Despite my constant comments on my receding hairline, I’m surprisingly comfortable with it. I think my acceptance is due to the early realization that my luscious locks would never rival Fabio’s. Much of this was brought on by a simple question from the mouth of a babe. Or at least a small child. My young cousin, who was maybe five at the time, asked me why I had dead grass growing on my head. I don’t. Thanks. That’s just my thinning hair. Awesome.
I’ve been trying to learn Danish, which, despite the Swedish (or maybe because of the Swedish) is damn near impossible. There are noises that just aren’t natural. But spending a few weeks in Denmark does seem to help. And so, this summer I spent a couple of weeks at a Danish Højskole. We sang for half an hour every morning. We ate fish nearly every day. And every meal was eaten together. Because I am such a social butterfly (or sommerfugl if you will), I tried sitting with different people every now and again.
One evening, I found myself at the dinner table with a 28 year old balding and bearded German and a 19 year old Canadian girl. A lovely conversation followed, but eventually, it turned to age. Mostly because she asked. Clearly the Canadians have no shame. She had already figured out that I was 28 and turned to the German. How old are you? Also 28.
She looks at him. Looks at me. Looks back at him. It was like a light turned on inside her head. Suddenly, it all made sense. Clearly, this is what men have to look forward to as they near 30.
And then.... aahhhhh, I see the resemblance. The ever growing forehead, the well-groomed beard. It was all there. We were about the same height even. Apparently, 28 is a magical age no matter where you’re from. Hair starts migrating from the top of your head, down. And everyone looks the same. It’s incredible.
She was not alone though. Even the Danish teacher commented on the same thing. Of course, with a bit more tact than the Canadian, she managed to cut herself off as she tried to explain that our beards and bald… you just look so similar. Uh huh. Similar. Because of our beards and….?
Welcome to Denmark. And the ravages of age.