…..and brown, and black. Hair, I mean.
I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with my hair. I grew up curly in a straight-haired world, and have spent most of the last four decades trying to create the look of my young dreams. Every now and again, I let my son-in-law blow it dry and flat-iron it so I get a glimpse of the silky-tressed girl I never was, but for the most part I just wear it long and otherwise allow it to do as it pleases.
Now that I’ve basically made peace with my unruly locks, of course, there’s another problem: the skunky streak in the middle. Morticia Addams has got nothing on me. While I make no secret of the fact that I color and highlight my hair, it grows so fast that you can practically hear it. I just had it done about six weeks ago, and there’s already about an inch of grow-out that’s at least 75% gray.
I can’t win. Sometimes I think about simply letting go and allowing the sands of time to have their way with my hair; color and highlights are expensive, and I AM fifty-five……who the hell am I kidding? It’s a pretty gray—silver, to be more precise—and there would be no shame in going salt-and-pepper.
I am just. not. ready. to be old. I want the privileges of age, but I don’t want to feel it and I sure as hell don’t want to look it. I suppose that makes me somewhat vain (I still wear makeup for the same reason) but it is what it is, and I can tell you one good thing about getting older: you no longer have the duty to give two shits about what other people think. There are no rules anymore—I can wear my hair in braids till I’m eighty if I want to. It doesn’t matter that I’m no longer an apple-cheeked teenager; I can put on blue eyeshadow and bronze blush if I choose, and I can even go out in public like that (although it happens only when I’m really manic).
The only thing I don’t seem to be able to do is leave the house in pajamas. Maybe that IS a generational thing, but seriously, I don’t even go out the front door in my warm woolies. The one time I’ve done so since kindergarten was when I had pneumonia a few years ago, and I went to the doctor without even putting on a bra. And I didn’t care.
Now that isn’t just being ill, it’s having one foot in the grave and a pine box at bedside! Of course I got over it eventually, and my dignity returned along with my normal state of good physical health; but I think it did push up the time when I would be OK going out in public without mascara. I don’t go to work looking like the wrath of God, but running down to the grocery store for a couple gallons of milk does NOT require eyeliner and lipstick.
But I’ve just gotta do something with this hair……