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Ahhhhhhh. I have officially and proudly embraced the lighting in my bathroom and the reflection I see staring back at me (squinting, when I forget my contacts or glasses). I am “gray and ok”. Well, mixed in with the “Elvira” salt lick which now is expanding, just on my right side, is a hint of ground pepper….somewhere, all over. The song from “Flashdance”, “What a feeling” should be my theme song. No, I’m not dancing, literally, for my life, cause, hello, MS here, but I do have a sense of freedom to dance as just crazy, aging me.
Despite my mother’s best and well-intended efforts to say something nice (she really does love me very much), I’m sure she’s a bit wigged out over the fact her daughter, moi, is more gray-headed than she. Mom has a fun way of dancing around my gray and white shaded lack of color wheel. “I just LOVE your haircut”. Which, she does. What she’s not saying is, “Oh my! Are you poor and can’t afford Nice and Easy anymore?” Or, “Well, I know it’s probably hard for you to color your hair with MS, so I’ll just whisk you away to the girl who “does” my hair.” Or, “I know you weren’t laying in the road when that truck came by that paints the white lines in the street…..”
I will have to admit, it was dreadful letting the color “grow out”. I only have some old pictures to remind me of what my real hair color is…or was. Because, as my roots started to sprout like a Chia Pet, I realized my real hair color, now, is gray. As much as I tried to keep a lot of the old “color” cut out (Thank you, Jean, for performing miracles during that time.) the difference in the color and the peppered salt reminded me of an old redneck chick who forgot to touch up her roots. That was painful and slightly creepy. I could have been a calico cat for Halloween one year.
Going gray is an adventure. Gray hairs have a life all their own. And, each new one, seems more wire-like and oddly, resembles a Dr. Seuss hair style.(“We are HERE, we are HERE, they say as they demand attention.) They have the texture of old broom straws, at times. I have many mornings where I wake up, look in the mirror and see a Don King effect. Nice. I just laugh and pray the doorbell doesn’t ring until I take my shower.
Kermit the frog doesn’t seem to have it easy being green, but I’m finding it easy to be gray. Nice, easy and very wallet-friendly. I think, in time, my mom will warm up to the fact that my gray is ok, as long as I keep a nice cut.
A slight disclaimer here: Wanna color your hair? That’s cool with me. I have no judgement intended for anyone. Do your own thing. That’s what this is all about. Just being yourself, no matter what color, style or fashion appeals to you. (I may laugh at “pajama jeans” sightings out in public, but that’s a different story.) Being you may not always be easy, but it sure can be nice. And, if you or someone you know is in the growing process, always remember to be kind.
I know. I know. Just roll your eyes and read this. I can’t wrap my semi-wrinkled self around the concept because it simply is an oxymoron, at best. Why? Because, it doesn’t make sense. Against aging? That’s so yesterday’s “Peter Panish”. (Even for women) The circle of life cliché comes to mind, but no, I won’t sing any of The Lion King. If we live past our parents clapping and kissing us for making a poo in our diapers…we’re gonna, hopefully, age a bit more. I do not in any form, commend parents for ushering their children into growing up too fast. I do not in any way, commend parents of teenagers for wearing skinny jeans, trying to be “pals” with their kids, wearing “junior” clothes when they need “misses” or, especially for men…having the urge for arm candy. Candy, btw, is messy and can get expensive. Now, back to us gals.
Ridiculousness tamed, to a certain extent, is ok. Want hair color? I dig that. I did that. Just don’t do it now. At 48, I think I’m a big girl and can decide for myself. I did. I’m gray, but only in this last year. I got curious and liked it. I wonder what my real hair color would have looked like? I only have my senior picture (in a black and white yearbook) from which to make an educated guess. Want to buy firming cream or under-eye bag and dark circle stuff? That’s cool. I do that. I have, naturally, the look of Uncle Fester around my eyes and under them. I would be charged a baggage fee at the airport for the sagging and puffed “totes” I carry like 2 oversized purses under my eyeballs. Buying that stuff is not gonna make me look much younger, but keeps the Mr. Magoo effect at bay, for now. Want to diminish “liver spots”? There’s something for that. I’m now staring at one on my right hand. It’s not just a spot, it’s the size of my dog’s nostril. I have others, a bit smaller, in odd places. I might get something for those, but I have fond memories of looking at my great aunt’s hands, seeing her “spots” on her hands and smiling. I may keep mine.
There are days I feel putting on make-up resembles grouting tiles. I’m not gonna do away with make-up because that takes me back to the Uncle Fester senerio. I have slightly saggy ”weenuses” (look that up, I’m not gonna define it for you, but it’s funny), I have the beginnings of elephant knees, gravity has my butt in a downward vice grip like only gravity could do on Mars, I have a mirror who does not lie about a little turkey neck in the making and all of the toning I can do with Tai Chi and light weights cannot hide my back of the arm flying squirrels wings, but have kept my tummy from the inner tube syndrome. Walking helps my heart and my dog’s bladder. Am I going to surrender to elastic pants and try out for Activia or Depends commercials? Not a chance. I’m just trying to make an observation. And, laugh at the funny things I find as I age. On my time. In my way. Age is life.
I’m not mentioning MS cause I don’t want to be read as on old, “self-toting radical” sour attitude person because I “can’t do” a lot of the things at which I’ve poked fun. I’m not that way. At. All. I don’t feel old. Really. But, I’m not gonna order pajama jeans, wear mini skirts, talk like a wispy teenage girl (ending my sentences on an upswing) or subject myself to too much anti-aging hoo ha. I am not even gonna buy one of those granny robes out of the coupon section of the paper or get a tight perm, resembling a mushroom and make doo doo rolls out of my bangs. I’m not gonna drive a big Buick, either. Watch a wrinkled cleavaged, flying squirrel with elephant knees get a face lift, act as if they still sing into a hair brush to Donny Osmond and you’ll see a turkey necked old chick pretending to be some far-sighted image of their former so-called self. I suppose “they” can lift anything….for a while.
I don’t want to NOT age. That makes me dead. I don’t want to knock anyone, either. That makes me a butt. I think I want people to check themselves, in a near-sighted way and ask why do something? Far-sighted only sees up close. That would neutralize my point if you can’t see from a distant perspective. If any anti-aging is done for approval, who’s opinion matters…yours or ….? Listen only to yourself and not to commercials, the newest magazine cover, the movie star who now looks scared to death or even the butt fat infused suction cupped lip job at a country club. Listen to you. You are the only one who can hear yourself clearly. But, be nice to fish faces, plastic surgery trophies, polyester draped folks and even skinny jean moms. Most of all, be kind and be kind to yourself.