I was combing my hair this morning to put it in a ponytail when I noticed a sharp streak of white running through my bangs. In a rush of excitement I grabbed my phone to snap a picture. I finally had proof!! You see, I’ve been telling folks for a while that my hair is starting to come in white but since I have naturally dark and curly hair my hair often falls differently from wash to wash, hiding any signs of aging. I smiled at my proof and quickly sent a photo text to my mom:
“You can see the white today!” I smiled like a goon and hit the send button
“Glad it’s not in your eyebrows” she said
“That would be kinda funny” I offered, not being sure what else to say (though I still maintain only white eyebrows would be a funny sight to see)
“It’s horrible” she replied, ending the conversation. Hmm, well okay then.
My mom is not alone in how she responds to my enjoyment of aging. In fact, I seem to be almost the only person who takes such amusement in the changes that come with growing older. When I delightedly show my white stripes of hair to other people I usually get responses in the vein of “thank goodness that’s not my hair”, “are you upset? I would be”, or “you know, you can get some inexpensive hair dye that will cover that right up”. I still haven’t found a single person who holds the same excitement as I do.
Why is that? Why are we taught to be so consumed with changes to our appearances? Why are we taught to fight back signs of aging as though they are dragons. Is it vanity? Or is it simply a fear of confronting our impending deaths?
Perhaps I am just biased when it comes to aging. I’ve always looked younger than I am and I routinely have people question my age and identification cards. — I’m not kidding, I once had a customer refuse to be served by me and she called my manager out from the back room to berate him for breaking child-labor laws. I believe I was 16 or 17 at the time. — So, maybe it’s my own twisted way of finally getting recognized as an adult. I mean, how many 12yr olds are walking around with white hair? I’d prefer to believe it is a sign of maturity and confidence but, uh, judging by how I couldn’t even write the word ‘maturity’ without laughing at myself… I some out doubt that’s what it is.
Whatever the reason, I refuse to feel embarrassed about the physical aging process. I am me, and that’s the best person to be… even when that person starts to have grey hair and wrinkles. As long as the wrinkles aren’t on my heart I’ll still be happy. 🙂
Actually, now that I’m talking about it, I have found another person who can be amused by my age and appearance… my husband Tony (that’s not his real name but it’s a nickname of sorts so we’ll stick with that) In fact, we often poke jokes about my age. People usually assume he is my older brother so I guess being able to have a good sense of humor about it is a coping mechanism really. We always have a good laugh when things like that happen. Maybe, this grey hair can start to turn the tides in his favor. At this point Tony is betting I don’t make it to 30 before I go full white.
You know what? At this point, I kinda hope he’s right.