extras" really cost. Harsh , maybe, but a good way to help them understand that my cheque book has its limits.