I've been going bald since college, my teeth have been stained by coffee and tobacco over the years, and I haven't been terribly attentive to my waistline for many years. These things never really bothered me. I figured there's nothing I can do about losing my hair (and about the gray strands popping up in my beard), I've been more concerned with my dental health than with the whiteness of my teeth (and considering the wet chalk that passes for my choppers, that's not saying much), and I always hemmed and hawed about losing weight.
Now that I've turned 40, these things that were never an issue for me are starting to be a concern.
I've been working out to lose weight and get in better shape, but I still have a noticeable paunch, and nothing I do seems to make a dent in my "love handles"; more like hate handles from where I'm sitting. I want to drop 2 inches in the next 8 weeks or so, but what I'd really like to do is to flatten out my stomach so my gut isn't as prominent. (hey, I'm just happy I can see my toes again)
I've had to go to the dentist recently, and when he was matching up the color of my porcelain crown with my own teeth, it was somewhat darker than I would have hoped. I have one artificial tooth that I know needs to be replaced, and the coloring on it is a little off as well. Between that, and all the other dental work I'll need in the next year or two, I figure that all of my gold and silver fillings will be replaced with non-metallics. I've even considered tooth whitening when I have the money, so the only sparkle when I smile will be off of white teeth, not the glint of metal.
Finally, my baldness is starting to bother me to a degree that it never has before. I've kept my head shaved during the summer, kind of as a way to hide the bald patch at the top of my head, but I usually let it grow back in the fall. I keep it trimmed short, but there's no mistaking that there is a lot less on top than there used to be, and the bald patch is bigger and shinier than ever. I'm thinking of keeping my head shaved year-round so I can at least maintain the illusion that I am bald by choice, not by nature.
At the same time, I'm trying to keep my beard trimmed shorter. I have a fair amount of gray hairs in it, and they tend to grow a lot faster than the brown ones, so if I don't trim it every week or so, it starts to look grizzly and unkempt. I've toyed with the idea of shaving it off entirely, which I do from time to time, but it always makes me look like I have a double-chin, and I usually grow it back within a week's time.
As much as I'm lamenting the loss of hair on the top of my head, I'm complaining about hair sprouting up where it's not desirable. I'm not gonna go into details; I'll leave that to the imagination of the reader, but I've got wild hairs sticking out all over. It looks like some crazy cat's whiskers if I don't snip them.
I know this is an extremely vain attitude, especially about the baldness, and it's totally unnecessary. People won't like me any less if I'm bald and have bad teeth, and they won't like me any more if I'm as clean-shaven as Yul Brenner and have pearly whites compliments of the dentist.
At least, I hope that's the case.