Generational gap and the man bun Oct. 15, 2015

Baby Tuscan kale sprouts are performing just as expected. These were planted about three weeks ago.Heather Hacking—Enterprise-Record
Peter Dinklage, of Game of Thrones, sports a man bun during an award ceremony. Associated Press

Fall is the time to plant cool-season veggies. I plopped some seeds into my black fabric pots a few weeks ago and they are on their way.

Not one to miss an opportunity to brag, I snapped a series of pictures one morning on my way out the door.

While editing the photos I noticed a chestnut-colored critter with a million legs.

Yikes. Now I know what’s been nibbling my new sprouts.

Why didn’t I see those critters with my naked eye? Because I have middle-aged eyesight.


This age things has been creeping up slowly.

If I look back I can pinpoint the first time I realized something wasn’t quite right.

We were at a video store. For younger readers, this is a store containing racks filled with videos. In the old days people actually read the back of a box and decided which movie to rent for the night.

One day, I couldn’t read the description on the back of the box. What the heck? When did they start making the type so small?

About this same time, our newspaper was redesigned. The type size was reduced ever-so-slightly. This was just enough to make me squint.

When readers called to complain that they needed to put on glasses to read the paper, I agreed the changes were an outrage.

The only advantage to poor up-close vision is that I have a tough time seeing my crow’s feet when I put on makeup.


The other sign of aging is that the inner curmudgeon begins to emerge.

Up until now I have prided myself on being open-minded.

I don’t blink an eye when I see someone with green or purple hair. Go ahead, express yourself with Flock of Seagulls haircuts, parachute pants, tattoo sleeves, mutton chops, cheese heads and Flash Dance sweatshirts. Yet, I can’t help but giggle when I spot this man bun thing.

The first time I saw the doo was on my neighbor Scott. He pulled his long hair up while doing yard work.

Since then I’ve spotted the style more often, usually on someone carrying a man purse or wearing floppy culottes. Almost invariably, the man-bun is on the same head with a beard.

More recently the man-bun seems to have hit its stride. You can spot men in suits with their hair wrapped like grandma. Fashion mags have hot guys with a bump in the back.

Even though its now mainstream, it still makes me giggle.

I was at a restaurant this week and we spotted a friend who is a waiter. He didn’t have a man bun. He had a man headband. In fact, the headband pushed much of his hair forward like an exotic chicken. Other than the hair, he’s a quite handsome, bearded guy.

Next, a patron came in with a double man bun. His hair was so long he had a big tuft near the nape of his neck, and another that built out from there. In a way it looked like an ant’s body attached to his big head. He also sported the full-beard.

As we get older, maybe its easier to be jarred by generational differences.

When I first watched “Peaky Blinders,” the half-shaved-heads gave me pause. Yet, the show is based 100 years ago and across the globe.

The man bun is right here and right now, therefore more difficult to understand.


In the meantime, there are more important things to worry about.

The chestnut critter I spotted among my sprouts was a millipede. I checked online and millipedes have four legs per body segment, vs. the two for centipedes. Centipedes are predators, while millipedes eat decaying matter, and apparently my plants.

If it is any consolation, millipedes don’t bite. Now that I know what’s nibbling my new sprouts, I may consider removing the mulch from these container. Millipedes love to feast on mulch and leaves. If they multiply too fast, they’ll also eat your plants.

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