I colored my hair today, an every third week ritual that sometimes stretches to a month. When I miss this self-imposed deadline, my wide swath of white hair looks like a cap made from skunk fur. I can stand in the middle of the street at midnight and headlights reflected off my head will bring every car to a screeching halt.
As I prepared the exact mix of chemicals, my son stopped in the doorway. He teased me about the white line, growing a good half-inch wider as we talked. He suggested I let it “go natural” so as to save myself time and trouble. My grandson, who nosed in between his dad and the door, commented sincerely, “I like the two colors! Don’t change it!”
My grandson also likes Mohawks and purple hair, and has a 10 year old’s predilection toward haphazard grooming.
His plea reminded me when I was ten. Back then, almost everyone looked, dressed and sounded more or less the same to me. I remember liking anything that was out of the norm: an unusual hat, a handlebar mustache, someone very short or very tall, unfamiliar music, the lights and siren on a police car. Fires.
I used to hate conformity. So why am I still dying my hair? Are women really staring as if mesmerized by the top of my head? Am I actually seeing men blink rapidly when I remove my hat, then move hastily out of range, as if I am about to launch some kind of rocket out of my scalp?
Yes, I am totally convinced all this is true. My family snaps a picture, and I see a street wide gap between the right and left side of my head.
I’ve got a new plan. I’m going to shave my scalp and have the entire surface tattooed black. Then as the white hair grows back in, it will look like I dyed my hair white, on purpose!
I’ve always wanted a tattoo.