Thursday, April 29, 2010

To dye or not to dye, that is the question!

(copyright Nance Thacker '90)
click on picture to enlarge
(photo taken of the cartoon then worked with in i-photo - learned this in my last MAC class)

Age is a state of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter.
Mark Twain

I get a lot of compliments on the colour of my hair especially from people who dye theirs to get rid of their grey.

I began getting grey hair when I was about 30. It was kind of weird buying wine at the liquor store and (if my hair was covered) getting asked for my ID. You've got to be kidding, yet deep inside it felt kind of good being mistaken for a teenager.

That, obviously doesn't happen to me anymore but for the most part I'm happy with my hair. But sometimes I'll catch a quick glance in a mirror or see myself in a recent photo and I'm taken aback as the image doesn't reflect how I feel inside. I get ma'am's on occasion and am aware that to younger people I'm old; not older but old, though my peers tell me I look young for my age despite the grey.

My older sister went grey early on too, but I thought it was the most beautiful colour and showed off her complexion, blue eyes, lush dark eyelashes and eyebrows. I thought that I too would look as good as she when my hair became more fully grey. But an odd thing happened. My features lost their definition, my skin washed out, my sparse eyebrows and eyelashes did me no favours either and my green eyes seemed lost in the space of the face.

Years ago, when I came home for a visit, Mom and Dad picked me up at the airport. It was a summer day deep in the throws of a swelteringly humid season. I'd been living in Victoria, BC for a few years where everything is moist, the colours are lush and green and the sea and sky crystal, clear blue. I was depressed with the hues that greeted me. Everything was dry and washed out by a haze of heat and pollution, even Mom and Dad had aged and become beige during my absence.

Well, for the longest time that's how I looked to myself — old and beige.

But as time has passed either I've adjusted to my appearance, my makeup application (that smudge of blush) has improved or my skin tones have changed. Still, every once-in-a-while I'm tempted to get rid of the grey.

What keeps me from going there?
  • My hair grows faster than spit and I'm a lazy sod who can't be bothered with touching up my roots.
  • I wonder, would I actually appear younger, or merely look like someone trying to look younger?
  • I get a lot of compliments on it just the way it is.
  • There's a rebellious aspect in boldly going where few others dare to.
  • What I lack in follicular pigmentation I make up for in immaturity which attests to my youth.
  • I can think of a bazillion ways I'd rather spend my money that keep me feeling young.
  • I really look at myself in the mirror and reconnect with who I am right now and realize that I'm fine just the way I am.

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