Beard grays are one thing, but sideburn grays are quite another, since I cannot shave them to stubble without appearing as a bowl-headed crazy person. I had been attempting to stifle their impact with the use of an extremely tiny pair of scissors, but recently my wife looked at me and commented gracefully, “Omg—your sideburns are turning gray!”
This ultimately resulted in me trying to pluck the hairs out with tweezers in front of the bathroom mirror. My wife walked in and said, “You’re not plucking those grays, are you? Oh no! For every gray you pluck, seven more grow back!” I asked her if this was an old wives' tale or a scientific fact, and she said I could accept it as the former at my own risk.
I put the tweezers down. Besides, my wife and I had plans to watch the MTV Movie Awards, because even though we are in our mid-thirties, we remain on the cutting edge of what is hip and cool (see above “Omg” comment). The show opened with a song that was literally about being young. I thought to myself, “I can totally relate to this,” as I sat there with a pair of recently plucked sideburns, calculating our monthly bills on the computer.
My wife and I barely knew or recognized anybody who appeared on screen, and we didn’t understand half of the references made in the opening monologue. We were mostly annoyed by everything that was happening. I am not sure there is a dumber thing on television than the MTV Movie Awards, which has award categories like, “Best Homeboy,” and “Bloodiest Murder.” I was reminded of why I wasn’t allowed to watch MTV as a kid, not because it was inappropriate—although it is very inappropriate—but because it makes you considerably dumber. (Obviously, I watched anyway.)
As further proof of how young and hip I am, I had to DVR the remainder of the show because it was waaaaay past our bedtime. (It was 9:15 p.m.) Before we headed upstairs, I put some recently air-dried Tupperware into our pantry—play on, playa—and noticed the box of Fiber One cereal. It wasn’t ours—that day we had cleared out my in-law’s house because they are back east and we didn’t want any food to go bad. I even made fun of the cereal when we brought it home. But as I stood there looking at it, I thought, “You know, I probably could use a little more fiber in my diet.”
And with that I retired to sleep, confident that the gap between my generation and the new generation was narrower than ever.
*Referencing Paul Simon lyrics is another way to remain hip, by the way. You’re welcome.
Note: This column appears in the 6/14 issue of The Glendale Star and the 6/15 issue of the Peoria Times.