Friday, June 20, 2008

And the time is: Two Hairs past a Senior Citizen

When I was about 27-28 years old, people seated behind me in orchestra began to tell me that I had gray hair—always such a welcomed comment to a brunette. Ten years and three children later, I was definitely past gray and moving rapidly to silver/white. I felt really sorry for my youngest child since I looked more like her grandparent, and I had a very serious visit with my hairdresser, darling Rosie. She laughed only a little and did a reverse frost, so it left some of my tresses the natural color and the rest were blond. But long time friends didn’t recognize me, since I had always had hair this color.

Finally, I reconciled to my genes. My Mom’s aunts were silver early—by mid 30’s. My Dad’s hair was really graying by 40. His sister was whitish by 37. I made a decision—let the hair go natural ASAP so no one will remember when it happened. Then, with any luck, they’ll think I’m timeless. It was somewhat successful as a beauty plan. At my 30th high school reunion my classmates complimented my Silver Fox look, and many of them proclaimed they wished they had the nerve to do the same (big chickens or little lies?).

About a year ago Muffin started to gray a bit at the temples—so distinguished. I thought we looked a bit like George and Barbara Bush—he had the wrinkles and I had the silver hair.
And he earned the wrinkles, having worked hard to keep three of our four daughters in college in a 5 year overlap, then the same three marrying in a span of 11 years. Not to mention that he has worked 200 miles east of our hometown for the past 10 years, traveling back&forth, to&fro on Thursdays and Mondays, living in an apartment Monday through Thursday, and with me the remaining days. Then our darling baby went to college far away for four years. Let’s all say, “Travel!Travel More!” It’s enough to give a man gray hair, wrinkles, office spread, and dishpan hands! (He avoided all but the wrinkles.)

During this past year, with all the stress of travel, nursing home, job related woes, and life in general, a very positive thing started to happen. Clerks in stores and employees in fast food restaurants began to offer us Senior Citizen Discounts. And, they didn’t just offer, but actually rang up the discount after a mere glance at us. In the words of “Monk”, “It’s a curse and a blessing”—especially if you don’t want to look as old as you may feel, but you love being favored with a discount. Now, please note, this never happens at a drive thru where our faces (and our hair) is unseen. We still sound young—no loss of vocal quality accompanying the muscle tone and hair color here.

We’re taking the “eat inside option” more often.

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