I’m pretty sure I am going to die. This is the stuff of scary movies. I’ll get just far enough into the dark maze that no one will see or hear me, and I’ll be disoriented, then the killer jumps out wielding his knife ready to make me his first victim of the day. I don’t run. At all. I get winded running half a block to catch the bus. I get really jumpy and anxious, which makes my heart race. The killer would outrun me. Or, my little heart would explode from the combo of cardio and anxiety. Both scenarios conclude with my demise. And this particular scenario ends with my being dead and covered in my own urine (don’t forget, I was on my way to the bathroom after four cups of coffee and my friend demanding I drink two full glasses of water to hydrate from said coffee and a night of drinking).
While washing my hands I look up. Before I can discern if the darkness under my eyes is errant eye make-up or lack of sleep I catch sight of my freshly washed and brushed hair in the three mirrors perfectly arranged so that with a slight turn of my head I can see the front, side, and back of my head. My jaw drops and suddenly I recall the comment made by one of my students just four days earlier, “When your hair is down it looks like a Christmas tree with tinsel shimmering with all the white hairs.”
Suddenly I am wishing a crazed killer had jump out of the construction maze and killed me. This summer my hair has gone from a sprinkling of white hair to an overwhelming, and in my mind, unacceptable amount of white. I look old! I started going grey ten years ago. It started as a white hair here, a white hair there, and then a tiny sprinkling of white. Several years ago a hairdresser introduced me to a tinted conditioner that covers the greys. Well, it did, for a while at least. In the last six months it seems to have magically stopped working its magic. The question of whether or not I should start dying my hair, a Sisyphean task I simply do not think I will ever be capable of, seems to over night be a resounding, “YES!”
A week later, I am making an appointment to have my hair cut. The theory being that the white will somehow be less noticeable if it is shorter. I mean, I have been wanting to trim a bit for the last month anyway. It somehow seems that my days of super long hair are over, for now at least. Someday I hope to be that old lady with long, flowing white hair loosely braided and falling down her back. Someday being forty years from now. Today, I want to look not a day older than my exact age (younger would be great, but I’m not going to push it here).
I settle into the chair at the salon and tell the stylist I’m not sure what I want but the white has begun to really bother me and I am hoping shorter hair will make it less obvious and therefore stave off the dreaded dying that imminently awaits. She is sweet. She doesn’t get it. I don’t expect a woman in her early 20’s to get it. I rather like not having any wisdom bestowed upon me as I suspect would have occurred had my appointment been with one of the older hair stylists. I give her my two requirements – wash and go (I do not own a hairdryer and I cannot manage any styling beyond brushing, which quite honestly gets forgotten more often than I would like to openly admit) and I must be able to pull some of it back into a partial or full ponytail (I am way too active to have hair that cannot quickly and easily be whisked off my face and out of my eyes). She is inspired. She knows what to do. I trust this young’un to work her magic. I have no expectations because what I really need, a pause button while I adjust to this new reality, simply does not exist.