This is 36: I Got the “I’m Not a Soccer Dad” Haircut

I should start by acknowledging that I honestly never expected to still have this much hair by the time I was age 36. Subconsciously, since high school, I had just always assumed that by the time I was in my mid 30s and was married and had 2 kids, I would be lucky to still even have a decent island of real estate up there.

Because that’s just what happens to men. I suppose I’ve just always simply viewed men’s hair loss as a common trait of masculinity.

Like Bruce Willis in Die Hard. Like Bald Bull on Mike Tyson’s Punch Out. Like Mr. Clean.

There’s no shame in it. In fact, it’s weird to me that some men, like Ronald Reagan and Tony Danza and Anthony Bourdain, never lost their hair.

What is normal is for a man to lose his hair, not keep it.

And even now, it’s only a matter of time; a question of how many years until I lose so much hair that I do the cool thing and just shave my head for the rest of my life. I am so prepared for this!

Yet strangely, I still have hair. For now.

For me, the danger of being a married, 36 year-old father of 2 who still has hair, is that I could fall in danger of being labelled as a “soccer dad.”

While I’m sure to many, the term soccer dad is a term of endearment and not a negative one, for me, it’s a concept I’m resisting.

Like wearing khaki pants with New Balance running shoes. No thanks.

I fully embrace and celebrate my age of 36. But for me, I don’t want to get stuck in a certain year of my life. I believe in continually reinventing myself. That’s psychologically important to who I am as a person.

And that’s why I decided to make 2017 the year of the “I’m Not a Soccer Dad” Hairstyle.

It’s basically a longer version of a crew cut, as it’s longer in the front (2 inches) than it is in the back. What makes this hairstyle particularly edgy and trendy, is the “disconnected” part on the side:

Where my hair is parted, there is no fade from the 2 inch length on top to the #4 guard (and #2) on the sides and back, which comes up pretty high.

No one is going to call me a soccer dad looking like this.

As Bruce Springsteen once said, “I’m a cool rockin’ daddy in the U.S.A.”

This is 36.

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My Thoughts on Turning 36 Today

As Facebook has reminded you, today is my 36th birthday. It was this day in 1981 that my parents had to change the name they had planned on giving me, Mario, because when I was born, I didn’t look Italian and Mexican enough (on my mom’s side) to live up to what that name should look like. I was born with much fairer skin and lighter hair than I have now…

So instead, they gave me a Greek name, Nicholas, which means “victorious.” In hindsight, that name has become a tribute to my Italian grandfather, Alberto Victorio Metallo. Fate would have it that despite not looking ethnic enough for the name Mario on the day I was born, members of my family unanimously agree that as a grown man, I definitely have an undeniable resemblance to my grandfather; whose own father emigrated here from southern Italy about 100 years ago.

When it comes to my age, I will never be the kind of person who is ashamed or embarrassed by that ultimately arbitrary number, no matter how high it gets. Because the whole point of a birthday is to celebrate your life with the people who care about you.

It’s that one day of the year where you don’t have to do anything but be alive, and accordingly, people make a big deal about you still existing in the universe.

On the day you are born, you are not psychologically developed enough to appreciate the world celebrating your arrival into the world. And when you die, at your funeral, you are not able to physically respond to everyone mourning your passing, as well as celebrating your life that has now come to an end.

But for the birthdays in between those bookmarks, we can all celebrate together, in these living years.

In real time, we can consciously appreciate the precious and mysterious gift of life. We can celebrate our shared memories, that in theory, only continue to exist because we still remember them.

I think birthdays are great.

So here’s to being closer to 40 than 30.

Here’s to being grateful for all I have, including people who celebrate the fact that I still exist in the universe.

Here’s to being reminded everyday, not just my birthday, how much I matter in this world; especially to a beautiful girl from California, and our wondrous blue-eyed children.