Monday, July 21, 2008


Can we talk about my hair? (We don't have to, we could keep talking about my feet, which are currently allergy-rash-free, but not yet appropriately summer-shod: the OK brown slides in the bigger size [I turned out not to be allergic to them, and looks like I forgot to mention that I returned them for a bigger size--maybe I had a rare moment of not wanting people to think I am INSANE] stretched in the rain and became barely tolerable, but sufficiently tolerable that they still had to be worn, until my friend with the genuine size 8 feet exclaimed at their beauty, so I gave them to her and bought the turquoise version of my other friend's Croc slides which are OK and luckily were $14.95 on sale, so I can justify buying yet another pair, especially since I'm not the Croc-slides-to-work type, and really they are not that great, so I am still in search of this summer's definitive sandals, which just sucks--wondering if maybe I am being punished for having finally achieved good boots...)

But my hair...there is no way to get around it: my hair is, essentially, more gray than brown. Such that strangers say things like "I love your hair, you're so brave!" or "Wow, I'm thinking of going gray too. Good for you!" which translates to "You're a freak, but I support you in principle." The problem is, the same old reasons still hold: I will not be able to maintain the roots--I can't even maintain my email, for god's sake--and the gray-roots look is, in my opinion, for myself at least, worse than the gray. Plus by now everyone knows me with the gray, and thinks I'm brave, so to get rid of the gray at this point would be a visible concession to...I don't know what. I mean, obviously the hegemony of contemporary youth-based beauty standards. Yeah, I guess that's it. Though I'm still considering a French-old-lady bright red.

At any rate, the age thing is a bit on my mind, given the upcoming birthday. I'm feeling like I've totally missed the boat career-wise and it's too late to get on the train (yeah, mixed transportation metaphors!), but that route (keep it up! keep it up!) will quickly lead to banal pathos, so let's skip it (banal pathos is fancy Greek for boring self-pity). But let's talk about the bus (oh my goodness, that transportation segue was so unplanned--go me!).

These days I sit on the bus and I watch the people and consider whether I would wear what the women are wearing or want the men (OK, with the men it's a little more graphic, but M is back from camp and thus the presumption of her readership must resume). Basically, the answer is no. The men...well, on the bus there seem to be very few attractive men, and the few that are attractive are maybe 25, and for some reason 25 and attractive no longer falls into my want category, even in the hypothetical confines of the bus. But that's fine. I don't need a man.

On the other hand, I do need clothes. OK, I don't need clothes, I have a ridiculously over-stuffed set of drawers and hangers, but I always want clothes, and I always feel (cue sandals) like I never have exactly the right clothes. Only it appears that nobody else does either--at least for me. And, again, the age thing seems pertinent. I am just not going to wear a cleavage-baring, skin-tight, shirred and ruffled sundress to work (not sure there is a garment with all those characteristics, but consider it a composite). On the other hand, I am also not going to wear sneakers and elastic-backed trousers, but neither am I going to wear a power suit and big pearl earrings. So I guess I'll just wear the clothes I've got.

My big fear, though, what with the gray and the chaos of summer hair--though actually I have a quite nice haircut at the moment--and the never-quite-adequate clothes, not to mention the upcoming birthday, is that I'm going to end up looking like one of those frizzled (frizz + frazzled + grizzled) women you see around City, the ones with the straggly gray hair and beaten clothes, who clearly live meaningful lives, but, you know, I don't just want to be meaningful (if I even am that): I want to be cute!

On the other hand, at least I am still awake. I am meeting three old friends to celebrate my birthday, and we are all very excited and have lovely plans. Only Friend #1 says she is done at 8:30, and Friend #2 says she goes to bed at 9:30, and I'm all "HELLO people, we have not all been in the same room since perhaps M's naming, and it's going to be my birthday, and you're going to bed with the sun?!" They do have smaller children than I do, but, come on, one must not succumb to the hegemony of small children. Luckily, Friend #3 has always been a hundred zillion times cooler than me, so I assume she will have great hair, good clothes, and the power to stay awake with me! Of course, she's also three years younger...

Edited to add: My birthday isn't for a few days, so no need to go all wishing me Happy Birthday!


Jenny Davidson said...

But Becca, you have exceptionally nice hair! I do think that long hair in adulthood necessitates more frequent & high-quality haircuts than one might expect, but your hair is lovely & shiny & silvery & always very nicely cut!

Sinda said...

I'm with you on the hair - mine is still less grey than brown, but I stopped coloring it some time ago...I don't want to be locked into maintaining it, because once you start, how/when do you quit? Plus, if I don't wear makeup regularly, how can I justify hair color to myself - isn't it the same thing?

lastly, how lucky I am to feel free to worry about such things!

Kelly said...

o, happy birthday lovely lady! I've been letting my grey come in as it wishes too... I just don't think I can keep up with the dye jobs and that unkept dye job look is dreadful, especially with grey. My greys grow in right angles rather than nice, smooth curls,so I have a rather frizzled pubic head look in the humidity. And don't even get me started on clothes. Was just IMing a friend and looking at fashion shows on youtube from 1995/96 and wishing I could go back and get some of those clothes because damn, that's how I should be dressing. Ah well.


wish I could be there for your b'day celebration. I'd stay up past midnight with you!

Libby said...

Happy Birthday, Becca!

I'm with Jenny on your hair--it looks great! I've gone the color route every now and then but am now (don't hold me to this) living with the grey, and yours is so chic, truly! (Mine is less so, but then again I don't really need to be.) I do have those same fears, occasionally, of turning into that woman with the interesting life and the not-so-cute look, but more often I fear turning into the other one, the one with "interesting" (i.e., flowy, gypsy-ish, costume-y) clothes that cover her sagginess. Sigh. Then again a week in France has convinced me that it's not really about the clothes, it's about the attitude, so I'm trying to work on that one...

addy said...

I read your post to Momsy who's dealing with the same gray woes. I am forever using you as the example of the totally hip (and cute!) person who doesn't dye her hair. Also I profess not to dye mine once it starts going because I've never dyed it before. So kudos to you. (I can't believe I just wrote "kudos"-that was so wack of me.)