My bald head reflects back off of my computer screen as I read the words that cut through my dignity like an overzealous gym teacher chewing out a chubby kid; "Your application to EHARMONY.COM has been rejected. We cannot find a match for you at this time. Try again later." As I stare at Dr. Neil Clark Warren's face (founder of the immoral destination that is eharmony.com) I wonder to myself whether his smile is one of reassurance or mockery.
I was so prepared to be accepted by eHarmony that I actually went out and bought a button down shirt to prepare for the impending date. Well, the shirt didn't button all the way down; it actually just had three buttons but it was still pretty nice. It took a few hours to shake the disappointment that I would not be able to have a date delivered conveniently right to my apartment door.
Rejection is nothing new to me. I have been rejected from everything including library card applications to purchasing bathing suits (the cashier said he was just looking out for the benefit of all the people that would see me shirtless.)
These rejections really started to take hold of my life when on my 20th birthday my uncle pointed out that I was going bald. He was right, sort of. I like to claim that my hair has simply "relocated." The hair that used to fill my head has now found a new resting place, my back.
My back has acted like a retirement community for whatever little hair I have left. The hairs all gather there like the displaced refugees of a once grand kingdom. At the ripe age of 21 I realized that my best looking days were behind me. Many people have told me that there is something called "personality" that counts for something. I learned over time that is a lie. You will never see a good looking girl holding hands with a 21-year-old who looks like Ed Asner just because he has a charming personality.
Being physically off-putting does not just affect my love life. It is also a huge detriment to my social standing as well. When I had hair I was about a 7 to a 7.5 on the social standing scale. I was the kid that would get invited to most of the parties but usually one of the last ones to be told about them. Now after the balding process I have been knocked down to a 4.5. This means I only get invited to parties that I have to pay to get into and the occasional funeral.
The college experience is not the same for ugly people as it is for the attractive ones. I did extensive research on college life before I moved into my campus apartment. I rented Animal House and Old School numerous times to get a feel for what to expect. So far nothing from those movies has even remotely happened in my life. No keggers, no topless women and the only warm thing I sleep next to at night is my laptop. The only thing that was true in those movies was the women. There are a lot of women on campus. Women I can't go near because of some type of rugged jockish boyfriend walking not too far behind. I used to daydream about pushing them out of the way and leaving with the girl. Now I just get beat up in my daydreams.
For someone like me, girls are about as foreign a subject as trying to learn Chinese from a French teacher. When I get within four yards of a girl a strange thing happens to me. I start to perspire at the rate of a low flow garden hose. By the middle of a conversation I resemble a glazed ham more than a knight in shining armor. It also doesn't help that the nicest t-shirt I own involves a picture of Spider-Man and all of my jeans read "husky" on the label.
Hearing my friends' sex stories and relationship problems doesn't exactly help matters either. I sit on my couch and give advice like a therapist with nothing else to do with my life. This advice helps me gain many friends that happen to be girls but I am often viewed as their weird older brother rather than a romantic possibility. I do have back-up plans in case this whole dating thing never works out. There are plenty of Russian women out there who want to gain citizenship into this country. What better way to enjoy America then to wake up next to a chubby bald kid who has a perpetual hole in the crotch of this underwear?
I suppose people like me truly do have a place in the world. Listen, the world cannot be filled with 6 foot tall stunning men with blonde hair and blue eyes. The last person who tried to create a world like that didn't work out so well. But there is always the hope that as I write this there is some girl out there thinking the same thing as me. Though, hopefully she isn't going bald.