“Good God, woman, you’re almost 80 years old.”
My mom was one of my favorite people, and I loved making her laugh … a lot. She was a bit vain, and did not wholly embrace the beauty of the aging process. Because of this, I always enjoyed rounding up and adding seven or eight or 12 years to her actual age. I reveled in catching her doing something somewhat age inappropriate, swooping in, taking a heavy wheelbarrow or the lawnmower away from her, and using the above sentence, when she was maybe 68.
It must be an inherited thing, as Son 1 always calls on my birthday, and taking advantage of my well-known math “skills,” usually is able to convince me, at least for a few minutes, that I am a year or two older than I actually am.
Last fall, I called him to wish him a “Happy 29th birthday” on his 28th. He didn’t get the joke, and logically assumed I just couldn’t do the math, even though he was nice enough to be born in 1990, making the calculation a bit easier for me.
So here I stand, on the cusp of 58, telling myself, “Good God, woman, you’re almost 65 years old.” This got me thinking … I have never been overly concerned about appearance, as I believe the most attractive parts of people are always on the inside, and they don’t diminish as we get wrinkly, stooped, grey, or perhaps a bit fluffy. I would not get any type of elective surgery to look “better,” I think Botox masks beauty, fat should be dealt with the old-fashioned diet and exercise way, and we should all embrace our life lines, wrinkles and scars. I also don’t care if you feel or act differently; you do you. Let’s all celebrate, in our own unique ways, where we are in our journeys.
So why I have been dying my hair so long I don’t even know what color it really is/was is a bit of an enigma. I guess, to me, and, let’s be honest, to society, grey equals “old,” and I didn’t want to go there. (Unless you are one of those millennials who dye their hair grey because you think it’s cool. Don’t worry, kids, someday you will have it naturally, if you are lucky enough to live that long.)
I know, I know, this follicular façade doesn’t support my stated life’s philosophy, so … I’m going “natural.”
My grey hair is a bit weird. It’s not fairy-sprinkled evenly throughout; it’s more like a yarmulke, which I guess makes sense now that I found out through a DNA test that I’m Jewish. If I was really true to myself, I would just let things happen naturally, and struggle through the “skunk” phase until I get what I get.
Nope, I guess I really am a bit vain. I am going grey with help. Being the rebel I am, I actually had more grey put into my hair, to accelerate the process and diminish the stripe of shame.
I also decided that, with only about one month left until beach vacation, I will just accept who I am, and maybe buy one of those skirted, “I’ve Just Given Up” swimsuits that Son 2 helpfully named and recommended.