Going Grey


Hair coloring

Image via Wikipedia

I once knew a woman in her 30’s with waist-length salt-and-pepper grey hair, and I remember thinking how strikingly beautiful she was.   This was roughly around the same time that my mother had a big streak of silver hair right in the front.  Again, I thought how lovely she was when she didn’t try to cover her natural color.  So it was that I resolved — still in my late teens, mind you — never to color my hair.  After all, I’m told I look remarkably like my mother and, if she looked that good with grey hair, I probably would, too.

Fast forward 30 years.  I held true to my resolve never to color my hair until a couple of years ago when my grey hairs started coming in way faster than I could pull them out.  That’s when I realized that I was old enough to be the mother of most of the other moms at playgroup, my husband didn’t have ANY grey hair, AND he had perfect vision.  It must have been my new trifocals that helped me see things a little differently than I did way back when.  In short, I looked old and didn’t like it, so I finally broke down and colored my hair.  Little did I realize how much I would regret that decision.

My first time was magical.  I was so anxious for a different look that I also got a trendy new bob.  I was at the salon for hours and spent a small fortune, but  it looked gorgeous, and I was thrilled.  I felt like a new woman.  Then a few weeks went by and my roots started to show.  It’s no great secret that hair grows but a fact I had chosen to overlook in my desperation to cling to youth.  The second time wasn’t as good as the first because there was no way to color each strand of hair the same way it was colored before, and that frustrated me.  Whether it was noticeable to anyone else or not, I don’t know.  I began to regret my decision because it was beginning to dawn on me that, short of shaving my head, I couldn’t go back without having a distinction between colored and natural hair.

That’s about the same time that my husband lost his job — the one where he recently had been recognized for excellence.  He never discouraged me, but I no longer felt comfortable spending so much money on my hair every month.  I started coloring it myself with less than stellar results.

The lovely variety of shades that the colorist painstakingly put into my hair were instantly blanketed by a single too-dark brown.  My bathroom was covered in stray globs of dye  — on the wall, the counter, the shower curtain.  My forehead was stained in a failed attempt to cover those wispy little grey hairs that surround my face.  It was a nightmare.  Nonetheless, I persevered, determined not to have the “skunk stripe” created by the regrowth of my natural color.

I recently realized that I was fighting a losing battle with those little white hairs around my face and decided it was time to go in a different direction.  Instead of coloring them darker, I’d make everything else lighter.  Not a good idea.

The ends of my hair that had been receiving the dark brown dye for so long stayed dark brown while the roots bleached out quickly.  Now I resemble one of those Wild African Dogs at the zoo with patches of red, black, brown, white, and yellow.  Lovely.  Just lovely.

With supermodels flaunting their grey hair these days, maybe it’s a good time to stop this nonsense and get back to me.  Hey!  I just posted a blog about that!  Getting back to ME:  2011 resolutions!  I think this is another one to add to the list!  In the meantime…where’s my hat?

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Dandelions


A dandelion flower

Image via Wikipedia

This would have been better to post back in the spring when I wrote it.  Oh, well.  Hope you enjoy it anyway.

DANDELIONS

Searching for signs

of spring in my garden —

hoping for tulips or daffodils, crocus, or hyacinth.

What do I find?

A dandelion.

Not one but dozens.

It is frustrating

to find only weeds.

I pull twenty or so.

Some come out easily, root and all.

Others cling stubbornly to the earth

leaving only jagged leaves in my hand.

No matter how much we fight,

they come back every year.

I feel a grudging respect for those pesky weeds

because tenacity is a trait to be admired.

Different scenes fill my mind…

a highway cutting through a vast sea of yellow flowers

beautiful in their abundance;

small hands clutching bouquets;

shining faces, kisses, and a proclamation:

“These are for you, Mama,

‘cause you’re the best Mama in the whole world!”

Kissing away tears a short while later

when the beautiful bouquet

has withered and died;

puffy cheeks blowing seeds —

what do they wish for in their innocence? —

wide eyes watching as the seeds float away.

Oh, dandelions, why are you hated so?

You bring so much joy,

I want you to

GROW.

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