A Gray a Day

I’m trying out a different voice and spin on my next (it would seem weekly) blog entry, but baring my true (gray) colors as boldly as ever with this one!

I think I mainly just need a little reassurance that either 1) I’m not really all that crazy — or at the very least 2) I’m not the only one.

So here it is (in all its brazen, embarrassingly honest truth) –

Every night – I mean EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT. – just before I head to bed, I find myself in a stand-down of sorts with my bathroom mirror. After meds are guzzled, face is washed and teeth are brushed (maybe even flossed if I’m not too utterly exhausted.. the ADA did recently say after all that there’s no real benefit to it, right?) — I then pull out my armed-and-readied tweezers to begin a private hunt down of the day’s new adversarial gray hairs.

Whether from the temples, around the nape of my neck, or the ultimately gratifying spot so close to the back of my head (you thought you could hide from me, eh?!) – I proceed with the undignified practice of plucking away these rogue hue-less tresses, as if one-by-one I’m winning back my youth in this unbecoming game.

And — this may perhaps be the truly crazy part — there’s an unmistakable glorified feeling that I really do get with each newfound follicle thrusting its coarse and wiry white head. It’s like an instant zap of dopamine across the neuron synapse with each pluck that victoriously emerges baring the enemy’s remains — short, colorless, demoralizing.

It’s ironic really, because here in my very last post I reflected on themes of aging and how I intend to embrace this transition more gracefully – even enthusiastically, as I know there is so much to feel grateful for and celebrate as beautiful in my growing age!

And yet I can’t help this nagging feeling that I’m losing something, like some part of myself that I can never reclaim is slipping away from me with each fading particle of pigmentation. As if the sagging bags under my eyes, darkening freckles on my cheeks and deepening frown lines across my brow weren’t enough, these gray hairs are now multiplying like bountiful rabbits – (ALL over my body, if I’m really being honest) – seemingly just to rub it in that I am in fact getting older.

And so for me, even in the face of all this work to transcend pesky cultural pressures, the war wages on every night as I return to the mirror and toe-up to my reflection — going head-to-hair in an impetuous battle to save my youth with a whimsy pair of Sally’s Beauty Supply tweezers. It’s laughable really when I stand back and think about this ridiculous ritual, but it’s one nonetheless that keeps me sane (at least for tonight).

In what ways are you fighting (or embracing) the fact that we’re all aging on? I’d love to know I’m not alone and that we can do this, if not in a dignified way, at least together!

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