Silver Threads Among the Gold

…..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……






Published by bpnurse

I'm a retired registered nurse and writer who also happens to be street-rat crazy, if the DSM-IV.....oops, 5---is to be believed. I was diagnosed with bipolar I disorder at the age of 55, and am still sorting through the ashes of the flaming garbage pile that my life had become. Here, I'll share the lumps and bumps of a late-life journey toward sanity.... along with some rants, gripes, sour grapes and good old-fashioned whining from time to time. It's not easy being bipolar in a unipolar world; let's figure it out together.

One thought on “Silver Threads Among the Gold

  1. I know how you feel about the hair. I so much want to go back to being a red head, but I just can’t afford it. My hair grows so fast. So for now I have to deal with the increasing grey hairs.


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