Aging Graycefully

Reinvented Myself xx

So here’s the deal. I am reinventing myself once again. First, with invisalign braces. Why at 60, you ask? I clench my teeth when I sleep. I mean like a gator closes onto its prey and does a death roll, clench. Only in my case, the death roll is me trying to switch to my other side for comfort, which has become a three-step process, more akin to an overturned turtle struggling to right himself. At any reptilian rate, clenching has affected my bite and shifted my teeth. Nothing so heinous I couldn’t live with it, but my smile is everything. As my face does a glacial slide off my skull, I want my teeth to remain glorious. Hell, they last long after death, so it’s really a pretty good investment. And should anybody find my body in a ditch near some deserted farmland, those puppies will be talking to the forensic scientists in all their bleached, perfectly aligned glory.

The next big decision for me has been to stop dying my hair and go au naturel. It all started when my roots become a problem during long camping trips. This year, instead of rushing to my hairdresser with shame in my eyes and money in my pocket, I decided to wait. Then I waited a little more. Then I knew this was the time to make the change. It was a head start, if you will, that I was going to make the most of.

The teeth? They will be done in under a year. The hair? More like 18 months to two years to get it all grey and to my current length. No interest in cutting it short to hasten the process, I am going cold turkey and letting my root-flag fly. It’s exhilarating. First, the cost of having my hair done has been halved. With the help of a calculator, that means my invisalign braces will be paid off by those savings in about 7 years. Worth it!

Before this decision, hair growth was my master, and I its willing slave. There is no judgment on people who choose to color their hair right up until their last breath. Hair is such a powerful, personal statement for women. Curl up and dye to your heart’s content. This is simply my choice at this point in my ever-changing life. The nice thing about changing hair? It has absolutely nothing to do with body weight, flabby upper arms, or any other body image issues women deal with. I can still eat whatever the hell I want, and my hair will not go through any serious withdrawal symptoms as it is released from its chemical dependency. (Well, except for looking like a freak who went to prison, e.g. Jodi Arias, who no longer has access to the luxury of hair dye and shocks everyone who hasn’t been seen in a while.) Which is where the following pictures come in…

I am taking along anyone who cares to join me. You can see how ugly the process may be, but rejoice in the fact it is happening to me, and not you waking up from a long absence like Rip Van Winkle, only to scream at the mirror, “MY HAIRRRRRRR! It looks like some Neopolitan ice cream experiment gone terribly wrong!” Feel free to mock me, judge me, and opine on why this is an unacceptable choice for you. Sometimes change takes longer than feels comfortable, but I know this is the right move for me. The idea of being totally free of root-rage or worrying over what color looks best as my face slides past my glorious smile makes me giddy with anticipation. So hair’s to me and my journey to “graytness.”

October 2015
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November 2015
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About the author

Amy Sherman
Amy Sherman

Amy Hartl Sherman is a freelance writer, poet and humorist. A graduate from the University of Illlinois, a retired flight attendant, improv comedian, empty-nester and overall wunderkind, Amy writes erratically as opposed to erotically, and sometimes humorously, while living with her husband, a Chihuahua, a barking parakeet who is minus one toe, and one toe-eating Dachshund. Her sons escaped without harm.

Copyright © 2014 Amy Sherman

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