By DARREN HANDSCHUH
My wife was recently treated to an experience women who reach the age of 40 can look forward to – a mammogram.
I am sure every woman who has had such interaction with the medical machine is screaming, “Treat, you call that a treat. Buddy I outta kick your…”
Calm down, I use the word ‘treat’ in a sarcastic sense (it’s kind of what I do.) My wife also used a one-word term to describe it, but I think that word was “ouch,” or “sucked,” or something like that.
Anyway, when she clicked over to 40 it was time to get the physical check up that comes with reaching such an age.
My son, who is almost a teen, was curious about the procedure, and asked what it was and why it was happening.
My wife explained it was something a woman has to do when she reaches the F-years.
He then asked if there was a thing called a ‘man-ogram.”
Once I was done chuckling, I noticed my wife was looking at me and I knew it was time to step up and explain the male procedure that is to be done once a man reaches the milestone that brings with it a very complete physical which leaves no place untouched - literally.
I thought about how to explain the procedure to my son, but struggled to tell him in a way that would not gross him out, embarrass him or make him dread seeing a doctor ever again.
“Son, do you see this finger. Well, um, I, ah, you see…First the doctor takes this stuff that is sort of like a medical version of wheel bearing grease and…”
Fortunately his 12-year-old brain decided it was not that interesting and something happened and distracted him before I had to get into the exact details of the personal invasion disguised as a medical procedure. He will learn when the time comes what I was talking about. Oh yes, he will learn.
It is just another thrilling aspect of hitting 40, something I did a few years ago.
My hair began to fall out when I was around 20, so hair loss at 40 was not a big deal. I already had 20 years experience at it.
However, I am not totally convinced my hair is actually falling out because I am sprouting hair where it never used to be before.
I suspect my hair is actually migrating from my head to different parts of my body.
For some reason my ears seem to be a popular place for the migrating follicles to settle.
I guess I should have seen it coming. My dad has enough hair in his ears to hide a covey of quails.
If it were any longer, he could braid it, so when I noticed the locks sprouting from my ears like a stand of corn, I decided to keep it trimmed rather than go for the you-have-a-squirrel-stuck-to-the-side-of-your-head look.
I have also developed a rather impressive mop of nose hair. Giving your nostrils a buzz cut is always fun and I even have a mini-electric razor that is designed specifically for ear and nose hair.
It was gift from my wife and not the most subtle hint she has ever dropped. In case getting the little shaver wasn’t enough of a clue, she also included a card that said ‘You’re not getting older, you’re getting hairier (especially in your nose and ears.)’
I still say Hallmark is getting a little carried away in their specialized cards.
The problem when shaving the nostril follicles is there is always at least one hair that puts up a fight and ends up being ripped out by the razor, causing watery eyes and bad thoughts about nasal hair and why it is needed anyway.
I liked it much better when my nose had short hair and my head had hair.
Eyebrows are another area where trimming is needed. If I once again may use my dad as an example – his eyebrows were once described as two Persian cats sleeping on his forehead.
At first, I thought if my eyebrows grew long enough, I could just comb them over my forehead and it would look like I had a full head of hair.
Instead, it just looks like two Chihuahuas sniffing noses above my eyes (I haven’t worked my way up to cat status yet.)
I wonder if there is a world record for the bushiest eyebrows.
If so, some of my ancestors could have a shot at the title, and I am not talking about just the men here.
But world-record aspirations aside, I will continue to keep a close watch to see where all that hair is going to pop up next. It’s not on my head, so it has to be going somewhere.