Hodge: Growing out his hair gives columnist mixed reactions

It seems my flowing locks of greying, thinning hair have caught the attention of more than one person.

I guess I should not be shocked that some people (well, one anyway) have recently drawn the analogy I remind them of Samson.

That’s right—the same dude of biblical fame who eventually met his demise at the scissor-wielding hands of his wife Delilah.

I am not suggesting I’m about to meet my imminent departure at the hands of a suddenly Judas-like personality change by my beloved Teresa.

No, my comparisons to Samson are for a number of other reasons.

Obviously the first is because, like Big S, I am unquestionably tall, dark and handsome. (Well, perhaps I am not all that dark but I digress).

Aside from my stunning good looks and hulking 5-foot-6 130-pound jock-like body there are other Samson-like attributes which I swagger about with lately.

My larger than life popularity, relentless championing of the oppressed, fearless bravery in the face of Roman soldiers (though these have been rather rare recently) and my legendary strength. Oh yeah and my hair.

It’s the latter comparison which inspires today’s column.

It seems my flowing locks of greying, thinning hair have caught the attention of more than one person.

Teresa has pointed out numerous times over the years that my hair does have the unique ability to resemble that of Bozo the Clown when it reaches a certain length.

Given enough time, the Bozo part starts to disappear as the longer locks start to weigh down the poofy look.

Regardless, the point is despite my declining years, I still have most of my hair and it can still reach a length reserved for teens.

For a series of reasons, including procrastination and a lack of money, I had failed to have my locks sheared for awhile.

Several months back Tez mentioned the aforementioned emergence of the Bozo persona and suggested I had better go visit our buddy Shirley—(Where’s Waldo) a.k.a. ‘Hairdresser to the Stars’—before she departed on several months of travelling.

Naturally, I procrastinated some more and missed the opportunity.

Teresa and I briefly discussed the hair-raising dilemma I had ignored my way into —and she begrudgingly agreed that rather than risk another horrid haircut like I had received the last time Shirley left town and I visited another hair hacker—that I should simply await Shirley’s return.

Teresa had no idea just how quickly my hair can grown once it has reached reckless abandoned stage.

Shirley returned two weeks ago, however, the day Teresa went out to get her hair done I found a perfectly good excuse not to go.

I guess you could say I have become attached to my long hair.

Some of my psychology friends could have a field day analyzing why it is I am insistent on growing my hair.

Perhaps I am in denial of zoning in rapidly on 58 years of age.

Perhaps it’s a refusal to accept my pending mortality, an effort to relive my youth, the chance to pretend I am a hippy or a musician again, or that I am attempting to hide a few bald spots.

But the reality is I am growing my hair for two reasons: I can and I want to.

That hasn’t stopped a few folks from expressing their views on it though.

Last Wednesday a couple of business associates and I attended a West Kelowna Chamber ‘After 5’ event. Near the end of the night, a middle-aged woman, clearly bolstered by her wine consumption, decided to share her negative thoughts about my hair.

She opened here verbal putdowns by suggesting it was time I cut my “scraggly” hair.

“If you want to be treated as a professional you got to get rid of the musician look—you look ridiculous,” she blurted before launching into a further diatribe.

Exchanging some eye-ball raising ‘what’s her problem’ like glances with a couple of the people around me, I chose to bite my lip and not respond despite her continuance.

I swallowed the idea of suggesting something equally hurtful like she should shed 50 pounds and slowly wandered away ignoring her ignorance.

On the way home, however, I contemplated her insults and wondered if indeed it was not time to call Shirley.

The next day (I love life’s ironies) I met with former Kelowna mayor Sharon Shepherd for a refreshment. As we walked into our location of libation, we were verbally greeted by a couple of ladies at a nearby table.

“Your HodgePodge aren’t you,” one of the ladies piped-up. “Oh my God you’re a lot sexier in person than you are in the paper. Look at your lovely hair,” she blurted before turning red and covering her mouth, suddenly aware that her thoughts had been stated out loud.

I immediately turned redder than the woman, which only inspired the former mayor to laugh and say, “My gosh, your blushing Charlie. I’ve never seen you blush.”

I said thank you to the now semi-embarrassed stranger and quickly attempted to change the subject while still reeling from the compliment. (It’s rare if never that I have been called ‘sexy’. I’ve heard the term ‘cute; a time or two which men hate—but not sexy).

An hour later as Sharon and I left the facility the former mayor bid me farewell with a smirk and said, “See you again soon, sexy and don’t cut that hair.”

Bolstered by the stranger’s comments I’ve decided to delay my visit to Shirley for a while.

Besides, I know I am safe at home with my own Delilah.

The only scissors in our house are dull as a round rock since I used them last week to prune the Clematis in the yard.

Step aside Samson.


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