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.”

Bald Ben

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12 Comments on "Bald Ben"

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Justin

ha! for some reason i’m doubtful that your haircut is as bad as you’re making it sound…

Carissa J

Hmm. I am just really having a hard time picturing you bald. I’m sorry it’s been hard. Aren’t you glad hair grows back? But in the meantime, it sounds like God is using this experience to teach you (and us) a valuable lesson. Don’t cut your own hair. Just kidding! I know the real lesson!

Kristina

The thing that concerns me is not your baldness, but the fact that this blog is labeled under “product endorsement.”

I agree with not finding our worth in our looks…admittedly I’ve been having trouble with this lately…and part of it is because of my hair.

Daniel

In addition to being a gift from God to Man, you’re a fine bean bagger, and I will give you and yours the opportunity to prove it this Thursday, weather permitting.

barberboy

I think you are a liar.

Ashley
What in the world?! I’m so very confused by this post. I have not seen your bald head and wonder about your references to me, the refrigerator-getting, the flowbee, the affirming, etc. That was months ago. You said “today”. Am I in some sort of time warp? At first I thought my Google Reader was malfunctioning again (it will alert me that someone has posted something new and I find that it is only alerting me of something written months ago), but no. So confused. And I want to see your baldness. I’ve wanted you to try this out for… Read more »
Angela
Are you really bald? I believed your whole story until reading Ben and Ashley’s comments. Now I feel slightly confused, but glad that their refridgerators didn’t break again. Did you dream that you were bald? Are you testing out what our responses would be to baldness? I’d still like you. I agree with Justin, that you’re wonderful on the inside. And although I’ve definitely seen the crazy in you, you do remain very cool when I’m panicking and I appreciate that. Sometimes I appreciate it more the next day, but there’s always gratitude involved. I think you should still post… Read more »
Carissa J

Okay. Seriously. Should I stop trying to picture you bald because you actually aren’t at all?

Em

I agree with Angela. And I know the perfect photo to show (hint, hint)! So this has to be the very post you were working on when we (Kristina, Katie and I) were watching Sense and Sensibility on April 25th (I know the date from my blog). I remember being apalled at what you were working on right next to me, while you were half making fun of what we were watching. Still, you never left. Anyway, do you recall my reaction and all the laughter that followed?

Freedom. It is doing funny things to you.

Justin

oh—the things you do to generate comments. i take back everything I “said” about your quality insides…

nance

Oh my. After reading your post I was so inspired to comment, then I read all of your comments, and well, I must admit that I, like Ashley, am a little confused. So. You’re bald? I think that is great. A step of boldness, whether it was wanted or unwanted. And I’m glad that you’re feeling a little more comfortable with it. I still like you for who you are, even if your hair is a little shorter. :)

mandi

I heard that your not really bald. that’s good. it you ever decide to go bald Please post pics. my imagination is not work well with this image.

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