“It’s time to do your roots!” I screeched to Kathy, my eyes riveted to the stripe of gray along the part of her jet-black hair.
“I’m letting it grow out. Gonna go natural,” she purred.
“NOOOOOO!!! Don’t do it! You’re gonna look like an old lady.”
She smiled, “I am an old lady. I’m over seventy, remember? And so are you, Carole Jean. You’re even older than me by a couple of years.”
I held my head in my hands and went quiet. Hmmmm, she’s right about that. Although I prefer to say I’m celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of my twenty-third birthday. That which we call a rose…Aiiiiii!!!
When I missed my hair appointment with Tuan, my hair magician, I couldn’t get in to see him immediately, and my hair kept growing. I pulled my bangs back from my face to clear my vision — I was approaching “Cousin Itt” status; you know, that character from The Addams Family who couldn’t see because his hair hung over his face.
As I pulled it back, a visiting friend shouted, “Whoa, keep it like that. You look ten years younger!” I brightened up and raced for the mirror. My friend, Lynn, was shaking her head in the background, mouthing don’t listen to him. You look better with the bangs. Translation: you look older without them.
I texted Tuan again, Puleeze, I need a hair appointment! We struggled to find a date he could fit me in. I went to the calendar and realized that if I get my hair fixed now it will be too soon to look good for Sheila’s wedding in April. Sheila and Shannon, dear friends from Florida are doing a ten-year vow renewal that I wouldn’t miss for the world. And I wanna look good which means no gray roots showing.
What to do? I looked at the calendar and saw that for the entire month of March, I would be spending all my time with dogs. I had back-to-back petsits with no social engagements on the books. The dogs don’t care if my roots are showing. They only care about food, belly rubs, walks, and more food, belly rubs, and walks. Some care about ball-throwing which I can also do without anybody caring about my roots.
I have given myself a challenge — no cut, no color, and no makeup until April Fool’s Day. Yup, booked myself for April first. I may not even look in the mirror until then. Going too far? Maybe I’ll stop speaking until then also. I’ve always thought taking a vow of silence would be a trip. Okay, maybe not total silence since the dogs like it when I sing to them.
I’m betting Kathy will not go gray. I predict she’ll be running to CVS for a bottle of Miss Clairol before she reaches the one-inch mark, which may well be before April first. In fact, I think I will go buy a bottle of black dye and keep it in my car in case I get the emergency call from her, “Help! I need my hair colored!” and she can’t get a hair appointment.
I’ll be ready for her. Me? My highlighted hair is not recognizable as the true dark-brown color that has hidden behind many versions of auburn, chestnut-brown, black, and blonde over the years. I was a blonde baby, and now I’m a blonde senior citizen. Hey, I know a flaming redhead who is in her nineties. She lays in a six-month supply of Garnier Nutrisse in case they discontinue her shade. Nobody ever guesses she is anywhere near her age. It keeps her vibrant and keeps everyone else guessing.
Remember the Clairol branding slogan, “Only her hairdresser knows for sure?” If you do, you’re in the same category as we are. Enjoy, whether you choose to go gray or color your locks.
Time marches on either way.