I Thought It Was True Love. Until He Choppered In The Hair Cream.
In relationships there are always deal breakers.
The thing about deal breakers is they usually come as a result of a sudden, abrupt, startling revelation.
They’re not typically the outcome of an aggregate of things -- it’s an occurrence which throws the entire relationship into dramatic relief. It’s almost as though a bright light is cast on the person and you discover them to be …. well, an ogre.
I once dated a guy who was obsessed with his hair, or the loss of said hair. It was an irrational fear, as he had a full head of hair, and no genetic pre-disposition towards baldness. Despite this, on several occasions during the course of the day he would examine his head in the mirror, and then become quickly despondent – if I was in the vicinity he would demand that I assess the hair or hairless situation. Was there more, or less? Did there appear to be any breakage, or signs of growth?
Initially this didn’t bother me, he was a nice enough type - clever, kind and wealthy. A winning combination indeed. Yes, he had some strange fixation with his mop of hair, but I was willing to let that go through to the keeper, after all I’m no stranger to the stray personal idiosyncrasy.
However, the episode which threw a search light on hair-gate, was a holiday we took to North Queensland. We had traipsed off to some remote location, for a mini-break, when he discovered that he hadn’t brought his hair-growth cream. He had for the past six months been, on a daily basis, liberally applying a hair-growth cream to the areas of his scalp which had become exposed overtime via imagined hair loss. Said miracle cream, promised to keep the hair loss at bay, if applied, pragmatically, and consistently, daily.
A whole week away without hair loss cream meant certain hair annihilation. While I tried to convince him that surely a week would be fine, he swung into a major existential crisis which threatened to ruin the whole trip and any threads of sanity we might still possess.
Finally, I took refuge from hair-gate in the bathroom, and eventually when I emerged somehow, and quite unexpectedly, the situation had alleviated. He was suddenly buoyant, willing to get out there and experience far North Queensland sans hair-growth cream.
It was the kind of flip of the emotional switch which gives you whiplash. Did I dare ask, why? I tried not to, but eventually, later that evening I decided to ask the question.
That’s when he revealed he was flying the hair-growth cream in from Brisbane, on a helicopter, and it should be here the next morning.
So, see, there was nothing to worry about – he had only gone a day without the application of this magical growth juice, and surely that wasn’t enough to cause lasting degeneration of his hair follicles.
There it was, the light swung in his direction, and suddenly hair-gate was too much.
Here’s another example. A friend of mine once told me she had been dating a bona-fide hipster. He had a man bun, a moustache, was bespectacled, and took a particular interest in filtered coffee and craft beer. Despite a penchant for ordering turmeric almond milk lattes and a desire to have a chicken coop in the backyard for fresh eggs, she let it slide … in a similar fashion to hair-gate.
He was handsome, kind and intellectual, and his mung-bean pasta was top notch. One morning, she met him out for brunch at some hipster local in Sydney’s inner-west and he arrived shoe-less. Yes, completely barefooted. Shoe-gate was now in action. Had he left them somewhere the night before? Was it some sort of cultural shoe-less day? Did he live just around the corner?
Into her avocado and bacon roll she felt compelled to ask the question, and no, he didn’t live just around the corner, he had caught a bus there, there was no shoe-less cultural thing, and he hadn’t been out the night before. But he did think shoes were a social-construct.
There are many things that are social-constructs.
Shoes are not one of them.
I could regale you with more of these tales, but I’m sure you have more than a few in the back-pocket. It’s the small, but weird things which often have a disturbing impact.
Shoe-gate, hair-gate, they’re the deal breakers, wouldn’t you agree?