Going, going…gray?

So I’m writing this book. You know, the one I’ve been writing for-ever. I’m also planning a bat mitzvah (fast approaching in 2 1/2 weeks!), and I’m teaching at night. So it probably isn’t the best time to decide to get serious about self-publishing, but it does follow my pattern of keeping myself buried in projects. As my husband pointed out a few years ago when I was complaining about being so busy and stress-y, “You like it like that.”

My first multigrain loaf. A little flat. Needed more salt. But pretty!
My first multigrain loaf. A little flat. Needed more salt. But pretty!

So instead of being all tired about it, I’m embracing the chaos that comes with being a linear thinker in the middle of four big projects (at least). I am thinking, “Look at all the stuff I’m getting done!” instead of my former, “OMG I have so much to do.” I am not skipping yoga. I am remembering to eat. I am taking my vitamins. My sourdough bread-baking is going well. In a moment of holy shit epiphany the other day, I realized I do yoga, bake artisan sourdough bread, and my hair is turning silver. I’m becoming the woman I always wanted to be.

Jessica Topper. Truth: Before I met her, I used to stare at her hair. I think it is the color of courage, and I want it.

I won’t lie. The hair is giving me a bit of pause. I’m not ready to be gray, even though my beautiful mother has been silver as long as I’ve known her, even though my gorgeous friend Jessica Topper rocks her salt and pepper locks, even though I stop women with great gray hair and tell them how amazing they look. (When I can do it and only seem slightly strange, that is.) I just…I can’t…and yet, I am. I don’t understand why I’m so conflicted about my hair. It’s HAIR. I’m not vain. I clean up well, but I spent most of my time peacefully au naturel. Sometimes I forget to look in the mirror before I leave the house to run errands.

I have to assume I’m afraid of taking the step from siren to matron. I don’t like it what that says about me or how it makes me feel, but I can’t deny it. Is this how the old-people-don’t-have-sex myth got started? Because of gray hair? Or, horror of all horrors, gray pubic hair? I don’t doubt my husband’s devotion to me, but I do fear he won’t find me as attractive if I continue down the silver path. His preference for my brown hair has been stated. So has his deep and abiding love and his respect for my choice. It’s my call…

Me and my mommy!
Me and my mommy!

This was supposed to be a post about the book and conflict avoidance. Right now I’m re-writing a scene where the heroine realizes the hero has done something pretty damn unforgivable to her. As written, her internal dialogue goes something like this, “I should be mad at him, but I’m just sad and sorry for him.”

No, girl. You should be mad at him. Really mad. Kick his ass mad. Or at least throw him out of your kitchen mad.

I have no idea what that has do do with my hair, but I’ll re-write the scene. Right after I call my mother.

Anybody out there have emotions on the subject? I know I’ve brought it up on Twitter before and gotten some great responses. This hair hesitation has been going on with me for a long time! As always, commenters will be entered into my seasonal/quarterly/solstice/equinox giveaway of a gift certificate to The Ripped Bodice. (International winner would have to make do with Amazon) 🙂

10 Replies to “Going, going…gray?”

  1. Amanda, don’t think girl-siren-matron (I hate that word “matron” too). Think maid-mother-crone. Crones have wisdom and courage and enormous power. Embrace your croneness.

    We yoga-doing, bread-baking, straight-talking powerful women are fantastic. Thanks for the post! Inspiration and entertaining as always!

  2. I’m completely in on the plan to age gracefully — assuming my hair (and body) cooperates. Society needs to change its mindset about ageing. We shouldn’t have to conform to what society wants women to look like. (Besides, one you start dyeing your hair, you have to constantly touch up to cover those silver hairs. That’s way too much work. 😉

  3. I kind of flirted with no more hair color, but I’m just not ready. Last winter, I sported a super short pixie, almost a buzz cut. I was completely gray, and I freaked. I think I’ll cling to color for a few more years.

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