Tuesday, December 29, 2009

To Gray Or Not To Gray

Many women my age have started that age-old battle between grey or not to grey. It really isn’t a battle, more like a war. Here’s how it goes for me. The roots of my hair started going gray about the time I turned 45. The rest of my hair was a wonderful shade called Mahogany, with caramel highlights. (My hair has always been a mousy brown so I started coloring it in my teens and have no idea what the actual color is). But I noticed that as the hair grew out these strands of gray started to emerge from the base. I would style my hair a little differently in order to make the color last a few extra weeks. When I turned fifty, I made the decision to give up the fight and go gray. I went to the hair stylist and had my hair cut back to where the gray ended. Now my hair was gray and an inch long all over. I loved the short hair. My hair has always been naturally curly and I could just finger toss it and go. But suddenly I didn’t recognize the woman in the mirror. As it grew out, I felt like I was suddenly looking like that sweet old grandmother down the street. The one that wears the housedress all day and has her hair pulled back in a bun.

Now, don’t go all, “I have grey hair and I love it. How dare you judge me?” I’m not. If you’re happy with your hair go for it. For me it just wasn’t the right time. But what to do? The upkeep on the darker hair was time consuming as well as costly. So I set up an appointment with a new hair specialist. "Specialist" means that instead of my usual forty-five dollars for cut and color, this one was a hundred and twenty-five. I guess if you put specialist on the end you can triple the money. But I digress. I went to the new stylist and she suggested that we go lighter with highlights so the gray might blend in. I’ll try anything once. She did her magic and when she turned me to look into the mirror I was overwhelmed with the results. She’d lightened, trimmed and straightened the whole mess and I looked amazing. How could I tell? Well, if you look in the mirror and don’t grimace, it’s a good thing. When I walked into the house after the appointment my husband said, “You look incredible.” Then he proceeded to wrap his arms around me for a little snuggle. The best praise ever. Someday I think I might try the gray again. But for now I’m a happy fifty something blond. Who knew?

Speaking of my husband and snuggling, there's the issue of sex. That’s right... sex. It really is better after fifty. For one thing, the hot flashes and the night sweats that accompanied the transition from 40 to 50, that soaked your nightshirt, sheets, and blankets and left a pool of water under your bed have stopped. The crazy ass mood swings that said oh, I want you, followed by don’t touch me, have ceased. Nothing sexy about those. There are no kids to interrupt so the word spontaneity is back in the bedroom. And finally (drum roll) if you’re like me and past menopause, there is no chance of getting pregnant.

My husband and I started our family early and rounded out the family with our third child when we were 27. Nowadays, many people don’t start their families until their thirties or early forties. You people don’t know what you’re missing.

There is nothing like that Sunday morning snuggle. You get up, have your coffee, read the paper and then the glance comes from across the room. Four hours later, much spent cuddling and talking; you get out of bed relaxed and ready to take on the day.

And it’s not just on the home front. Since we are traveling more we can experience this wonderful new freedom in many exotic places. That said I still don’t want the housekeeping staff to know what goes on so I keep my nice clean towel handy. There is nothing as romantic as when your husband takes you by the hand and leads you to a romantic place and you say, “Wait I have to get the towel.”
Now that I’ve grossed out my kids and possibly my mother with this topic, I’ll move on.


  1. Ummmm. I should read the whole blog before posting it on my profile. :-) Great one!

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