I have a big birthday coming up. I won’t say which one, but it’s an even number. If you must know, it ends in a zero.
Here’s another hint: my hair started turning gray years ago. Prematurely. Yeah, that’s it.
I used to color my hair until the roots started turning a very light shade of gray (white, actually) and were too “stubborn.” That’s what the hairdresser called them, as if they were recalcitrant children. She’d covered them with dark brown dye and left them in a time-out so long that she couldn’t remove the dye she’d accidentally gotten on my forehead. I walked around with a dark brown border on my forehead for a few days. I vowed to never again color my hair.
When the roots started to grow out, I looked kind of like a mushroom, with white roots and the rest of my hair dark brown. I’ll never forget the high school freshman who passed me in the hall one day and blurted out, “What’s wrong with your hair?” Social skills were not his strength, but then, hair fashion sense wasn’t mine, either.
But now, people, even complete strangers, are constantly telling me how much they love my hair color. Maybe they’re just thinking “at least she doesn’t look like a mushroom,” I don’t know. But I guess gray hair is all the rage these days. And mine is even better: silver and white on top, gradually blending to dark gray underneath. There’s a name for that, but I can’t remember it right now, because … well, you know … birthday.
I looked it up just now. It’s called “ombre,” which means “shaded” in French. I am part French, so in a way, I’m going back to my roots. (groan)
There’s a silver lining that comes with growing older. You learn to appreciate the little things in life more. For example, a nice thing happened to me today as I was out for a walk with my camera. A man passed me on the sidewalk. (No, that’s not the nice part.) Seeing my camera, he asked, “What are you taking pictures of?”
“Flowers,” I replied.
“Well, there’s a whole bunch of mushrooms about a half a block up there, near those trees,” he said.
I kept walking and found the mushrooms.
I got down on my stomach in the grass and clicked the camera. As I did so, I couldn’t stop thinking about how nice that fellow was to tell me about the mushrooms. Or maybe he just liked my ombre hair.
2 thoughts on “Birthday’s Silver Lining”
Such a happy and uplifting birthday essay! Your writing is always so great. I am really lichen it! (Yes, I know that mushrooms aren’t lichen!) But one piece of advice: Since you don’t want to dye, please don’t eat those mushrooms!
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