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Hairs to Me

The time has come. I have decided to hang up the ratty towel, throw out the rubber gloves, and succumb to mother nature. I’m letting my hair grow out to its natural color—whatever it may be. I’ve been coloring my hair for so long, I’m no longer sure what color my hair is, though the roots are glaringly white. Fact of the matter is, I hate to color my hair. I’m not adept at it; I end up missing some obvious and glaring strands of white hair, which shout to the world that my hair color comes from a box!

Much as I loved her, I blame my grandmother for this malady. She was completely white-haired at the age of twenty-one. God, with His ever-present sense of humor, decided that gene was best passed onto me. I have to be thankful, though, that it appears my entire head is white. My sister has the Cruella DeVille look, with dark hair save for a two-inch streak of white that is centered almost over her left eye. This gives her an undeniably sinister look, quite appropriate for Halloween; knock a couple of her front teeth out and she could be the poster child for the next sequel to Amityville Horror.

I’ve been feverishly combing through my appointment calendar, wondering at what point in time my current quest to go “au natural” will leave me with two-toned hair. Can I count on looking human for our next staff meeting? I’m pretty sure the dress code forbids two-toned hair.

In the past, social occasions forced me reluctantly toward assembling my paraphernalia and tackling the dreaded coloring chore, though not always. I remember vividly a few years ago attending choir practice one Sunday afternoon at a prior church. I felt comfortable with these people, and perhaps in denial as to exactly how much of my roots were showing. As we finished up practice on “Glory Land,” the pastor suddenly whipped out a pair of sunglasses, claiming that the light reflecting off the top of my head hurt his eyes. I should have known better than to sit below anybody! I wore a hat to the next choir practice.

It used to be that I would hang the “day sleeper” sign out near the front porch door, to prevent getting caught answering a knock with purple-gelled hair. I’d take the phone off the hook (so Goo would not get on the receiver), and line my favorite chair in old towels. With more old towels and garbed in the oldest and darkest tee shirt on hand, I would painstakingly apply that magical formula which will transform me from my daughter’s grandmother to her mom. Try as I might to avoid it, I would somehow manage to fling color onto some fixture or wall of the bathroom, though that long purple streak which decorates the wall farthest from the sink is still a mystery to me. It looks rather ghoulish, like a ghost started writing a message, than thought better of it.

By the way, If you happen to see me out and about with a hat on, you’ll know my hair is in that awkward phase. Please, simply pass me by without comment.

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