Get off my back

I’m going to an amusement park this weekend.

Part of me is afraid.

The rides don’t scare me (although I’m deathly afraid of heights).

The food doesn’t scare me (although the thought of combining greasy food, 90-degree weather and roller coasters certainly should).

So what is it that’s got the hair on my neck standing on end?

Actually, that’s just it, only a tad bit lower.

America (or more realistically, the five or so of you who actually read this blog), I have hair on my back. Not much, mind you, but some, and it makes me self-conscious, particularly when it’s wet because then it stretches down my back and draws more attention to itself as it sprawls out all plastered to my flesh.

Not a good look.

Fortunately, as I said, I’m not that hairy. You can clearly distinguish me from a grizzly bear or Robin Williams. Nevertheless, it probably needs to go, or so The Girlfriend said when she recently said, “Babe, we’ve got to do something about that back hair.” Now, she didn’t specifically say she meant the hair on my back, but since her back is as smooth as a baby’s backside (and a baby’s actual back, too, which technically is their back side) and since it’s highly unlikely that she wants to mount a campaign to rid the world of back hair, I’m going to assume she meant mine.

The hair on my back is splotchy, coming in the area just beneath my shoulder blades, with a few tufts sprouting here and there the rest of the way. Instead of the Wolfman, it’s more like (to borrow a phrase from a friend who was describing his own back-hairedness) The Fly.

For some reason the hair on my back isn’t nearly as full and thick as it used to be. Is there such a thing as male-pattern back baldness? Not that I’m complaining, but still, I’m curious about why it disappeared. Men usually get more hair in unexpected places as they age. Maybe that’s why they go bald – the hair in your ears and nostrils have to come from somewhere.

(A tangent: Body hair apparently is a major source of discussion for me. In 1995, Aaron, Cory and I got “fired” from our radio show for talking about butt hair on the air, prompting a slew of phone calls. We weren’t disgusting about it, which is amazing given a) the topic; and b) the hosts, but we danced around the issue as best we could on a country/bluegrass/gospel station. The worst statement was something like “I asked the barber to cut my butt hair once. Told him to take a little of the sides and keep it long in the middle.” In Cory’s defense, he wasn’t present for this little discussion, but let’s be honest, he would have been right there in the middle of it, probably talking about red hairs on his Irish arse. Please note that I do not speak from the experience of having seen said Irish arse.)

I’ve tried shaving my back, but a) it’s very difficult to do that since the hair is, after all, on your back; and b) when it grows back, it makes you all prickly, something that the ladies tend to frown upon.

I could have someone else do it, but that’s not something you can ask a male friend. So, that pretty much just leaves your significant other, and truth be told, if you’re OK with asking her to shave your back, you probably close enough to her to not worry about such trivial (and superficial matters) to let the hair grow as nature, in its cruel ways, intended.

I guess I’m going to have to learn to be comfortable in my own skin, as hirsute as it might be.


2 thoughts on “Get off my back

  1. It’s a beautiful life
    And I can hang my hairshirt
    Away up high in the attic of the wrong dog’s life chest

    In times like these, it’s nice to know that Michael Stipe has your back.

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