About thirty years ago, long before we had topical treatments or the Hair Club for Men had gained its large following, a friend who was in his late twenties was experiencing a very significant amount of hair loss. Because he was very conscious of his appearance this disturbed him and he did everything he could to comb his hair in a way to minimize the appearance of his diminishing follicular growth.
It happened that his loss occurred on the pate of his head and was nearly perfectly circular, looking almost like a monastic tonsure. But despite his best efforts to cover this bald spot, it kept expanding. Finally, realizing that he was fighting a losing battle, he decided to embrace his condition and look at it as a badge of honor. The rationale he came up with was that, “If you lose your hair at the back of your head, it means that you’re a lover.”
Another friend also had a problem with hair loss. But unlike my first friend, his hair loss occurred at his rapidly receding and thinning hair line near his forehead. He never made much attempt to cover the loss because, other than growing long bangs, there wasn’t much he could do cosmetically. His explanation for his hair loss was, “If you lose your hair at the front of your head it means that you’re a thinker.”
These two chaps and I had mutual friends who were a couple who loved to host dinner parties. Both the husband and wife were gourmet cooks and an invitation to one of their gatherings was always a treat to which their guests looked forward. The three of us happened to be invited to one of these affairs.
At the dinner I was seated between these two guys. They had reached a point of acceptance with their thinning hair that they enjoyed joking about it openly. My one friend made his assertion, “If you lose your hair in the back it means you’re a lover.” My second friend asserted, “Yes, but if you lose it in the front it means you’re a thinker.”
Well, I couldn’t resist. So, to the amusement of the other dinner guests sitting nearby I asked, “So does that mean that if you lose your hair both in the back and the front it means that you only think you’re a lover?”
Secretary of State Kerry has perhaps the fullest head of hair belonging to a human being that one can imagine. One would think it were otherwise – because he apparently “thinks he’s a negotiator.”
In all fairness to the Secretary, it shouldn’t surprise any rational person that, despite what I deem a sincere effort, the Israeli/Palestinian talks broke down. This is not an issue that will be easily resolved as 1500 years of history have demonstrated. And the naiveté that good intentions would be sufficient to get the parties to sit down and make nice nice with each other borders either on sheer hubris or a total lack of understanding of the intense emotions that are involved.
The Little Engine That Could mentality is a great lesson for our toddlers, inspiring them to do things that they didn’t believe possible. But there’s a difference between the challenges that a six year old may face and which confront adults in a very hostile, fractured world. I’m not sure that either the Secretary or his boss, CIC Obama appreciate that fact.
In Syria, that land which crossed the “Great Red Line,” there are disturbing reports that over the last several days, chlorine gas was used by the Assad regime against its citizens. We (courtesy of Vladimir Putin) negotiated an agreement that all of Syria’s chemical weapons were to be turned over and destroyed by the end of June. The last (and only) report I have seen that as of the end of January, the international group overseeing that effort had only received what is estimated as two percent of Syria’s supply of such weapons.
Then, of course, there’s Ukraine – or what’s left of it. Given our past performance in negotiating diplomatic questions, the only one at issue in that sovereign nation is whether or not we are going to award Secretary Kerry and the State Department the Clement Atlee achievement award.
There’s been a trend among some men for a number of years to embrace baldness in its most extensive form and shave their heads completely. If Secretary Kerry took that dramatic step and shaved his locks, while it might not help his skills as a negotiator, at least he could claim that he was chic.