I should have known better than to start a “My Hair is Bigger Than Your Hair” embarrassing photo war with a guy who had his own darkroom and always kept a fully-loaded 35mm camera in his glove compartment.
But that’s exactly what I did this past Saturday when I uploaded my photo album “Big Hair Alert!” (“Selected shots of family and friends from 1980-1990, back when hair was hair and we wore it loud, proud and tall”) to my Facebook page.
Did I mention that I had one of those now? I think I did. And I have almost 100 friends, some of whom I’ve actually met. I’m a blessed man.
All those long, flowing, fluffy locks nearly clogged up the interwebs the way they do the bathtub drain after my morning shower. But within hours, my friend D., an old running mate from my Virginia days, fired off his own salvo entitled “Old pics of Facebook friends–enter at your own risk.”
It was on–only I was completely overwhelmed by superior firepower. It was the US Army versus the Liechtenstein Civil Patrol.
Good times, and the ride down memory lane was wild and delightful. But as I stared at those high school and Harding pictures of my taut, wrinkle-free, cosmetologically-challenged former self, I was struck by an immutable axiom of optics: The camera doesn’t lie. No matter how much I try to squint away the wrinkles and the tell-tale signs of time and gravity when I look in the mirror these days, the truth is: I’m getting old. Not in theory. Not metaphorically. But really and truly.
Of course, that’s the way it’s supposed to be.
Those pictures returned to my mind later that evening as I accompanied Eyegal to a showing of the all-the-rage vampire movie Twilight. There, I said it. Guys, go ahead and bust a gut and get it out of your system. But after two weeks of wall-to-wall college football on TV, I owed her dinner out and a chick flick–you’d do well to do the same.
But here’s one I just have to get off my chest: I saw Mama Mia!, too–and liked it. Of course, I still didn’t see it as many times as some people.
Unfortunately, there’s not a single ABBA cut in Twilight, and it plodded along slowly at times; too…much…halting…dialogue and too many way-too-close-up shots of star-crossed lovers Edward and Bella pining for each other amid long stretches of heavy breathing. Not exactly my cup o’ tea.
Still, it had its moments. Such as this little snippet of conversation as Bella (the mortal) longs to be “turned” so she can be with Edward (the vampire) for all eternity:
Bella (who’s all of 17, mind you–cue the tiny violins): “I’m dying already. Every second, I get closer, older.”
Edward: “That’s the way it’s supposed to be.”
That little exchange got my attention. I thought back to those 1980s photos of me with all my youthful promise, looking-forwardness–and hair–and I knew that Bella was talking about me, too.
I’ve traveled a good distance since those days, and I have the cracks, dings and dents in the exterior to show for it. Still, I like where I am. Although I wouldn’t mind having a little more up top, I don’t want to go back and do it all again. High school angst? Daily chapel at Harding? No thanks.
Those pictures remind me that I’m getting older and closer–to dying.
But they also remind me to seize each day and wring from it all the juice I can get. They call me to keep on living.
And, of course, that’s the way it’s supposed to be.