Thursday, January 22, 2009

I'll Take Her In Silver

An elderly woman shared an aisle at the thrift store with me.

Her hair was perfectly dyed and set in springy curls.

Her eyebrows were drawn on with a high arch and she had obviously spent a good bit of time selecting her outfit, coordinating her patterned hose with pert, little heels and a hat to match.

I noticed her because she was muttering to herself while she shopped.

“Oh, my arms are breaking,” she exclaimed to no one in particular.
I kept looking up at her, wondering if she was talking to me or if she expected me to respond in some way.

[What is it with me and attracting unwanted attention at the thrift store?]

My friend Gail invited me to join her and her older brother Steve on this particular thrift store outing.

Steve and I were chatting about grey hair in the checkout line.

Steve, 15 years older than Gail and I, is already completely grey.

“I’ve decided to let mine go,” I said in solidarity as he stroked a hand across his silver locks.

“Oh, DON’T!” I heard a voice urge.

It was the muttering, elderly woman.
“Pardon?” I said, again unsure if she was speaking to me.

“Don’t let your hair go grey!” she insisted. “It looks attractive on men, but NEVER on a woman!”
[No, please… don’t hold back, Lady!]
“Wait and see,” I said. “I’m sure I’ll look okay with grey hair.”

[Maybe I will and maybe I won’t, but I’ve decided not to care.]

Later, I stood in front of the bathroom mirror, surveying for further evidence of my encroaching decrepitude.

I noticed a sharp uptick in grey hair, deepening lines on my face and ever heavier bags under my eyes.
“I look like myself,” I thought, “myself getting older.”
Regardless of what the woman in the thrift store said, I think I’m alright with it.

[At least for today.]


2 of 365: Today's random list of little things for which I'm grateful

[I'm pretty excited to post these because my friend SUEBOB loves the Grace in Small Things idea with the fire of 1,000 burning suns.]


Amanda said...

Myself is always changing, isn't it?

bzybead said...

amen sister. i was just noticing the grey taking over. are you working on your purple cape?

Louise said...

Oh my, not attractive, eh? Says the woman who has to draw on her eyebrows before her face is errand worthy.

I've been just loving all I've read of yours! You paint such vivid images of your mayor and rooster girl and the stories are delightful.

Dawn Johnson Warren said...

My mother started going gray in her 20s. She dyed and dyed until we moved overseas and she was no longer able to buy her color match any longer. So in her 30s she went completely silver. I have always thought it was beautiful. As a teenager I would examine my hair, looking for signs that I had inherited her beautiful silver. But I didn't and am only just now at 36 getting the strands here and there peaking through. I find silver hair beautiful on anyone. Bring on the silver!

Megan said...

What? No Obama post?
Just wanted to say how pleased we are up here for our neighbours that you have moved beyond Bush to Barack! I watched the inauguration with my class , Tuesday.

Linda @electric breast pump said...

Grey is my all time favorite, I am still supporting it! thanks for this interesting post.

Sayre said...

I plan to go grey myself. I dyed my hair a few times when I was younger and it nearly destroyed my hair - so whatever my hair does on its own is okay by me.

Traval Stuff Related said...

My wife loves your blog and wants me to comment on it on her behalf, she says you re awesome!

mo.stoneskin said...

Thrift store mutterers are a nightmare, and there's sadly not much you can do. I guess you could avoid the thrift store, or have a badge on your back saying "don't mutter it is as irritating as hell".

Mahala said...

I've been coloring my hair since my 20s. I'm 43 now and recently decided to let it go natural. I'm scared pootless that it's going to look awful, but my self dye jobs were starting to get that "shoe polish" look.

3carnations said...

I would never be able to match my color (dark auburn with lots of different colors if you look closely), so I figure I might as well stick with gray when it comes...But ask me again when it actually comes. ;)

SUEB0B said...

You. Are. Evil. (I mean that in the nicest possible way).

And I quit dyeing my hair about 6 months ago, so now I have a patchwork of grey, dark brown, and damaged hair from the coloring. It is QUITE lovely.

KristieSue said...

With all the blogs out there you think we could be making some money with the google adsense program. You might be doing that already, I'm trying to organize a group of bloggers to visit each others website on a regular basis to generate more hits for more earnings. I'll visit yours if you visit mine ;) I don't know if this will work or not but I thought I'd give it a try!

Above Average Joe said...

I dont mind a little gray. Not the Heloise look but a little is fine.

Miss Ash said...

I love your attitude!!!!!!!!!!!


Here's to being beautiful!

Miss Grace said...

I think it's more important to look like yourself than it is to look like someone else's idea of youth.

Patience said...

I have always been blonde. And blondes, we don't gray nicely! Mousey, ugly, dull gray.

So this chickadee will never go gray willingly. I loves me some L'Oreal!!

Patience said...

Oh yeah. And a friend of mine who decided to let hers go gray? She has an ugly color of gray. And as well, she's rapidly losing her hair as well!

Not only does she need L'Oreal, but she needs her some Lady Minoxydil too!!

Merrily Down the Stream said...

I, Myself, look like a CORPSE if I let my hair go grey SO I guess I'll start to look like Ronald Reagan pretty soon The question is: Do I want to look like the DYED Ronny or the DEAD Ronnie?

Anonymous said...

If you ever get a chance to see the original of Monet's "The Thames Below Westminster", you'll see that grey is so beautiful, it brings tears to the eye.

Stacy (mama-om) said...

I am perversely happy to see gray hair on my head. I noticed the first almost ten years ago. They have exponentially increased in the last few years (hey, thanks, kids!)...

My husband just scoffs (he has jet black hair and much gray) and says he can't see any gray. But I see them amid the blondish red. I see them and I like them.

Figs to that lady in the thrift store!

(though I do feel sorry about her arms)

Anonymous said...

Hey grey works for me.... kevin

John Ross said...

If you think a thrift store is bad for random commentaries, try a bus stop or library in Portland, Oregon.

littlebluerambler said...

I've been poking through my hair and looking for grays since my 20s. There's a good deal there now but it just won't hurry up and get all gray! Pop began graying in his teens and later had beautiful all white. Ma said 'never trust a woman who lies about her age or dyes ( or republicans, for that matter)'.

jeanie said...

The timing is not an issue (you have already captured K!!) but make sure you do so with grace!

My grandmother died until in her late 70s (the most vivacious redhead ever) when her daughter (my aunt) married a man only 2 years her mother's junior.

Aunt (as she was quite a high profile politician) suggested she go au nautrel as it wouldn't do for Mum to be fab redhead when daughter moved from blonde to silver to match new hub.

The tideline is a ghoulish memory.

Leendaluu said...

I made the decision to stop coloring and go grey four years ago and I've been happy with it ever since...well mostly. Until someone asks me how old my 'grandchildren' are....then I go postal on them.

Karen said...

I have never colored my hair. It is mostly gray now. I get lots of compliments on the color. People used to ask me where I went to get it done. I wouldn't change it for anything. And that old woman? very vain for saying that.

Going Gray Blog said...

Gray hair is the new black!