I have always had great hair.
Thick, wavy, shiny, dense, vibrant, full-of-body, luxurious hair. When I was in my teens, my hair fell almost to my waist when it was wet. Dry, it fluffed out and fell to just below my shoulders.
Sort of like Roseanne Roseannadanna, you know?
As I aged, I carried one certainty with me: whatever else I lost, I would always have fabulous hair. I imagined myself as a little old wrinkly lady in a housedress, with a huge crop of curly silver hair.
Like my Mom, bless her heart. At 83, she has a lovely head of soft, silvery curls. They always look perfectly coiffed. I kind of hate her.
So. You can only begin to imagine my horror when I looked in the mirror recently and saw…..my head.
It was a Saturday night, and we were going out with friends. Very stylish friends. I put on my new, sleek black jeans and a new, soft gray turtleneck sweater. Oh, yeah. I was pretty sure I was lookin’ just fine.
I sashayed to the bathroom mirror to apply some final touches. Silver jewelry, check. Silky gray/blue scarf, check. My eyes moved upward, slowly. Chin, looking smooth. Mouth, check! Nice shade of lipstick, not too bold, but not too invisible. Sort of a subtle soft ochre. Just right!
Moving up again, past the nose. (OK, still big, still crooked, but at least there aren’t any zits on there any more!) To my eyes. Not too shabby. Getting a little wrinkly, but still a nice deep shade of semi-sweet chocolate. Looking pretty friendly, pretty smiley. Eyes? Check!
And up I go. To my hairline. Where I see……..shiny pink scalp.
What?!? Skin?! No, no, no!!!
Maybe if I tilt my head just a wee bit to the right……..shiny pink.
Maybe if I drop my chin a little…..there is my brown hair, fluffing up in the front. And there is my pink-as-a-baby’s-butt scalp shining on through it.
I know what’s wrong!!! The light in this bathroom is just weird! Just…too bright!
I run down the hall to the big bathroom, click on the overhead light and move toward the mirror.
All my sashaying is gone now. I slink back to my bathroom, rummage through the useless crap drawer and pull out an old can of mousse. “Sphlphlph” I plop it into my hand. Rub it into my remaining hair and try to fluff it all up like a stick of cotton candy. Back to the mirror. I take a slow, cautious peek.
Fluffy, sticky brown hair standing up straight. I look like I just saw the ghost of Bob Marley. And my gleaming eggshell head is even more obvious.
Time is running out. Our friends are waiting.
Desperate now, I reach into the very back of the coat closet where my fingers just reach an old black wool beret. I brush it off on my sleeve, and tilt it rakishly over one eye.
As long as it doesn’t get too hot in the restaurant, I am one fine looking middle aged woman.