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  • Last modified 1621 days ago (April 16, 2014)

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How did this happen?

Well, it finally started in earnest. I have avoided the inevitable for so long that I thought I might actually skip the whole thing. Listening to friends try to handle this situation didn’t help because I thought I would remain exempt. Apparently, I would not need to go for a big cover up, so no one would know what really happened. However, now that I seem to have reached that point where the facts are out there for everyone to see, I admit I did think about covering it up.

However, the other option is to attack the whole thing with grace and poise and just let the chips fall where they may. I am certainly not the first woman in this situation and I won’t be the last.

I am finally exhibiting wisps of gray hair — in several places. Aaaarrrghhhh! I can hardly believe it.

For years people have said things like, “Oh no, you are not 45 (or 48 or 57 or 65)! You can’t be; you don’t look it!” Usually I did not say much to those comments, but I really got a kick out of hearing them and I knew the secret was in the hair color.

I expect I inherited my mother’s genes, and she didn’t begin to go gray until she was in her mid-80s. Imagine that. The Daughters both have more gray hair than I do. My younger sister has more gray hair than I do. My favorite beau back in high school was salt and pepper gray before he graduated and bald several years later! Few of my peers have untreated hair the color of mine.

I did not usually think too much about my hair color until someone commented on it, but it was fun to assure them I was blessed with good genes. Or I would joke that I was just such a tough old bird it took copious amounts of stress to turn me gray and — the Daughters not withstanding — I just floated through all that stress with no repercussions.

I have checked with my sister to be sure that our mother’s hair did not begin to turn gray until she was an octogenarian and I was right. I am 67 so apparently I am not going to be able to pull that off.

I really don’t care, except for this one little event on the horizon. I have a high school class reunion in another year and it would have been fun to show up with no gray and no artificial color. However, I expect no one would have even noticed. On the list of important things, hair color is nowhere close to the top and I know many men and women who have heads of gorgeous gray or white hair.

So I will just look forward to that next step. How tough can it be?

— SUSAN MARSHALL

Last modified April 16, 2014

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