We are on spring break, which means one thing – the beginning of tanning season. Baseball coach tanning season, that is. The baseball coach tan is a very unique look. It’s a lot like the traditional farmer’s tan look, only the baseball coach adds in tan legs from the knees to the socks. The upper half of the tan remains the same – tan arms to the shirt sleeves and tan face, ears, and neck, with a starkly-contrasted white forehead. It’s a special look.
For us bald baseball coaches and farmers, the look gets extra special, since the stark whiteness covers the entire upper head area as well. And depending on the league’s hat style choice, the look can get even more refined with the tan sideways D shape, or semicircle, in the middle of the back of the head, caused by the snapback hat gap. It can get to the point where your wife starts requesting that you just wear your baseball hat to church.
“God won’t mind, honey. Your head looks like a kindergarten paint and stencil project without it.”
(Side note: “Snapback Hat Gap” would be a great name for a rock band.)
This year our baseball league has thrown me a headwear curveball, sticking with the snapback, so my ultra-tan semicircle will remain, but going with a mesh back cap for this season. I’m not thrilled. An amazing amount of heat enters and escapes your body through the top of your head, and you can’t fully appreciate that fact until you lose your hair.
It has been a wet winter here in Northern California, and the few practices and games we’ve been able to squeak in between rainstorms have been rather cold-weather affairs. I have been freezing in my new mesh hat. Conversely, I know when it’s a hundred degrees out there at the end of May I’m going to be dying of heat stroke. Plus, when the sun does come out, now I’m going to end up keeping the front half of my head stark white, while tanning the back half through the mesh around the deep red semicircular burn, with the tan/white line of demarcation going straight across the North Pole of my head from ear to ear. My wife may eventually just not want to be seen with me anymore.
All concerning head tan issues aside, what is actually concerning me is my legs. My sock tan lines have always been even starker than my hat lines, because my feet rarely ever see the light of day. My feet are so white they’re almost see-through, yet my shins are out in the sun almost year-round. It literally looks like I’m wearing white socks when I’m barefoot.
It’s not the tan lines that are the issue, however. It’s the hairlines. Back when I had a real job and went to an office, I used to wear tall socks every day. My shins went bald years ago. I always attributed this disappearance of hair to the socks. It has been quite a while now since I made the transition to full-time writer/author/stay-at-home dad, and so naturally, it has been quite a while now since I have worn pants.
The standard uniform for the California home office professional is shorts. At least, I assume it is. I haven’t actually asked any of the other ones, but it just kind of has to be, right? Most of them probably go with flip flops, too, but I have old man arthritis in my big toes, so I have old man orthopedic inserts for my shoes that are not conducive to flip flops. I am stuck with shoes, so when I made the transition to an all-shorts existence I also made the transition to ankle socks. So for a very long time now, my shins have not seen a sock.
I naturally assumed I would see some hair regrowth on them, but the opposite seems to be the case. The mid-shin hair timberline has actually moved up to an elevation higher than my tallest real job socks ever were, and now I have lost the hair on the back of my calves, as well. It has become very apparent that socks had no part in the balding of my lower legs.
If my head started going bald around the same time as my shins did, and both my head and my lower legs are only getting smoother, only one conclusion can be reached: I am going bald from the top and the bottom of my body simultaneously. That is very disconcerting.
The balding of my head and lower legs has taken quite a long while. If this truly is a totally converging baldness, how long will it take? Or is this more of a hair migration? I have certainly noticed an increase in hair growth on my neck, shoulders, and upper back. And don’t get me started on my eyebrows and nose. In the first thirty years of my life I probably spent a sum total of three minutes tending to my eyebrows and nose hair. These days it’s a constant battle to keep them from taking over my face like an unchecked jungle.
And my ears! I have found some hairs growing on and out of my ears in the past few years that make me wonder if I’ve been exposed to excessive radiation.
So which is it? Am I slowly going to go bald until I only have a small patch of body hair somewhere around my belly button and the rest of me looks like a seal, or is all my hair just relocating itself, and I’m destined to look like a chimpanzee with a bald head and bald legs and Brillo pads for eyebrows?
It’s inconclusive now, but either way, I’m starting to think my weird baseball coach tan lines are the least of my worries.
See you soon,
Copyright © 2016 Marc Schmatjen
Check out The Smidge Page on Facebook. We like you, now like us back!