Getting Older

Freddy Zalta
4 min readDec 30, 2021

One Way Streets, Blind Spots and Earfros

See page for author, CC BY 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

When I was younger, so much younger than today…

I was arrogant, judgmental and self important. I would be disgusted by what seemed to me to be a human giving in to aging and laziness. Be it the comb over to hide any baldness, the dying of hair to hide any aging and the stupid glasses which sat half-way down their nose as they walked around the office.

Another thing that always grossed me out was the sight of ear hair.

I would say to myself, “shit, shave that Afro growing in your ear.”

I would be disgusted at the sight. My ear was always very cute — one girlfriend used to love to kiss it. So when I would notice an “earfro” — I would shake my head in judgment.

To me it always conveyed a sense of “slobitude” (Yes I think I coined that phrase). It just looked like a half-untucked shirt, an untied shoe or a necktie where the shorter side was longer than the long side.

Men who had just gotten married were gaining weight and they looked bloated.

Take care of your looks man!

In my 20’s and 30’s I went through an anxiety and panic stage, laced with some depression. After several months in therapy I was given a pill to take.

Then…I turned 40.

I would open the newspaper in the morning, with my contacts in my eyes and I would not be able to see the words without pushing the paper away as far as I could. I thumbtacked it to the opposite wall of my table just so I could make out a word.

I went to the optometrist who told me to get 1.25 reading glasses. I put them on and I was able to see the words and even the smaller captions beneath the pictures. OK, I could live with this.

One day I was speaking with my son when he said, in his usual loving and sensitive manner, “Dad you have an Afro growing in your ear!”

I laughed him off. “OK, funny.” Then I ran to the bathroom, I took a selfie of my ear and I saw that bushel of hair.

My cute ear was now a bearded man. If my wife kissed it she could probably floss with it. No wonder she never looked at me.

Freddy Zalta

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