I'm often accused of being to serious or taking myself to seriously. Those who know me well, however, know that I'm a firm believer that one of the ingredients for spiritual fatness is a good sense of humor.
To that end I share the following story.
You know you're getting old when one of your Christmas gifts is a genuine deluxe ear, nose, and eyebrow trimmer. What's worse is knowing that you need it and that others recognize that you need it. Ah, sad day!
Such was the case for me this past Christmas. There it was among my stocking stuffers, a loving trinket from my sweetheart. I was grateful for her thoughtfulness. However, my pride was thumping around inside my head. I'm not that old. Yes I may have a long nostril hair or two and my eyebrows do look rather like one long bushy caterpillar, but are they really that bad? And my ears, I don't have long hairs in my ears--do I? Nevertheless, I swallowed my pride and after all the gift opening was done, I went to the bathroom to try out my new "toy."
When I opened it, there were several little attachments, each one fashioned for its assigned purpose. There was also a little manual. Being the man I am, and it being such a little tool, I was sure I could figure out how to use it without reading "The Friendly Manual."
I did figure out how to put in the battery and how to put on the attachments. Having done so, it was time to test it. I looked in the mirror and the bushy black caterpillar on my forehead seemed to say "pick me first. Give me a good trim." I listened and proceeded to trim the middle between my eyes. It was then that I experienced that feeling that every mother, or occasionally father, feels when their little girl or boy walks into the room with a sheepish grin on their face and chunks of hair missing from their head. "I cut my hair. Doesn't it look nice?"
In less than a second, not only was the caterpillar cut in two, but fully one quarter of the left side was gone! Ahhh I screamed out of shock--and a ton of embarrassment. This wasn't supposed to happen. There I was, completely bald between the eyes and seriously lopsided on the left. What did I do? I did the only thing I could do--I trimmed the right side (much more carefully) in attempt to regain some balance. I looked better, but I still, at least in my mind, looked utterly ridiculous. I leave it to your imagination as to how my wife, mother-in-law, brother and sister-in-law and children reacted.
I'm happy to report that I learned a lesson from this experience. No matter how small the tool, always, always, read "The Friendly Manual." We'll see how long that lasts, however, given that guys seem to have a built in gene for not asking directions and not reading manuals.
I'm also happy to report that I'm very grateful for a couple of other things. Fortunately for me, no one at work noticed any change in my appearance, or if they did they were kind enough not to say anything. Additionally, the old saying that "time heals all wounds" (and silly trimmings) is proving to be true as well. Mr. Bushy isn't back to normal yet, but he's filling in quite nicely.