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.
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.