ephemeral beauty (9/30)

April 10, 2018

poetry 9-30 E-ephemeral

white, pink, blue, purple

when you’re fresh you’re beautiful

freshness is fleeting

 

 

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There are few things I do to apply the glamorized myth of beauty to myself, but coloring my hair is one thing I can’t give up, it seems.

The very first time I colored my hair was in about 1988. It had gotten quite long for the first time in a long time and I was bored and/or depressed. My M.O. had been to get out the scissors when bored and/or depressed but I decided that I didn’t want to cut my hair. I still was in the mood for a change, so I bought a box of hair color. My hair was young so I let that color grow out and life went on.

Fast forward to 1995. Same deal. Longer hair, bored and/or depressed, didn’t want to cut.

(I should mention that I have always cut my own hair. There’s enough body/curl to hide any mistakes I make. I can count on one hand the number of times as an adult that someone else has cut my hair. And I came to realize that my feelings of boredom and/or depression happened post-MS. Not too many PMS symptoms, but that restlessness afterwards. Please also see my previous post, Inertia, part 4.)

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Once again I chose to color. And this time I repeated the deed. Several times. I did end up cutting my hair, too, but I realized somewhere along the line that it was fun changing the color every couple of months. So I kept on doing it.

And at some point, I also realized there were more grey hairs.

After one of those third-party haircuts, maybe eight or nine years ago, I almost stopped coloring. The haircut was practically down to the grown-out color.

I couldn’t stop.

My name is Kelly and I color my hair.

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So I’ve been coloring ever since and now I have a lot of grey hairs, and unfortunately they’re concentrated in noticeable places such as my front hairline. My reason to color has changed from fun to denial.

I am a year and a half away from 50 at the time of this writing. I don’t feel that old, I don’t act that old. There are few things I do, by my actions, to bely my age. But when I think about the actual number—50—particularly as it pertains to entering my dotage—50—I freak the fuck out.

50.

50!

I cut my hair short a week ago. I briefly considered discontinuing with coloring as well.

Yeah, right.

People seem to think I look younger than I am. Thanks! My eyes are wrinkled, my skin is sagging. They can’t see how my body feels. I’ve been convinced for a number of years that my toes are arthritic, my right hip aches with air pressure changes or too many carbs, my left knee has its own issues (probably bowling-related), and I’m on my third bifocal glasses prescription. It must be my non-grey hair that creates the illusion of youth. 

I think I believe that if I look old, I’ll feel old. Revealing the grey hairs would be a nail or two in that coffin. I can’t go there yet.

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