Rocket Shoes

I am neurotic.

In the words of the great Kevin Bacon, these are the facts, and they cannot be disputed. Sometimes, it concerns me that my thought process resembles that of an older Jewish woman when I'm...male, and 27. But it's how I live, and I can't stop it. Something happened about two weeks ago, though. It was not a neurotic moment. It was a moment of truth. And it was horrific.

I was at the "too expensive jeans store" buying a pair of jeans. Seeing as I spend an inordinate amount of time on a female exercise machine these days, it turns out the only positive that could come out of such an activity occurred: I lost weight and my pants don't fit anymore. Total win, right? Fucking wrong.

So I go to buy some new pants, and I'm feeling good. I go as far as to ask the lady if she can help me pick out a pair, mainly because she's an attractive hipster, but more because guys have some jaded vision in their head that EVERY girl at the clothing store is totally into you and is just waiting for you to talk to them! Turns out it's not flirting, and it's this thing they have called "their job" and it's in sales. Who knew.

As I go into the dressing room to try them on, I am checking to see the fit. Apparently, dressing rooms were also made by creepy sexual guys who just have mirrors everywhere, so you can legitimately see yourself from every angle. As I'm checking myself out...I catch a glimpse of something that I can only describe as the worst moment in my entire life: I have an extremely thinning hair patch on the back of my head.

I fell apart. But this wasn't neurotic, I was not seeing things: I'm going bald. Now, it's safe to say I won't be at a defcon-5 level of bald for a while. But oh, is it there. And while a few red flags should have been "every time I get out of the shower my hair is not on my head anymore," and "I can see a lot of my forehead these days," I simply refused to truly come to terms with it. But it's there. And I now have no choice but to accept my fate.

Girls can't understand this. And don't when you bring it up. They tell you it doesn't matter. That they don't care about that kind of stuff. Just be a nice guy! Yeah, that's working out. No. It matters. And if girls had a choice between the guy at the bar with hair and the guy with "not hair", first choice is probably the former. That's like guys saying that they just want a girl with a great personality...ding ding ding, they are lying!

So I've been in a panic. Because you really have two options when this happens.

The first path is non-acceptance. This is about 98.9% of all men. You get rogaine. You know, a magical foam you put on the back of your head. You know how I know this doesn't work? Because I also don't believe unicorns are real. If someone had cured balding by now, OR seen a real life unicorn, I'm pretty sure they'd be advertising a teeeeny bit harder. Even better, you can get a pill called Propecia. Let me go over this one with you, starting with the side effects:

"Recognized side effects of finasteride include impotence (um, red flag), abnormal ejaculation (what does that even mean), decreased ejaculatory volume (bummer, but meh, I'm sure most women aren't that upset about this), abnormal sexual function (ummm...), gynecomastia (I don't know what that is but it has "gyn" in it and sounds like a disease, and I usually avoid diseases), erectile dysfunction (wait, wasn't this the first one?), ejaculation disorder (...) and testicular pain (!!!!)."

I'm speechless. Here's a make believe conversation I believe people have had with their doctors.

Patient: "I'm losing my hair. Can you fix it?"

Doctor: "No problem. We'll just break your penis and you'll be good to go."

Patient: "No, no, I said I'm losing my hair. On my head."

Doctor: "No, I know. But it's okay. We came up with a solution! You'll grow hair back, but you'll just never have sex again."

Patient: "That seems...like a poor life decision."

Doctor: "Well the good news is people also report having it not work all the time in the 'growing hair back' department, so at least you'll now have a small chance at not even getting hair back AND no penis!"

Patient: "Nevermind. My foot hurts. Can I have some vicodin?"

I just don't understand the logic. A fear of balding is that you will become sexually less desirable to women. Why on EARTH would I take a pill that makes my penis not work? So I can grow hair back, woo a woman back to my bed and then ask her if she just wants to comb my hair for a bit? Because I'm physically incapable of having sex? That's okay, I'll take the loss of hair instead of the lack of penis. Thanks for the offer Pfizer! Mayyyybe work on that. Drug companies blow my mind.

So since I want to at least have a shot at having sex while bald, I'm going to go with the only other road you can go down when you are balding: I'm just going to accept it. I got a few good years left in me, and the good news is I have a gigantic forehead anyways, so I guess I've got that going for me. And I think the only answer to this is to just get extremely fit, so girls get drunk and think "well, at least he's in shape." It worked for Bruce Willis. And since I figure the film Die Hard is an applicable life model, I'm okay with that.

Men are terrified of losing their hair because it in some way signifies that you've gotten old. I'm not old, by any means. But it just means that from here on out, you are officially going to have to try a little harder. It's hard to come to terms with. But hey. It happens. I had the largest jew fro on the planet growing up, so if anything, it just feels ironic that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone. And well, in two years, it's gone.

In other news, a douche at a bar tried to hit on my best friend's girlfriend last night, and when rebuked, pointed to my best friend and told the girlfriend that "he's balding, do you really want a guy like that?" In a moment of genius, I looked at him and said, "This honesty game is fun. Ready for this one? You're fat." Fourth grade diss, accomplished. Best part? It stunned him, and he just walked away. Because, well, he was fat. The only insult I have left that I want to actually say to someone before I die is, "Yeah, well you're ugly." One down, one to go.

If these are the kind of insults me and my balding friends can look forward to, color me excited. It's better than being fat, I guess.

So in honor of this, I present:

Rocket Shoes Mixtape 21: Male Pattern Baldness Is The New Menopause

Stream the whole thing at that link up top, or you can download all the mp3's right here.

I blame my lack of hair on when I wore hats. I also also blame being awkward on...this evidence. Sorry, Adam, for including you in this.

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19 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Male Pattern Baldness Is The New Menopause”

  • Lesley

    January 31, 2010 at 10:49 pm

    1. Where did this pic come from? It is hilarious and such a representation of the Hoolhorst brothers.

    2. Gynecomastia is male boobs, which I’m sure you don’t want, but that guy in the marina has.

    3. Forget those mirrors that show every angle, no one walks out of there happy.

    • Arscott

      January 31, 2010 at 11:48 pm

      Get on the bus Drew, we’re riding this thing all the way to Q-ball Town.

      That picture is awesome for a few reasons.

      1. You are wearing a SWEET Warriors hat (is that still around)
      2. This must have been taken at exactly the most awkward moment of Adam’s life (like Drew, sorry Adam)
      3. Is that an amazing ‘stache on the left, barely squeezing its way into the picture? Awesome.

  • AJ

    February 1, 2010 at 2:19 am

    So you see Drew, I think there is a lot more to this whole “men-terrified-of-going-bald” thing than just the reality of getting old sinking in and diminished chances of taking women home from bars. Or maybe this is just me taking a ride on the neurotic express.

    While superficially it may seem like a dose of the reality of aging, the fear goes much deeper. After all, every time my creaky bones get out of bed I’m reminded how old I am. But look around at the powerful, successful and otherwise idolized men in our society. Big old bushy heads of hair with nary a receding hairline in sight. Sure there are exceptions: Terry Bradshaw, Rudy Guliani — who is wicked bald by the way, and well, nevermind, that’s about it unless you count scientists, economists and Matt Hasselback.

    But really, the faces thrust upon us every day on tv, on the “Internet” and in movies are generally attached to non-bald men.

    Subconsciencely (damn iPhone spell chek can’t help me on that one) we are told every day that in order to succeed (at least by mainstream society’s definition of success anyway) we need a bunch of hair. Maybe it harkens back to humans more primitive impules to seek out mates with strong genes (the same reason men seek out women with large, supple … Brains) or maybe it’s me being paranoid as hell every time I brush my hair and watch my forehead grow bit by bit, wondering if my window of potential world domination will stay open long enough for me to jump through.

    Or maybe I just want to secretly kill Tom Brady and steal his life.

    Happy Monday sir.

  • Snaggs

    February 1, 2010 at 11:06 am

    “…ask her if she just wants to comb my hair for a bit?”

    I don’t think I’ve ever laughed out loud while reading a blog before. (Does praise lessen the sting of impending baldness?)

  • CJ

    February 1, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    Well, I would just like to say that this is the most embarrassing photo that I have ever been a part of. Thank you for including me in this moment.

  • @marycray

    February 2, 2010 at 11:09 am

    One of my favorite posts. My imagination has you cast as Patient and Kevin Bacon as Doc.

    ps. Love that fat smack. Simple+Necessary+True. = Elegant put down.

  • Liz Frith

    February 3, 2010 at 1:26 am

    Good job. The funniest thing I’ve read this month. You are the king of the first three days of February.

  • Lauren M

    February 5, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    Found your twitter and took the leap to your blog. Hilarious. Kind of want to move across the country from NYC to SF just to hang.

  • Lis

    February 19, 2010 at 9:48 am

    better than early grays!

    • j0bi

      October 10, 2011 at 1:32 pm

      negative. you can dye gray hair without breaking your penis. ;)

    • Billy P

      October 18, 2011 at 1:24 pm

      Wrong! Silver fox is HOTT!

  • dave

    March 18, 2010 at 10:19 pm

    okay, so I’m a bit late on the response train…nevertheless, thanks for the post, I’m in the same boat bud

  • aposiopetic

    September 10, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    I recently came across your (entirely excellent) blog, and strange as this may sound, I'm pretty sure that I grew up around the corner from you and attended school with you for several years.

    Yeah, ok, I was right. There was no way to say that and not sound a little stalkerish. Still, it seems less stalkerish than reading and lurking and never saying anything. This is getting awkward. I'm going to hide behind some relevant commentary now.

    Male pattern baldness is a mixed bag. You get less instant eyes-meeting-across-a-crowded-room attraction–maybe–but women will consider you less likely to stray, adding to your appeal. It can also increase your apparent confidence, if you can fake graceful acceptance (or actually accept it).

  • Lynda Potter

    April 13, 2011 at 7:56 pm

    This was the funniest thing I have read in awhile, thank you so much for making my day even better…love reading your blog!

  • Estella

    May 19, 2011 at 8:23 am

    I feel so much happier now I udnetrsand all this. Thanks!

  • jay

    July 30, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    baldness -> less sexually attractive -> take rogaine -> can’t sexually perform … you have a keen eye for irony my friend

  • wall art

    September 15, 2011 at 7:20 am

    hahaha thanks for a good laugh!

  • Billy P

    October 18, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    In point of fact, male-pattern baldness is due in large part to the presence of testosterone (and said testosterone going bad in your head follicles). So, really? Bald guys have more T than haired guys. See an old man with a full head of hair? Been impotent for years. Bald 30-yo? Stud-muffin til death!

    Why should you believe me? I’m a hairstylist with 20 years’ experience–and I wash my face a little higher every year. ; )

  • phillip

    April 5, 2013 at 8:49 am

    IM NOT the only one!! Im a bit older than you, but my oh shit moment was worse than yours so Ill share and maybe you will feel better. I was about 25, I was working, ironically in a “too Expensive jeans store”. My manager was a cute young woman around 28 or so. I was good looking then, had plenty of females to hang with, so naturally I assumed she was into me as well. But ah… the death of vanity. We were hanging large banners from the ceiling to advertise a sale, she was on the ladder, I was handing stuff up when she said, ” Damn boy, you’re going bald”.
    I of course stood in the bathroom with 2 mirrors for the next few minutes trying to decide a painless way to kill myself.

    Funny but true. The positive in this is I am now 42, and still have not gone bald. My spot in the back has grown over the years, but very very slowly. So there is hope, as long as I can keep my penis healthy.
    Thanks for your story, I had a great laugh, you are a talented storyteller.
    cheers
    phillip

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