Monday, March 21, 2011

My gray hairs

If you've hung out with me in person over the last month, you're no doubt groaning about the title of this post. Because you've heard it. You've seen it. You've practically communed with it. But if we're just online pals then you're still sweetly innocent and an open book upon which I can paint my woe.


{sad face}

I'm not just talking one stray hair somewhere, I'm talking about a broad smattering of silvery-white hairs, speckled throughout my head.

Now this may elicit nothing more than a shrug of the shoulders from you. Which I kinda get because us women tend to obsess about the aging process all the time. We see every little wrinkle, every little blemish, every little hair out of place and then we run out and purchase expensive creams that we are convinced will reverse the aging process when, in fact, we could probably rub a jar of Vaseline into our crow's feet and get the same effect.

Going gray is kinda like that. You see a gray hair, you freak out, you color it, you move on.

I'm not moving on.

I have tried.

For some reason, this is a BIG DEAL to me. I am wholly disappointed in my body.  I'm not exactly the world's most physically vain person. It's not like I'm a girl who can't have her husband see her without make-up, or won't leave the house without mascara. I live in yoga paints most days, rarely wear make-up, and have given up heels except for parties. So, I consider myself pretty down-to-earth and, these days, practical about this skin I live in. But, still... I am not ready.

In my 30s I expected the beginnings of crow's feet, frown lines, a more squishy physique, some aches and pains, a lesser ability to survive a night on the town... I realized all of these things would creep up on me. And they have been creeping. I've noted the change. I'm not surprised.

Yet I was not expecting gray for at least another 10 years. I mean, what woman in your 30s do you ever see running around with gray hair? Ok, maybe one in those third-world countries where they've got sun-leathered skin, been through civil war, and endured starvation. Clearly, not me, however.

My point is: it's much too early.

And too much, too fast.

One minute I'm examining this odd, shiny hair catching the light at the top of my scalp, the next minute I'm staring at a bunch of them appearing throughout my hair, no matter where I part it. It was literally within the course of a few weeks that this change occurred. Literally. I do not exaggerate.

Of course, I am going to color it out. None of that box color, either. I don't want this left to chance. I need a professional and I'm off to my hairdresser next week to take care of it, don't you worry your pretty head. I just wonder what would happen if I let it grow out naturally. I mean, would I be completely gray by 40? Yikes, maybe sooner?

Part of me is curious to find out, in peculiarly masochistic way. Perhaps I could start a trend?

Yeah, ok, I'm not much of a trend setter these days. Plus, I would likely punch out the first woman who asked me how old my "granddaughter" is. (People say the most bizarre things to you when you have a kid, so I would not be surprised. I've already been asked if Daisy is adopted because she's blond. SERIOUSLY!)

No doubt, after posting this, I will get a slew of comments from women telling me all about their gray hairs in an attempt to make me feel 'normal' again. (Or not, in which case, reason to panic.) Yet, the thing about that is: if it's so freakin' normal then why am I so unprepared?

Perhaps it's because almost everyone colors their hair these days. Who really knows what natural hair color is under those highlights? Perhaps it's because the aging process is an almost taboo subject for many women? Who knows. But nobody and nothing prepared me to go gray this early.

I am sideways about this. Completely sideways.

I will put this in the box of life experiences I plan to better prepare my own daughter for. I've got a list. I'll share it some day.


Joy said...

I had to color my grays for Jean's wedding...didn't want people to think that her mom was being her maid of honor...I think it's too early for me too. I started around 12. Not trying to make you feel better, but hopefully you can at least be happy that you didn't start that early?

e said...

I haven't commented because I'm thinking. I'll be back. And may have an actual blog post of my own. I'm mulling. But I am letting my gray grow out, and I kinda love it.

Jeri said...

I'm with you, Michelle. Preference by L'Oreal has been my special friend for more than 15 years. =) And will be for many, many more!

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