My wife hates it when I shave my head. She’d much prefer that I keep my hair short. Very short – like 3/32 of an inch. I have to admit, I look pretty good with that length hair, but it only stays that length for a day or two. It soon grows out and before you know it, those damn hairs are trying to move in a direction other than straight out of my scalp. Within another couple of days, the more rebellious among them are sticking out around my ears. 48 hours after that, I look like a reasonably well dressed homeless guy.
For a long time, I operated under the delusion that my wife’s problem with my shaved head was based on jealousy or territoriality. When I have hair, I look for all the world like your typical older guy with male pattern baldness, but when I shave my head clean, I look like a cool guy who shaves his head (who probably has a receding hairline – but who doesn’t care, because he shaves his head). Since I work with many women, it was obvious to me that my wife was concerned that I just looked too damn good with a freshly shaved dome. My clean pate took me out of the realm of the pedestrian, safe hubby and put me in the group of happening dudes of indeterminate age. Who could blame her for worrying about that? Here I was, looking so rugged, and at least 5 years younger than my birth certificate reflected. For the record, my head has a beautiful shape. I’m not one of those guys with the brain wrinkles all over my scalp or a strange outcropping which may or may not be a steel plate from an unfortunate teeter-totter accident as a child. My scars are few and my ears do not stick out. If my ego requires any reinforcement, I need only to listen to the women at work tell me how great my shaved head looks.
In reality, the difference between my shaved head and the one version with hair 3/32 of an inch long is…about 3/32 of an inch. Essentially, I don’t look much different with the shaved head or with the short short hair. Still, the battle wages on. I realize that letting it grow out that tiny bit is a small price to pay for peace in the household. By the same token, it is MY head. I have never, in decades of wedded bliss, tried to impose a single bit of my personal taste onto the hairs on my lovely wife’s head. In the spirit of full disclosure, I have occasionally asked that my wife wear certain fashions, and she has largely ignored me, but not before calling me a pervert and stating that those clothes and shoes are for prostitutes and short women who want to look taller.
Then the other day, I recalled a day in high school and my self-confidence was shaken. One of the girls in my homeroom had made a rather drastic decision at the stylist. She came into school looking as though she had had multiple wads of gum cut out of her hair the day before. She showed up and the girls immediately began fluttering around her and cooing about her dramatic new style. How it framed her face, took 10 pounds off of her butt and made her look like a some TV star no one could quite name. She blushed and said that she was nervous that she looked as though someone had cut gum out of her hair. The girls all reiterated their earlier opinions. Later, when she was gone, the girls talked about her in much less glowing terms.
“Ohmygoddd!” they cackled, ” Did you see that hair? She looked like she was mauled at the zoo”
Suddenly, I had to take a step back. I wondered if the women I see daily were feeding me compliments sincerely or because they didn’t want me to burst into tears, run out of the cafeteria and quit the pep squad. They had seemed so honest, but the seeds of doubt had begun to germinate.
I checked myself in the mirror, but as always, I just looked like me.
Obviously, there was no easy answer. As I often do in times of trouble, I skirted the main issue and tried to figure out what was wrong with my wife. Why did she have such a deep-seated dislike of the shaved male head? It wasn’t just mine, she hated almost all shaved heads. Movie stars, athletes, that weird dude at the DMV – no one with a razor and a Y chromosome was safe from her disapproval.
(This next part is best if read with a silly German accent – kind of like early Schwarzenegger meets Colonel Klink from Hogan’s Heroes) Vee heff to azzume dat any deep zeated hatred must be bazed in zee childhood experienz…ziss voman must heff had zome early expozure to zome bald head az a child vich to ziss day cauzez dis revulzion.
(Back to the other voice in your head) That’s it! My wife must have a problem with my shaved head because of something which she experienced as a child! Perhaps a family member was responsible. I tried, but could not recall seeing a single shaved head in all of her family photos.
In our childhood era, there were relatively few famous people with shaved heads. There was Yul Brynner of the “King and I” fame. He was also in that western where he played a robot (I know it was “West World”, but I’ve already lost half of you – why make it worse?). I don’t think Yul had that much of an impact on my wife’s childhood. Otto Preminger was known to play a clean shaven, evil Nazi back in the day. Otto is also not much of a candidate. Telly Savalas? Could my wife be comparing me to Kojak?! Who loves ya, baby? I rejected this premise, it had to be something from even earlier in her childhood to make this big of an impact.
Then it struck me! The show all of us kids watched was Batman! I can’t begin to fathom the depth of the impact that show had on my generation. Just to clarify for my younger readers, I’m not talking about the highly successful, dark movie franchise where the likes of Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer and Christian Bale portrayed the caped crusader complete with washboard-ab suits, villains who actually killed people and cool special effects. No, no, no children; I’m talking about the corny TV show, where Adam West and Burt Ward taught my peers and me about men in tights. It was where my generation learned that even superheroes could have a little paunch hanging over their utility belts. We discovered that no predicament couldn’t be overcome if you had enough cool gadgets in that aforementioned utility belt. On a side note, that utility belt idea may shed a little light on that box in my garage full of Palm Pilots, stud finders and early foot/inch calculators.
One of the few similarities the TV show had to the movie series was the appearance of significant stars in the roles of villains. People with legitimate Hollywood and Broadway pedigrees showed up to play them; Burgess Meredith, Cesar Romero, Art Carney and the creepy, ever -flaky Vincent Price as Egghead.
Of course! I see it now! Vincent Price! He was usually dressed in a white tuxedo complete with a poorly fitting bald cap and yolk-yellow shirt to give him that farm-fresh egg look. Could anything possibly scar a young girl watching TV in those days as much as a hairless, lisping, creepy villain dressed like an usher at the wedding of the Man from Glad? Clearly Vincent Price’s depiction of Egghead had traumatized my lovely bride when she was only a tot! The episodes featuring Egghead would inevitably revolve around him stealing a Faberge-type Egg or an egg-shaped diamond from the Gotham Museum, and the fight scenes typically involved hundreds of raw eggs being smashed on hero and henchmen alike, accompanied at some point in the melee with a big cartoon bubble with the word “CRACKK!” in it. The smashed raw eggs probably fueled the fire for my future wife’s fledgling status as a little bitty vegetarian.
Here I’d thought my wife was who she was because of the complex combination of nature and nurture when it was because of Batman all along. I feel a little better now, knowing that her revulsion about my shaved head is most likely entirely Vincent Price’s fault.
All this childhood-TV-centered psycho analysis has me beginning to wonder whether there’s any Batman connection behind my wishes to have my wife occasionally dress up in sequined cat suits and stiletto heels. Could Julie Newmar be behind this somehow? Will our hero figure out a way to get out of his precarious perverted pickle! Will he fix his feline fashion fetish?!? Tune in next time….Same Bat-time! Same Bat-channel!
16 thoughts on “I BLAME VINCENT PRICE…”
This was terrific, 1pp. Especially the reference to the Man from Glad’s wedding. Awesome!
It’s funny, when I replied to your post earlier, I referred to you as p-works. I was struck by how my abbreviation of publikworks ended up sounding like some kind of online urology clinic. Then you wrote to me and referred to me by the “1pp” moniker! Karma at its best! Glad you liked it. I’m sure I lost quite a few people with those old-time references, but that’s the risk I took.
Watched Batman all the time but can’t seem to recall that villan. Maybe that’s why I don’t have an aversion to bald men. Or maybe I’ve totally blocked it out of my memory.
I’m guessing you blocked it out totally. To be honest, Victor Buono as King Tutt was easily more forgettable. For the record, upon review of my blog, my wife stated that “those women at work are feeding you a load of crap about how good your shaved head looks”.
This may be a true assumption but you must also consider the obvious, she is a round ball fanatic that cannot think of you on the same terms as Kareem, Micheal & Charles!
I can compete with those guys: my shoes are the same size as Kareem’s, my car is the same size as Michael’s wallet, and my mouth is the size of Charles’
My first recollection of exposure to a bald man was in church when I sat behind said man and could not resist the overwhelming urge to to touch, which caused my mother extreme embarrassment.
In my teen years I discovered my mother’s obsession with “Kojak”, I believe the term she used was “sexy” (this may be the reason for her embarrassment that day in church because secretly she had that same urge). I didn’t understand that obsession with Telly Savalas until my more mature years when I was drawn to men with receding hair lines. Why I had this attraction puzzled many but I did date, and ultimately marry a man with this asset. To be honest I don’t believe my husband would look his best with a completely shaved head but there are many men who do, I believe you are one of those men. Consider yourself lucky that you have a perfectly shaped head to have the option, which I believe many men would like to have and still look “sexy”.
Great post, thanks for including it on Susie’s blog or I probably wouldn’t have come across it. And, I must say I know several w/ shaved heads for various reasons and they look great.
No! Thank YOU for reading it. It was one of my earlier posts and though I thought it was pretty good, not too many people got a look at it. There are plenty more of them on there now, most are attempts at humor, and hopefully not too long.
Vincent Price! Ha! Funny. I remember watching those old reruns of Bataman on Sunday afternoons when I was a kid. This also reminds me of an episode on Seinfeld when Elaine dates the guy that chooses to shave his head … it was pretty funny. Thanks for visiting and for posting your story on Susie’s site, otherwise who knows when I would have run into you. Good post.
Glad you liked it. I was always frustrated that I had so few followers when I wrote that (not that I have all that many now)
This is so funny! You had me from the first line! I love, ” I’m not one of those guys with the brain wrinkles all over my scalp or a strange outcropping which may or may not be a steel plate from an unfortunate teeter-totter accident as a child.” Hilarious~ I too grew up with that batman, but just so you feel better I never had any nightmares over Egghead!
Great post for the party! I hope you click on a few links and say hello!
I clicked on several…very enjoyable
Awesome! I enjoyed this very much and it was a great take. I loved the ending – evoked many a childhood memory!!
Glad you liked it. Turns out I’m chock full of these odd recollections from my childhood, and some others from last month. Also glad to have you following me. I’ll do my very best to keep from letting you down, but if I do, I’m sure you’ll stand by me and hope for better posts in the future.