One day, months ago (November, I think), I treated myself to donuts. I had finished something *on time* and decided that I should try the donut-mart. It is an unassuming place ... the "mini-mart" of a gasoline station. I had tested their wares before -- and so it wasn't a risk. In case, I hadn't mentioned, I do not like disappointment. I was looking for a sure thing on the pay off with the donuts.
Anyway, as I went to pay for the donuts, the man behind the counter said to me, earnestly, "Don't let anyone ever talk you into dyeing your hair!" I smiled, and paid him the money, and said, something like, "don't worry." What I meant was, I don't have the time or the energy it would take to pull off not gray hair ... I have had gray hair, that people were always trying to pluck out, since I was sixteen.
The dreaded middle school students, who I LOVED, tried to take credit for the gray hair, showing me "before" and "after" pictures -- and begging me to dye my hair. Um, yeah, if anything, at that time, it was my ex-husband who was making my hair come out gray.
Actually, it is just plain genetics, as far as I can tell. I have the perfect mix of my parents' genes. My mom was dyeing her hair to cover the gray at 35 ... my dad didn't have any gray hair until he was 54 -- and that was precipitated by a fair amount of stress. I guess his mother was dyeing her hair by the time I knew her because she was at least 70 (when I can remember) and there was not a bit of gray.
I think that gray hair has a purpose -- and really I don't have time to get in front of how fast my hair grows to keep the gray at bay -- it softens the signs of age by lightening you up just where the wrinkles sprout. Besides, I believe in aging gracefully -- as gracefully as possible when you are surrounded by teeny-boppers.
It wasn't another week that went by before someone else, a stranger, commented on my hair ... by the time she told me, we had been sitting together, on the train, for a little bit and had shared some stories. She said, it was the first thing she noticed about me. She loved the hair -- the wayward curls, the length, and the gray.
I was thinking it was just a crazy coincidence, but not two days later, I met up with a former teacher for a banana split (we used to get them when I was her student; when she saw the long face making an appearance, she would offer to give me a ride home, and we'd stop off first for Baskin-Robbins). She grabbed a piece of my hair and said, "someday I am going to be brave enough to go gray." She continued on telling me how good it looked on me.
I was wondering, what is all this talk about my hair?! For years, all I can remember is members of my family saying not so flattering comments about my hair. Or when they tried to make a "nice" comment, it always came out as a back-handed compliment. I remember having to be strong and non-plussed at the same time. Whatever... it's your opinion.
I had already decided to write about it, but hadn't had time, or energy. Then, I took the flight to Las Vegas for Christmas. The woman I was sitting next to went on and on about my hair ... she told me she was growing out her hair -- and that the first thing she had noticed about me was the hair. She said it was "perfect -- so symmetrical" -- she was wondering ... how did I do it, could it be that her hair would turn out that way...
I don't know what it means... perhaps the universe thought it would be okay to let me know that there was this one thing about my life that was just fine the way it was... or it is just a weird coincidence that I would meet so many people who are really into gray hair ... you make the call.
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