Reading Ronni’s excellent postDo you lie about your age set me thinking and remembering.
W hen I was 11, I was the tallest in my class, was already wearing a bra, and hated it, and looked eighteen. When I went to the cinema, no one would ask me for an ID, I looked old enough to see movies forbidden to under sixteen. In those days, there were no X movies anyway 😉
A t twenty-five, as I took after my father, my hair was grey and I started dying it. And I dyed my hair for the next thirty years. Once a month, I sat at the hairdresser’s and spent about three hours there, and had to do that once a month.
I stopped dyeing my hair five years ago, and my daughter was quite upset about it. I guess she didn’t feel happy seeing her mother grow old. I had been thinking about it for years, even before my husband’s death (1992).
Mind you, they have all sorts of shades and hues at the hairdresser’s. But not for grey hair. No one has bothered trying to create a silver hue. They do sell you shampoo to prevent your grey hair from getting yellow –why should it? But no silver dye.
When I asked if I could dye my hair grey, my natural shade, they looked at me as if I were a madwoman.
It turned out that I had two choices:
the first was to stop dyeing my hair and have it grow white or grey by layers, looking like some sort of ageing punk 😉
the alternative being to stop dyeing it and cut it as short as possible!
I chose the second option and these days, when I go for my haircut, it takes me no more than half an hour.
I remember going back to school (remember, I was a teacher) with my grey hair in September. I had had a really short haircut back in June and was perfectly used to having grey hair. But to other people, it was brand new.
I got a lot of compliments on how YOUNGER I looked with my grey hair. And looking back, I think that people were trying to make me feel better about actually looking OLD! 😉
But the funny part is, at the time, I thought they were sincere, because having grey hair felt good to me.
I have never lied about my age. And I don’t think I ever will. I am sixty and three quarters. I’ll turn sixty-one at the end of September and it doesn’t bother me the least bit.
Although I must admit, turning sixty was difficult. You feel like you are entering the last part of your life, and the general idea is that one MUST be young, and that getting old is awful.
Somehow, I used to believe this. But I am changing my mind.
T here are quite a few advantages to getting old if one is healthy and has enough money to live.
In this country, when you turn sixty, you get concessions in cinemas and theatres, on the trains and in a lot of museums. And you know what? they don’t even ask for proof of your age, because they KNOW that no one ever cheats on their age, at least to say they are older!
I find that younger people are nicer to me than they used to. I never say yes, when some youngster offers his/her seat on the bus or in the subway, because I feel I am not old and tired enough, but it’s comforting to have someone be nice to you.
And I love not having to go to work any longer. I spend my days as I choose and must admit I have slowly given up doing all the things that I found boring and avoid anything that looks like an obligation.
I have always enjoyed staying up late, and could never do it until now. Always had to think about getting up in the morning!
Not any more!
I don’t feel old, I am older and I like it!