Last Sunday we went to Duluth for the 48th annual Lollipop Concert, presented by the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra. This was our second year attending the concert, thanks to free tickets from the Arrowhead Library System. Without the free tickets, our family would have had to spend $25 on admission, and I doubt we would have been able to do that. You already know that I feel this way, but I'll just say it again for fun: Libraries are fantastic resources!
As for the Lollipop Concert itself, I love that it is geared toward kids Jack's age. It gives us an opportunity to take Jack to a real concert without having to worry about the fact that he is not sitting still or being quiet (which, of course, he isn't). Here is a picture of me and Jack at this years' concert:
And here we are at at the same concert one year ago:
Yes, we've both changed. Jack has gotten bigger and I've stopped coloring my hair. Gasp! But yes, it's true. Some of you may have already picked up on this obvious fact, but today I feel like coming right out and saying it. I think I may even take this opportunity to ramble on about it.
I starting getting gray hair around age 21 and I have pretty much been dying it ever since. I never enjoyed that process - I found it to be expensive, messy and toxic. I know that there are natural dyes out there, but they are just as messy and even more expensive. I have tried to stop covering my gray many times over the years, but this is the first time I have made it very far. In the past I have always let the comments I hear from other people stop me. But a few years ago, the proportion of gray to brown in my hair reached the point that - if I didn't want to have "roots" - I had to color my hair once a week. Once a week. Yuck: not how I want to spend my time.
Now, just to be clear: I do not mean to disparage others who choose to color their hair. I am simply saying that for me, it is not the best use of my time or money.
I think it has been almost a year since I last colored my hair, and I am really starting to like the way it looks. It is still going to be a while before all of the dyed hair gets snipped off of the ends, but I think I am getting close to not having to worry about that.
I still get comments about it all of the time. It is amazing to me how people feel the need to say something. "You've got gray hair!" "How old are you?" "What's going on with your hair?" "You're too young to go gray!" All of these are comments I have heard before and, in the past they sent me running back to Target or Pamida. Now, though, I am doing my best to see the whole thing from the point of view of an anthropologist fascinated by our society's obsession with youth. And I do occasionally get comments in support of my decision, my favorite being "I love your hair!"
For the record, however, I am only 39 (not old in my book) and - I'll say it again - I've been gray since I was 21. My point here is that gray hair is not directly tied age anyway. In fact, one in three American women colors her hair, so if you think only old women have gray hair you are being misled.
Furthermore, I believe that gray hair - done well - can be striking and fabulous. It is not unlike a bald man's choice between a self-assured, distinguished look and/or the toupe/comb-over route.
For those who want to know more on this topic, I suggest the going gray blog and this video from the Today show. You can also click over to the Huffington post to vote for your favorite graying celebrity. Judy Dench and John Stewart are my probably my top choices, but I think Jaimie Lee Curtis and John Slattery are looking pretty good, too.