I don't pay much attention to my hair anymore, which is why I was surprised recently when I looked in the mirror to find streaks of silver nestled in the chestnut. My off-center part had hidden them well so when I finally discovered them, they had already grown the full length of my hair. Now that I've noticed them, it is hard to not notice them. They are bright and shiny, and catch the sunlight in an oh-so-obvious way.
Truthfully, I kind of like it. Yeah, it makes me feel older, but that is okay. I've always looked far younger than my age and it was often difficult to be taken seriously, especially when I showed up to engineering interviews looking like a high school sophomore. I eventually just had to let myself get a bit haggard in the details because when I actually bother to clean myself up, I look even younger.
I am not old, just older. Though you wouldn't tell by looking at me, my high school days are well over a decade behind me. I still get yelled at for being places a teenager shouldn't be. I went into a liquor store with my friend and husband two years ago, and the clerk yelled, "You can't bring that little one in here!" Of course, it solicited guffaws from my companions, who are both younger than me. I was once chased into a theater by a teenaged usher who cried out for everyone to hear, "Are your parents here? Where are your parents?" When I went to a Halloween concert hosted by the radio station I worked for, the guy at the door accused me of having a fake ID and threatened to call the cops. I asked him who would pretend to be 23 and one of my fellow DJs convinced him to just stamp me as a minor so I could come in. I received my share of dirty looks from assumptive people when I was pregnant, but my husband got even worse ones when he was with me.
I have decided to keep the silver and let it roam free and even bring along friends. I used to dye my hair a variable plethora of colors, but after college, I decided it wasn't worth the effort since it grew out too quickly. The days of electric blue with violet streaks are over, though I do sometimes look fondly upon the young punks and contemplate adding a few vibrant highlights. These days, I just maintain my ridiculously coarse, thick hair with nothing more than baking soda and apple cider vinegar, and that regimen suits my casually tree-hugging attitude a bit more. The silver stays and maybe I'll finally start to look my age.
Really, I love the look of a fully-silver head of hair. I see too many people hide their grays and end up looking ridiculous under a crown of eggplant, yellow, or jet black, which only accentuates the grays in their eyebrows. The transition from color to monochrome might be a bit awkward, but that isn't really a big deal to someone who hasn't touched hair dye or makeup in six years. Maybe I'll finally get to go see an R movie without being carded and harassed by gangling adolescents with misspelled first names.
I'll leave you with a bit of dialogue from 3rd Rock From The Sun...
Mary: I think you look distinguished with gray hair.
Dick: Thank you. I think you would look distinguished with gray hair, too.
Mary: No. When men get gray hair, they look distinguished. When women get gray hair, they look old.
Dick: When women get breasts, they look sexy. When men get breasts, they look old.