That’s Not Tinsel

I asked Martin to document the evidence. 

It’s been four months since my last visit to the salon.
I got my hair done a few days before we flew to California for my speaking engagement at the BlogHer conference. Jaz arrived just a few weeks later, and I haven’t had the time to make a hair appointment ever since. 
This is the longest my hair has ever been.
And the grayest.
More and more strands of my hair have rejected the medium-brown hue of my youth and it’s becoming so obvious now. Miss C pointed out that they look like twinkling strings of Christmas tinsel.

I found my first gray hair in 2006. I was 25, and I remember that day because I went to my friend Allison’s house to scrapbook.

I told her how I yanked this wayward hair out of my scalp, amazed that it was completely without color.

“Was it kinda coarse? Sort of kinky and stickin’ up on its own?” she asked. I confirmed as much with a nod. She gave me a smile. “Yup. That’s a gray hair. And there’ll be plenty more.”
She was right, of course. Once those suckers start sprouting, they don’t stop. It’s just that I’ve always colored my hair, so I never noticed just how much my hair has changed over the past few years until now.

And I should have known. My mother’s hair turned gray at a young age. And I’m pretty much her genetic clone and accepting of my genetic destiny.

Part of me feels the pressure to get the tinsel covered. Cashiers call me ma’am, and I’d like to continue to think it’s out of manners and not because, you know, I look old enough (with gray hair!) to be called ma’am.

There’s a part of me, though, that actually likes the gray hair. There is something weirdly satisfying about seeing it in the mirror. I know I shouldn’t feel this way. We live in a culture obsessed with youth. The fact that I’m now driving a minivan in addition to having a head full of grays should have me in a tailspin about my fading youth, shouldn’t it?

But it doesn’t.

It sort of makes me feel distinguished. Like the more strands I find, the more proof I have that I’ve lived and experienced enough to get to this phase in my life: the minivan phase, the phase where college-age people seem like kids to me, and 40-somethings are my closest friends.

The bridge between spring chicken and old bird.

Make no mistake: I’m gonna get my hair colored again. I think I’ll ditch the red this new year and return to my roots — my youthful roots — and pick a nice brunette shade.

But for now, I’ll keep the “tinsel.”

At least through the holidays.

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And I’ve been obsessing over this video for the past few days.

This guy is insane, but in a way that makes me a little jealous. To be so fearless! The views he captured and the heights he experienced remind me of my flight in an F-16. I google’d him and read some articles about his line of work, which includes jumping off of buildings, bridges, cliffs and airplanes.

One article explored the possibility that people like him are genetically wired for such extreme sports. I believe they must be in order to do the things they do all the time.

Which may explain why something tells me one of my children may be wired to pursue something like this later in life.

My father sky-dived a few times in his youth.

So did Martin while he was in the Bundeswehr.

Yeah.

Maybe she’ll settle for zorbing?