Male Pattern Baldness Is The New Menopause

I am neurotic. In the words of the great Kevin Bacon, these are the facts, and they cannot be disputed. Sometimes, it concerns me that my thought process resembles that of an older Jewish woman when I'm...male, and 27. But it's how I live, and I can't stop it. Something happened about two weeks ago, though. It was not a neurotic moment. It was a moment of truth. And it was horrific.

I was at the "too expensive jeans store" buying a pair of jeans. Seeing as I spend an inordinate amount of time on a female exercise machine these days, it turns out the only positive that could come out of such an activity occurred: I lost weight and my pants don't fit anymore. Total win, right? Fucking wrong.

So I go to buy some new pants, and I'm feeling good. I go as far as to ask the lady if she can help me pick out a pair, mainly because she's an attractive hipster, but more because guys have some jaded vision in their head that EVERY girl at the clothing store is totally into you and is just waiting for you to talk to them! Turns out it's not flirting, and it's this thing they have called "their job" and it's in sales. Who knew.

As I go into the dressing room to try them on, I am checking to see the fit. Apparently, dressing rooms were also made by creepy sexual guys who just have mirrors everywhere, so you can legitimately see yourself from every angle. As I'm checking myself out...I catch a glimpse of something that I can only describe as the worst moment in my entire life: I have an extremely thinning hair patch on the back of my head.

I fell apart. But this wasn't neurotic, I was not seeing things: I'm going bald. Now, it's safe to say I won't be at a defcon-5 level of bald for a while. But oh, is it there. And while a few red flags should have been "every time I get out of the shower my hair is not on my head anymore," and "I can see a lot of my forehead these days," I simply refused to truly come to terms with it. But it's there. And I now have no choice but to accept my fate.

Girls can't understand this. And don't when you bring it up. They tell you it doesn't matter. That they don't care about that kind of stuff. Just be a nice guy! Yeah, that's working out. No. It matters. And if girls had a choice between the guy at the bar with hair and the guy with "not hair", first choice is probably the former. That's like guys saying that they just want a girl with a great personality...ding ding ding, they are lying!

So I've been in a panic. Because you really have two options when this happens.

The first path is non-acceptance. This is about 98.9% of all men. You get rogaine. You know, a magical foam you put on the back of your head. You know how I know this doesn't work? Because I also don't believe unicorns are real. If someone had cured balding by now, OR seen a real life unicorn, I'm pretty sure they'd be advertising a teeeeny bit harder. Even better, you can get a pill called Propecia. Let me go over this one with you, starting with the side effects:

"Recognized side effects of finasteride include impotence (um, red flag), abnormal ejaculation (what does that even mean), decreased ejaculatory volume (bummer, but meh, I'm sure most women aren't that upset about this), abnormal sexual function (ummm...), gynecomastia (I don't know what that is but it has "gyn" in it and sounds like a disease, and I usually avoid diseases), erectile dysfunction (wait, wasn't this the first one?), ejaculation disorder (...) and testicular pain (!!!!)."

I'm speechless. Here's a make believe conversation I believe people have had with their doctors.

Patient: "I'm losing my hair. Can you fix it?"

Doctor: "No problem. We'll just break your penis and you'll be good to go."

Patient: "No, no, I said I'm losing my hair. On my head."

Doctor: "No, I know. But it's okay. We came up with a solution! You'll grow hair back, but you'll just never have sex again."

Patient: "That seems...like a poor life decision."

Doctor: "Well the good news is people also report having it not work all the time in the 'growing hair back' department, so at least you'll now have a small chance at not even getting hair back AND no penis!"

Patient: "Nevermind. My foot hurts. Can I have some vicodin?"

I just don't understand the logic. A fear of balding is that you will become sexually less desirable to women. Why on EARTH would I take a pill that makes my penis not work? So I can grow hair back, woo a woman back to my bed and then ask her if she just wants to comb my hair for a bit? Because I'm physically incapable of having sex? That's okay, I'll take the loss of hair instead of the lack of penis. Thanks for the offer Pfizer! Mayyyybe work on that. Drug companies blow my mind.

So since I want to at least have a shot at having sex while bald, I'm going to go with the only other road you can go down when you are balding: I'm just going to accept it. I got a few good years left in me, and the good news is I have a gigantic forehead anyways, so I guess I've got that going for me. And I think the only answer to this is to just get extremely fit, so girls get drunk and think "well, at least he's in shape." It worked for Bruce Willis. And since I figure the film Die Hard is an applicable life model, I'm okay with that.

Men are terrified of losing their hair because it in some way signifies that you've gotten old. I'm not old, by any means. But it just means that from here on out, you are officially going to have to try a little harder. It's hard to come to terms with. But hey. It happens. I had the largest jew fro on the planet growing up, so if anything, it just feels ironic that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone. And well, in two years, it's gone.

In other news, a douche at a bar tried to hit on my best friend's girlfriend last night, and when rebuked, pointed to my best friend and told the girlfriend that "he's balding, do you really want a guy like that?" In a moment of genius, I looked at him and said, "This honesty game is fun. Ready for this one? You're fat." Fourth grade diss, accomplished. Best part? It stunned him, and he just walked away. Because, well, he was fat. The only insult I have left that I want to actually say to someone before I die is, "Yeah, well you're ugly." One down, one to go.

If these are the kind of insults me and my balding friends can look forward to, color me excited. It's better than being fat, I guess.

So in honor of this, I present:

Rocket Shoes Mixtape 21: Male Pattern Baldness Is The New Menopause

Stream the whole thing at that link up top, or you can download all the mp3's right here.

Drew Hoolhorst

San Francisco, CA 94110, USA

I have a black belt in feelings.