About 50 years ago, when I was 18, my first chest hair sprouted! I was so happy and proud that, at the drop of a hat, I'd pull the neck of my tee shirt down to show everybody I knew, or anyone who might be remotely interested. Well, they didn't really have to be interested. I'd show 'em anyway.
Most would squint as they stared blindly at the tip of my pointing finger and ask with some puzzlement, "Where?"
My Uncle Joe, though, knew what to say to a budding hirsute teenager. "You know, Rich, if you get a razor blade and split it twice down the middle you'll have four hairs." He was so funny! After only a few tries to split the hair I knew he was pulling my leg.
Over the years my chest hair (Hairold) remained a bachelor. I went long periods, sometimes as much as three or four days in a row, without looking, but every time I peeked Hairold was still living alone.
Finally, in recent years, I have pretty much shied away from looking too much at Hairold for fear I might scare him away. Most mornings I do check around my pillow to see if he has fallen out during the night, but otherwise I try to leave well enough alone, just knowing that underneath the shirt is my secret ticket to manhood, patiently holding down the fort.
This morning my eyes accidentally looked into the mirror as I washed behind my ears, and there was a sight I never, ever, imagined I'd see. Hairold has turned gray - or silver, as I prefer.
This is something new for me. I've never had a chest full of silver hair. I wonder if Hairold is more delicate, or fragile, now. Should I switch to a milder shampoo? Do I need to brush it, or will combing be okay? Hair tonic, or the dry look?
So much to learn. I never realized the responsibilities involved with caring for a hair. In some ways I'm glad I never split that hair with a razor blade.