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Donna Gets it Right ----

11 - 23 - 04

Going, Going ........ Gray

I decided a few months ago to stop coloring my hair and let my natural color come out.
I’d been cutting it back slowly, ever so slightly letting my natural hair color make its way to the ends.

I didn’t want it too short at first. Then one night I couldn’t take it any more and just went crazy with the scissors. I just had to see what my natural hair looked like. And it’s NOT the color in my picture at the top of this column. It actually looks black, with plenty of gray. I think the term is salt and pepper.

My hair is now super-short. Wash and go, but still feminine. And I really love it.

Now, I know this sounds like a very girly thing to get emotional over, and maybe it is. But I’ve been coloring my hair for at least 15 years. On and off going to the beauty parlor, because when I couldn’t afford spending $65+ on my hair, L’Oreal 6G, at about $7 did the trick.

I’m still amazed every time I see my reflection. It’s been about a month now with my natural hair, and I still stand and stare in the mirror and wonder what happened to the perpetually young girl I always thought I was. I mean, all the signs of getting older were right there in front of me. But it seems that my new “do” has changed all that. Not necessarily for the worse, but still changed.

Here are the facts:

  1. I’m 41.
  2. My knees aren’t what they used to be (neither is the rest of my body for matter).
  3. My husband is 9 years younger.
  4. Most of today’s music gives me a headache.
  5. I think clothing styles for my daughters is too trampy.
  6. I have a 3 year old. (see 1 and 2)

For all this, I still never really thought of myself as old or even older for that matter. Was this all due to the color of my hair? I do a lot of thinking while looking in the mirror these days. And not the way I used to. In the past I used it to decide if the left or right was my best profile, to see what facial expression made me look coolest, sexiest, or smarter. And like most young girls, I sang in front of it into my hair brush.

Now the mirror is showing a new chapter in my life. And it’s not really a question of whether I’m ready for it. I’m here. My life is here. There’s no more doubting whether I should have gone to college, or if I’ve chosen the right career. I can still do those things, change those things. I’m just not saying “I wish I would have” anymore. This has turned into quite a revelation for me, a kind of empowerment.

I loved the part in the movie Fried Green Tomatoes where the two young women steal Kathy Bates’ parking space. When she tries to tell them she’d been waiting for it, they snidely say “Face it lady, we’re younger and faster!” After she smashes into their car about 14 times while screaming hysterically, she composes herself and says “Face it girls, I’m older and I have more insurance.” From a comedy standpoint I always thought that was a hilarious line, but now I really get it.

Is that going to be me in 10 years? I hope not, but if it is, I need to give Tommy Fincher, my insurance guy and fellow Springer, a call and make sure I’m covered.

Until next time………


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