See now I feel dumb.
Earlier this week, I pitched an idea about dyeing my grey hair. Correction: My TWO strands of grey. I'm in no way grey and glam like my new hair hero Ty Alexander.
Exhibit A through Z
Wooomp! I actually WISH I had more grey hair. What do these three sad sack strands say about me? Have I lived? Have I stared down a bull in Pamplona, leapt from a flying plane or backstroked with sharks? Or have I been a couch jockey for the last two years? Doing nothing more dangerous than wrangling the alphabet for a living?
When I was little, my best friend Melissa's mom would pay us each a nickel for every white strand we could locate and unceremoniously yank from her head. I remember it being a really fun game, like the time I got dressed in my jammy jams and Melissa's mom told me the sleepover was now officially over so I could show myself the door. The sheen on my eyes said I almost believed her, until everyone started laughing. Ha ha, joke's on Helena! Lots of eff'd up stuff seemed funnier when I was five.
Pulling grey hairs from a 35-year-old woman's head being one of them.
In retrospect, I have no clue why Melissa's mom was so hellbent on hiding her age. She was maybe 5'2'' on her tippy toes and after three kids couldn't have weighed more than 100 pounds. The woman looked like a tall sixth grader, she could've used some of the weight grey gives you.
My mom, on the other hand, has always lied UP when it came to her age. Only recently, after having hit the big six-oh, have her lies settled in the right decade. Yesterday she talked to me for 15 minutes about the "old lady card" that lets her ride the public transportation in St. Croix for free.
"For the longest, I couldn't figure out why all the bus drivers were being so rude to me. They thought my 'old lady card' was a fake!"
Needless to say, she never let me pull out her grey hair. And believe me I tried. After getting indoctrinated over at Melissa's house, it was my first-grade understanding that no woman would ever want a reminder of her immortality shining like a beacon in her french braid.
The first and last time I snatched one of my mom's greys (without asking) I got a lesson in cussing. After she calmed down, Frances explained to me that her grey was like a list of accomplishments -- the Peace Corps, child birth, new job -- that she wanted to remember. Like a lot of women, she always referred to her older hairs as "my grey," but in a possessive as opposed to problematic way.
So add "getting over myself" to the running list of life lessons I've gleaned from the metaphysical trainers here at xoJane. For a split second there I actually thought I should nip my grey in the bud because someone mentioned it at a party, "Wait, is that GREY?" Next time, instead of immediately flipping my part to the other side, I'll have some female empowering response at the ready. Maybe something like, "Fuck yeah, grey!"