Maybe I should have mentioned this sooner. I shaved my head on Sunday.
I’d had it with my hair. I fussed with trying to cut it for about 45 minutes. Nothing I did made the front look right. Then I cut at it too much and it was much shorter than the back. So the back had to go. And then nothing was even, and I was frustrated.
Ashley came over to the house to borrow a couple dorm fridges from the garage to stand in for the malfunction she and Ben had in their kitchen. She found me standing over the bathroom sink, forlorn and angry with the scissors. The whole time she and I talked, I had my left hand casually splayed on my head, scrunching the hair into a tight fist. Ashley suggested that I come with her to her apartment and use the Flowbee she’d borrowed from Pastor Rich. It seemed like a good idea, so I agreed and hurried right over.
Ashley set up the Flowbee in the bathroom upstairs, and I busied myself suctioning my head with the wand in a rocking motion. Ben and Ashley were in the kitchen downstairs. They heard and came running when I screamed and dropped the suction wand onto the tile bathroom floor.
Yeah, it was bad.
I’ve been having trouble getting used to the bald. I see my reflection in the mirror, and it doesn’t register to me as me. I haven’t cried about it or anything. I don’t think. I have to rub lots of sun screen into the scalp, because I know this thing will burn like the dickens if I don’t, but when I get too hot and start to sweat, the lotion runs down my forehead and into my eyes and it burns. So there have been a few tears, but all sun screen induced.
Still, I will admit that this whole situation has had me pretty discouraged. My bald head just doesn’t look good, and there’s no remedying it. I was going to share a picture so you could all see and understand what I mean, but I’ve decided, er, not so much. You’ll have to take my word for it.
Today I e-mailed some friends (Ben, Ashley, Justin, Shelli) and asked them for encouragement.
Ashley was incredulous. “What? Do we have to affirm you of your attractiveness? Does that have to be the focus? Can’t we talk about other nice qualities? I’m just against focusing on our looks which we have really, no control of. For example, you, Ben, are known by so many people as . . . sweet . . . Everyone is glad to see you and always has extra room for you because we always enjoy your . . . coolness when the pressures of life and weather are just too much to bear. You bring people together because you inspire fun times . . . and everyone misses you if you aren’t there. And we never feel guilty for spending time with you because you’re so good for us.”
Ben said, “I affirm your approach, Ashley. Preach it.”
Admittedly, I also share Ashley’s belief. Our physical appearance is not important. But our self-worth, now that’s a different story. I needed to be reminded that I was worth more than my bald head.
It was Justin who said exactly what I needed to hear. “Ben, what makes you attractive to people is not your skin—whether lumpy or smooth, lopsided or balanced. What attracts people to you, dear bald Ben, is the wonderful insides that God gave you. God gave you one of the most attractive insides in the whole world—almost everyone loves you for who you are—and anyone who disregards you because of how you look on the outside, has no idea of your real value, and their opinion isn’t worth losing sleep over. Attractiveness isn’t connected to how we look; it’s connected to who we are. Ben, you are a gift to humankind, and that makes you very attractive.”