Man with hair loss wonders what to expect at his high school reunion.
In June I’m attending my 25th high school reunion. I was a high-profile student; involved in student politics, sports, etc. I have lost my good looks due to my hair loss. I’m almost completely bald and my hair was a big part of my good looks back in the day. I have a lovely wife who doesn’t care about my hair loss. But I know that people at the reunion are going to say stupid things to me like, “Wow, you’ve lost your hair!” as if I hadn’t figured it out myself. How should I deal with these people? I know it’s coming. What can I say and how can I say it without getting angry and losing my cool?
— Stressed, Atlanta, GA
Dear Stressed in Georgia,
Ah, the fated 25th year reunion. Where people love to go just to see if the Homecoming Queen blew up to a size 16, and, if the Captain of the football team is now sporting a beer belly and is gainfully unemployed. Not much we can do when petty high school behaviors lying dormant resurface.
The trick is not buying into it. Perhaps easier said than done. Or perhaps easier when you spend more time thinking about what you have gained over the past 25 years than what you have lost. In a quarter of a century we can look to any number of personal and professional accomplishments that may be of greater significance to yourself and to people you haven’t seen in all that time. And then again, if you haven’t seen them in 25 years the likelihood that you are sitting alone at the bald table naturally decreases. Despite what you may think they are thinking, many of your old friends’ deepest recollections of you probably don’t stem from your hair unless of course it accidentally caught fire - and who could forget that?
Yes, people will say ridiculous things and make comments about things better left unsaid. They can’t help themselves. Yet, if the comments start flying the best way might be to play along. Tell them you opted for bald because people were taking you less seriously and that your good looks were getting in the way of your success. Or, that the new look was suggested when you went into the witness protection program. And, if you think you might lose your cool, a great exercise would be to prepare a list of “bald comments” in advance and practice saying them to yourself while staring into a mirror. No one could ever be more critical of you, than you, so get it out of your system now. Come up with some great comebacks. Finally, realize that the single most important person in your life, your lovely wife, thinks the world begins and ends with you!/p>
Dear Mitch is written by “The Relationship Coach”, also known as Mitch Newman, M.A.. Write Dear Mitch at DearMitch@hairloss.com or follow this link to fill out a form. Every letter is carefully reviewed but because of the large numbers of letters we receive, not every letter can be answered.
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