Monday, September 24, 2012

Gray hair: A luxury anyone can afford.

    I got one of those back-handed compliments on my gray hair from a stranger today: "I wish I could do it. But, I'm afraid of looking old....oh, gawd....but YOURS looks great... really!!" 
    No harm, no foul. It's happened before.
    Charla Krupp, author of "How Not to Look Old," once said, "it's such a luxury to be able to go gray. Because it is an aging look, and it means that you don't care about people knowing your age." 
    She was probably right. Thankfully, I've never been shy about stating my age - it's 56, for the record - or asking others their number, especially when playing 'Who do you know?' The gentler, albeit sneakier, way is asking the year they graduated high school, but sometimes I forget and just blurt it out, often taking people aback.
 
      But, does it bother me? The looking older part, I mean?
      No. But, admittedly, I'm married. I'm not in the meat market, the job market, or any other competitive situation that I'm aware of.
      My paternal grandmother, whom we called Mere Mere, had silver hair for as long as I can remember. She was completely white by age 40. (That's her at my folks' wedding in 1954, probably at age 48 or so.) I always thought she was gorgeous. Beyond elegant. And, her age? It didn't matter a damn to me. She was Mere Mere, and she was fabulous.
     So, if "being able" to go gray is a luxury, I wish more people would lounge in the lap of it, especially that well-meaning stranger in the shoe store. But, the luxury isn't in the not caring. It's in the letting go, and just being who you are.

6 comments:

A Fan said...

Fascinating what strangers will say. . . that comment was rude. imho. :-) Silver rocks! Have an aunt and uncle both pushing 80 who BOTH still dye brown. We love them dearly, but it's creepy. :-)

Carol Starr Schneider said...

Great photo! Great blog! Great BG! I'm still dying my hair. But yay!

Cathy Hamilton said...

AF, agreed on the creepiness. My mother-in-law's best friend died hers jet black well into her 80s. My kids were scared to death of her. CSS, you're in Hollywood. You're exempt! xx

Joyce said...

I'm 66 & my hair has been silver for a number of years. I didn't waste either the time or the money trying to keep it brown. I didn't want to have the gray "skunk stripe" that so many older women have when they don't get to hairdresser for touch-ups, didn't want hair that was dry & damaged from constant coloring, didn't want to look blonde when I never was! I am who I am! Accept me for that, silver hair & all!

Anonymous said...

Loved your story, feel exactly the same way and hey I'm 56 too! Been a silver haired sister for about four years now. Get compliments all the time....never got any before. I don't get why women are so afraid of going natural....it's VERY liberating and though I'm not in the market either some men find it sexy and confident on some women as long as they still have style and class.
I got a good laugh over the comment about the older people who still dye. LOL. My Aunt Mary dyed her hair jet black also and wore a beehive until the day she died, well into her 80's. It IS creepy cause it's so unnatural!

Elizabeth J. Neal said...

Thankfully, I've never been shy about stating my age - it's 56, for the record - or asking others their number, especially when playing 'Who do you know?' The gentler, albeit sneakier, way is asking the year they graduated high school, but sometimes I forget and just blurt it out, often taking people aback. luxury travel