Does this earring match my tie?

After attending a neighborhood picnic the other day, I had to ask myself – will I be the last man on Earth to wear an earring? And will it go with my hearing aid? Or do they make a hearing aid that looks like an earring?

Will I be the last guy in this country to wear a goatee? Will I be the last guy on the planet to get a tattoo? Will I be the last overweight man on the planet to wear a black sleeveless leather vest with no shirt under it to go grocery shopping?

I am so out of it, I don’t even know where to go to get my ears pierced. To that booth in the middle of the mall that all the sixth-grade girls go to? I’d be so embarrassed if I ran into someone I knew.

“Hey, Jim! How you doing? I haven’t seen you since you shaved your head and grew the goatee. That’s a nice look for you – if you ever take up professional wrestling. Do they have a senior tour on the WWE?”

And what kind of earrings would I buy? And how many? I see a lot of guys wear diamond studs. Other guys have two little gold hoops on the same ear. Can you have a diamond on one side and a hoop on the other?

I don’t know the first thing about jewelry. What if getting an earring doesn’t make me look more macho but made me look less macho? My macho cushion is not that thick. The wrong earring might send a message I don’t want to send. Instead of saying “When you see me coming better step aside,” it might say, “Let me hold your purse while you go shopping for fabric remnants.”

How do I shave a goatee? I’m not that artistic. The two sides won’t match. It would take forever. Call me crazy, but I want to spend less time in the bathroom, not more. And my beard color doesn’t match my hair color. My hair is salt and pepper (if you use that popular brown pepper) but my beard is salt, pepper, salt and more salt. Would an earring go with that?

Should I shave my head or go with that Johhny Depp “Pirates of the Caribbean” look. I could weave my car keys and reading glasses into my hair so I would never loose them again, looking dangerous and out of control at the same time. Except for the tennis shoes and the polo shirt.

How do you pick a tattoo? Do you get references?

“Are you the guy that did Melissa’s tattoo? Nice work. It looks just like her last boyfriend. It’s really lifelike. Did you know he’s grown a goatee since they broke up? Maybe she’ll come in for a touch up.”

And what would my tattoo say? “Mom?” Mom would have hated that. Or maybe one of those things that look like razor wire circling my bicep. Oh yeah, I don’t have much of a bicep. A tattoo will only bring attention to it.

Would I tell Sue before I got my ears pierced? Before I got a tattoo, before I shave my head and grow a goatee? Why should I? I’m a grown person, I don’t need anyone’s permission, she’s not the boss of me! That’s the whole point of the earring – it screams, “You can’t tell me what to do! I’m an outlaw, I live by my own rules.” And besides, all the other guys have them.

But if I just do it without telling her first, she’ll kill me. “Outlaw Renegade Macho Man Kicked Out of House by Tiny Woman” is not a headline I want to read.

Jim Mullen is the author of “It Takes a Village Idiot: Complicating the Simple Life” and “Baby’s First Tattoo.” You can reach him at

Copyright 2006, Newspaper Enterprise Assn.

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