Tag Archives: life

Gray Hair Does Not Make Me Old

It’s been a long time since I have written. Lots of things have changed. I even have gray hair (I blame my two kids and my husband for every single one of them)! Remember how a few years ago (holy cow it was about 5 years ago) I was thinking about not dying my hair anymore? Well, I did it. I stopped dying my hair!

First I let it grow out until I couldn’t stand the skunk stripe. Then I had blond highlights put in. When I couldn’t stand having so much fun as a blond I decided to chop it all off with a really short pixie cut. Now it is growing out. It’s been quite a process.

The funny thing is people have opinions about your hair when you go gray. I mean total strangers will be compelled to tell you that they love it or hate it. It’s a subject that people are oddly quite passionate about. I had an interesting experience regarding my hair not too long ago.

I went to the optometrist to get my eyes checked. She’d been badgering  me for about a year via email because apparently a person is supposed to have his or her eyes  checked on a yearly basis. Since I operate under the “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” philosophy of medicine I had neglected to schedule my yearly exam. I mean, I could still see. I didn’t know what all of the fuss was about.

I only wear reading glasses and I try to wear them like a sexy librarian.  A sexy librarian with gray hair now. I’m not sure that is the look I was going for just a few years ago, but things change and I am making the best of it.  My glasses are purple with sparkles on the side and somehow, beyond all logical comprehension, they are manufactured by Harley Davidson. That’s right, I wear Harley Davidson (insert trademark symbol here) Eyewear because despite my disheveled hair, mom jeans, and finger-stained T-shirts I really am still trying to be one of the coolest people you know. I don’t ride a Harley (I’m not thaaaat cool), but I totally rock one on my face. Second best thing and all that jazz, right?

Anyway, this post isn’t really about my eyesight. It’s  about my gray hair and my eye doctor. My doctor fascinates me. Her waiting room is decorated like a hunting lodge complete with a stuffed bear head mounted to the wall.  I assume she shot and killed it herself. While you sit and wait for your appointment, that bear sits in judgement of your reading material. Which, unless you brought your own, would include titles such as “Garden and Gun” a lovely publication featuring gardening tips in between gun ads, or “Guns and Ammo,” a known staple for people who like to shoot things. When the kids come with me they sit silently, staring at the bear while clinging to my body. The oldest whispers things like, “What’s with all of those guns anyway?”

My optometrist is very chatty. She never stops talking and she’s really smart so I always learn new things. At my last visit she was citing journal articles about education and child development in between a serious discussion on the benefits of hula hooping for a person’s waistline. Then it happened. While asking me to look through machinery she suddenly switched gears and exclaimed, “I could never let my hair go gray. I have to maintain a professional appearance and that includes looking young, but your hair is quite flattering on you. I could never pull off that whole ‘earth mother’ look like you can.”

A bit caught off guard, I wasn’t really sure what to say. I was clutching my Harley Davidson,  purple, sparkly eye-wear while wearing khaki colored capri pants and a basic polo shirt, wondering which part of me was projecting, “I am an earth mother!” Before I could ask she was showing me her invisible braces because, apparently, as you age your teeth crowd together and that makes you look old. She doesn’t want to look old. I found my tongue wandering over my teeth trying to gauge whether or not my teeth were feeling more crowded than usual. Before I knew it she was telling me about the details of her divorce and my mind began to wander.

My identity became skewed for a few moments as I grappled with the idea that my freshly cropped, pixie-d, gray hair was anything but cool and cutting edge. I could spike it on top if I wanted to. I was kind of digging how androgynous my hair made me look. This whole earth mother thing wasn’t sitting well with me. If anything, I looked like an almost preppy (polo-shirted) middle management worker who hadn’t slept in 7 years. A little plump around the middle perhaps, but definitely not earth motherly. Definitely NOT OLD. I wish I was a little more earth motherly.

When I hear “Earth Mother” I picture flowing hair and skirts with lots of silver bracelets and maybe some vegan sandals. An earth mother doles out wisdom while snacking on granola and wearing naturally dyed fabrics. She is beautiful and warm and happy.  Mrs. Earth Mother is content with herself and at peace with aging. She is graceful, exuding peace and love. Her skin is radiant because she only eats healthy foods and does not have children who wake her up 2-3 times a night. She does yoga and never puts her food in plastic. My mind was flowing with idealistic images. None of which pertained to me.

My gun slinging, Fox news watching, anti-Medicaid, almost divorced, fountain of youth chasing, doctor in braces, even though her teeth looked perfect, was probably looking at me as her complete opposite. She got a lot wrong about me and I probably got a lot wrong about her too. I’m not full of wisdom and while I like granola I’m not totally content with aging. I rarely wear flowing skirts and I don’t own a single bracelet. As a mom with young kids I rarely have a moment’s peace so radiant wouldn’t likely describe me well. My clothes selection and, let’s face it, lifestyle choices reflect survival and a little bit of “I don’t have the energy to care.”  Who knew so many assumptions could be made about gray hair? Who knew I could make so many assumptions based on one bear head and a stack of gun magazines? But really, my doctor is also funny, smart, and helpful about supplying random, yet useful, information I didn’t even realize I needed.

My gray hair does not make me an earth mother, but it does make me happy. I don’t have to dye it. I feel free. Maybe that’s what she was picking up on. Maybe despite my non earth mother exterior she was picking up on my inner earth mother vibe. Or maybe she just thinks I’m weird because I let my hair go gray and earth mother was the most polite label she could come up with. Either way I’ll take it. I don’t want to find another doctor. I really want to find out how her divorce turns out and if straight teeth make her look younger.  I really want to understand why her waiting room is filled with guns and hunting trophies and if she has changed her mind about Medicaid patients. Is she still watching Fox News and changing topics at lightening speed?

I don’t think my gray hair makes me look old, but even if it does, who cares? As long as I like it, right? I might get a hula hoop though because my mid section could use a little work.




Things I Wonder While Watching “Sex In The City” Season 3

1. Do women in their 30’s still obsess about getting married? I keep reading people don’t want to get married anymore. So I am assuming thirty-something women probably no longer spend this much time worrying about men…or do they? Someone fill me in. I’m out of the loop!

2. Does Carrie end up getting lung cancer later,  in the movies that take place after the TV show (I just finished season 3)? The cigarette smoking! It makes me cough just to watch. All I can think about is how bad her hair must smell and her breath and I wonder if her apartment has nicotine stains dripping down the walls. I know, it’s not about the smoking, but it totally is, isn’t it? There are many gratuitous smoking scenes. It’s all so 1990, isn’t it? I’m horrified in 2014 and a little more than grossed out.

3. Do people in their 30’s really have that many sexual partners or are we, as humans, more concerned with disease than we used to be? I mean, I know there is some “hook up” crowd that got a lot of attention a while back, but didn’t that end about 15 years ago? Good grief, this analysis is making me feel so old. Tell me the truth.  Is Sex In The City still ringing true?

4. Do people still drink cosmopolitans and will I ever try one? I know you can’t answer if I will ever try one, but who wouldn’t want to? They look adorable and delicious. Maybe I can just pour some pink lemonade into a martini glass and call it a day. I’d probably wear high-heeled slippers (while sitting down) with pink feathers glued to the toe if I did. Because I’d want to do it right, ya know? I’m sure Tiny-Small is gluing feathers to my shoes right now anyway….

Things I wonder While watching sex in the city

5. Could a writer with one column get paid enough to pay Carrie’s rent and still have enough money to purchase all of those expensive shoes? Is this what blogging used to look like? Am I starting this thing too late? I mean, Carrie’s apartment is not the size of a closet so she must be getting paid fairly well, right? I’m so jealous. If I lived in the big city I’d probably be homeless. Actually, I’d be homeless in this small town too. Luckily, I’ve got Jim bringing home the bacon so I don’t starve.

6. Did I completely fail at being a 30 something? It sure feels like it. While I was slogging through my masters degree, buying houses, and having a kid I could have been dating tall, dark strangers, living like a queen in the city, staying out all night, and buying gorgeous shoes I couldn’t walk in or afford. I can’t help feeling like I missed the boat. I still can’t decide if that is good or bad. Maybe I’m just feeling smug because I don’t have any credit card debt.

7. I wish I could let Tiny-Small see Carrie’s outfits because I am pretty sure they have similar tastes in fashion. I mean that in the most positive way possible. Like, they both like giant flowers stuck in their clothes, hair, and everywhere.

Flower Power
Flower Power

8. I miss having a group of gal pals to go to lunch with and chat. I miss going to lunch. Heck, I miss eating an entire meal without having to get up to get someone some more milk. Sadly, I don’t know if I miss the lunch friends as much as I miss having my very own fork.

9. Why does Carrie’s hair seem to get less and less curly as the seasons go on? Let the woman rock her curls. Those curls made her a star. Then they take them away. Booooo!

10. How can I look as good as Samantha in my 40’s? No, seriously, because I’m turning 40 in less than 6 months. I have 6 months to transform myself into a tall, thin, Manhattan socialite. I’m pretty sure I could do it too if I could just put down those chocolate covered almonds….

I’ll Be In The Shower When You Get Here

If I invite you over, I’ll be in the shower when you get here. It’s some kind of universal law. I am always the last to get ready because I’m running around picking up, trying to get Tiny-Small dressed, or trying to squeeze in a quick blog post before you arrive. Even when I am ahead of schedule and jump in the shower early, I’ll still be in the shower when you get here because, for some reason, on that day, you will arrive a little early.

When You Get Here I'll Be In The Shower

It happens every time. I was thinking about this yesterday when I was in the shower and Jim quickly opened the door and said, “That guy is here about that thing already.” So, I had to rush around and rinse the soap off and pull on clothes as quickly as possible while having a flashback to my childhood.

My mother was also always in the shower when guests arrived. I don’t know if we have time management issues or just don’t delegate chores well or both, but somehow everyone else is ready when guests arrive and we are always in the shower.

These are the moment in my adult life when I am acutely aware of how much I am turning into my mother. It’s amazing how quickly it starts to happen. First, people will say you look alike. Then you start noticing you are adopting all of those weird habits your swore you never would. I always swore I’d be ready when people arrived, but here I am in the shower when everyone arrives. It’s like I can’t crack the code or break the spell. I am just turning into my mother at an increasingly rapid pace.

Abstract Purple Iris
A touch of Spring for your day!

I have so much more understanding for the struggles my mother faced when we are kids. I guess that is because I am living them now.  When you are running around trying to create a pleasant atmosphere, clean children, prepare food, and make your house look at least slightly better than usual right before someone comes over, it’s almost impossible to also make yourself look respectable in time. Running out of time happens so easily when you are focused on getting things done for everyone else. Your husband can’t find clean socks. Your daughter is hiding under the kitchen table refusing to brush her teeth and before you know it your guest is knocking at the door and you are still standing in the living room wearing blue, sheep pajamas with a Flock of Seagulls type hairdo.

I remember, eventually, that my mom just stopped doing all of the things for everyone else. She’d just say, “Don’t forget to bring a sweater.” If we forgot, oh well, we were cold. I guess I’ll get there eventually, but Tiny-Small is still small and our house will always be a bit chaotic. We are chaotic people. I can’t keep up with it all.

So, for now, when you get here I will be in the shower, but maybe one day, in like a decade or so, I’ll finally take a shower early and delegate better to my family. That day will be worth celebrating because our friends will finally know what I look like with dry hair.

One can only hope.