My oldest son is about my height now. As he enters the freakshow called adolescence, I know his body will be full of surprises for him, some of them not always pleasant.
There's nothing quite like it when your body decides to go rebel on you, and you are left wondering what the hell happened. Who okayed this change? I wasn't consulted...
A few weeks ago, I was doing the usual eyebrow maintenance and as I looked in the mirror, I paused to brush a stray piece of cat fur off my brow before getting to work.
Except it didn't move.
Upon closer inspection, I realized there was a white hair in my browline. I stared at it for about a minute, amazed, before I plucked that baby out, horrified, and ran down the hall with it on my finger to show my husband.
Who of course, you know, said something soothing, if memory serves, I believe it was: "Get out of the way, I'm trying to change the channel."
So I called one of my one of my more-sympathetic friends, who said, "Well, wait until you find one, down there."
Um, I don't know if she remembers, as well she should, that I am a good, Catholic, Mexican girl. I don't look at that. I mean, I know where everything is, how it works, how to make it work; but for the most part, me and my hootchie-koo are on a need-to-know basis. (Really. If someone took a picture of it--hypothetically, of course-- and put it in a lineup, I would not be able to pick mine out.) Has she really forgotten already how she talked me through the Mystery of Tampons over the phone when we were in seniors in high school? Besides, that part of me is not going gray. So I am not going to talk about it anymore. Nah nah nah nah nah nah.
However, it appears the onslaught of gray on my head will continue, undeterred by threats and bribes. I was putting my hair up in a clip last Tuesday, and I saw....them. As in many of them, waving at me gently from behind my ear. And in my bangs. Heeellllooo, they whispered. Aren't we pretty? Aren't we silvery?
Plucking them out is not an option.
I feel like it's some kind of cosmic joke, that I decide to grow my hair out, and they appear. To add insult to injury, I also had a zit, one of those immortal types, show up last week too. Shouldn't the slate be wiped clean somewhere? "Oh, she's got some gray hair. Scratch her off the zit list." That is just too much to hope for, isn't it?
Of course it is.
I usually get my dye job done by my stylist. However, she has had some surgery, and we have a fill in until she gets back. Who is more than capable to do it, but her schedule is packed, my schedule is packed, and this time when I scheduled my usual appointment, I made it for a cut only as our timing wouldn't work out any other way.
Which made the gray that much more glaringly annoying to me....and by Friday there I stood, eyeballing the choices in the dye aisle at the store. I talked myself out of it.....
.....but Saturday night, I couldn't take it anymore.
Gamely, my husband accompanied me to WalMart. Because when I told him what I needed to do, he knew he would not get any rest unless I did it right then. And WalMart after dark in my Mom's neighborhood is no place for an unaccompanied girl. (I'm not that tough.)
I stood in front of the rows of hair dye boxes, trying to decide. "Black lea-thaa," I throatily read to Mr W, "I could be your Goth wife." I giggled when Mr W touched my shoulder, "Is that really what it's called?"
Oh, he's so adorably male.
"Yup. See? Black Leather." I showed him some others, you know, the usual, "Sunny Blonde" (aren't they all?); "Coffee"; "Sangria". I spared him the lecture on how we women are suckers for makeup with cool names. Red lipstick is no fun unless it's called "Garnet" or "Attitude." Who among us can resist the blush color named "Orgasm"? Reading the name on the bottles of nail polish is almost as much fun as the pedicure itself.
Box of haircolor (not Black Lea-thaaa) in hand, I stood in my bathroom at 11:30 pm, ready to do battle. I wasn't going to wait until the clear light of day, that would be...sensible. 25 minutes and a shower later, I looked at it, thinking, eh, it looks alright--but I didn't really look at it as I was momentarily distracted by the man in my bed. (He did accompany me to WalMart, afterall, I was compelled to show my appreciation for such a gesture.)
The next morning, I got ready for work, and was sitting in the car, waiting for it to warm up a bit. I decided to see what my hair looked like in natural light. In the sun.
And once again, waving gently at me from behind my ear were a few stray hairs. Not gray. Look at us, they whispered. Aren't we an unnatural shade of "Cherry Cola"?
I looked at my whole head and winced. It's bad. Not unbearably, look-at-that-wacko bad, but bad enough for me to know that:
1. I've learned my lesson.
2. I am not a colorist.
3. Water will not remove errant dye stains. The one on the side of my cheekbone means wearing my hair up is not a good idea for a day or two.
I will never do that again, no not ever, not ever, I swear.
This is a by-appointment-only endeavor from now on, or at least until the next gray revolution.
Viva le strands!