Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Root of the Problem

If I didn't color my hair it would be mostly white. This is pretty astonishing to me. I pull back the front and under the chestnut brown, at the base, near the roots there is about a half inch of snow white hair. I can remember saying when I was younger that I intended to age naturally and just let my hair go grey when the time came. Back in the post-hippie days, I fancied that I was going to be the consummate Earth-mother when I hit middle age. This is a good example of how easy it is to say what you would do when you're not actually in the situation at the time. I always wear bangs so I can hide the white roots, as well as the forehead creases. It’s a very rare occasion indeed when I venture outside without full makeup. Vanity, thy name is Deedee.

About a year ago I was attending a function at a local restaurant and I was surprised when this lanky kid pulled up a chair next to me as I sat apart from the fray, minding my own business and nursing a gin and tonic. He had shoulder length, brown hair and one of those scraggly, too-long goatee things that I always feel like taking a scissors to, hanging from his chin. He was tall, about six three or four, wearing a button-down shirt festooned with flames and skulls. He smelled sort of like an old gym bag and he was sucking down Jack Daniels like it was his job. He immediately started flirting with me and asking pointed questions about my marital status. It occurred to me that he was probably about the same age as my son. I wasted no time in informing him of my recent twenty sixth wedding anniversary.

He apparently did the math, and after a moment, he asked me, right out if I colored my hair. Since I was about due for my monthly root touch-up, I pushed my hand up under my bangs and flattened them back onto the top of my head, exposing the silvery white margin above my forehead with a big smile. With a sort of stunned look on his face, he slunk off to the bar in search of fresher meat.

Thank goodness for Clairol.

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