A few weeks ago, right after we found out our little pooper is a girl, I went to Target -- ostensibly to pick up some things on my non-grocery list, but really and truly, so I could buy some little dresses. CPod called me and as I meandered through the small female section of the store, I rattled off my list to him and asked if he could think of anything else he needed. Shaving cream? Batteries? Root beer? No, he said, but don't buy tweezers. I can get you some really good ones. Apparently, in the medical field, they have fancy and expensive tools for ordinary jobs. And the job of plucking small hairs is reserved for $40 "cilia forceps" engraved with a name other than "Revlon" or "Sally Hansen", with manufacturing information printed in German on the handy carrying case.
So I didn't buy tweezers. And I REALLY needed by buy tweezers. I am, thankfully, not one of those unlucky ladies who have to pluck whiskers from places women should not have hair. Instead, I have to deforest the Amazonian jungle of my eyebrows periodically in order to not be mistaken for Cro-Magnon man, Groucho Marx, Anoop Desai, Victor Krum, or, I don't know, Frankenstein (who's bride even had well-groomed eyebrows). I lost my other good tweezers (which I bought at Target for $7), and I'm so lazy about walking from my bathroom to my kitchen to write the need down on my list, and so incapable of remembering to buy things that aren't on said list, that I haven't plucked my eyebrows since . . . um, my brother's wedding reception last August. (See my profile picture.)
For nearly two weeks, every day we had this conversation:
Me: CPod, did you order my tweezers?
CPod: You mean the cilia forceps? Yep, and they came in, I just forgot to bring them home.
EVERY DAY! I'm trying to recreate all of equatorial Africa in 3-D on my forehead, man! Just bring home the tweezers!
So he did. And they're fantastic. In fact, they're the best tweezers I've ever used. I have pruned the rain forest to an acceptable perimeter. But in the process of staring at myself in the mirror for an extended period of time, I discovered some gray hairs.
If you have ever seen me in person, you know that I have A LOT of hair. It's dark, it's thick, it's curly (not like corkscrew curly, but still . . . curly), it kind of looks a little cavewomanish because it's so unruly sometimes, but it's me and I love it. In fact, my lovely mother said to me just the other day, "Wow, InkMom, it wouldn't take you very long to have dreadlocks, would it?" Um, thanks, Mom.
I have a few gray hairs right in the front that I usually pluck because they don't deserve to live if they have the audacity to poke up front and center and stare at me every time I put on make-up. So I yanked them out and then looked a little closer.
I was absolutely appalled by the gray hair that I saw . . . and saw again, over and over and over. I was compelled to pull them out. There were really long ones that must have been growing since I was 6 years old and really short ones that are brand new. There were ones that were dark brown on the bottom and white at the root, and there were wiry, curly ones, and wispy, thin ones. And I just kept plucking, urged on by some perverse curiosity to see how many I could find. By the time I was finished, I had counted 51 hairs and my sink looked like some old woman had shaved her head into it. At this rate, I'll be plucking white hairs from my eyebrows before I'm 33!
It seems I have aged a lot in the past year. And for some reason that I cannot identify, this bothers me. I wouldn't consider myself vain. I'm not overly concerned about my appearance (as is evidenced by the awesome outfit and leftover hair I'm currently sporting) and I certainly don't think I'm supermodel material (although if this baby ends up with CPod's legs and my curves, she's got a pretty good shot no matter what her face looks like). So what's the big deal?
My mom has black hair -- or did, until she went mostly gray and quit dyeing it. Her silver hair, though premature, is beautiful. My curls come from her, too. She started to go gray in high school, and by the time she had children, she had a striking silver streak down her part that was very distinctive and, somehow, didn't age her. My brother, two years younger than me, has hair the most like my mom's, and accordingly, has some gray -- more than me, I'd thought, but I'm beginning to think you can just see it more in his short hair. MommyJ claims she has NONE. I'll be sneaking soon into her house (or her tent later this summer when we're all camping together) in the middle of the night with a flashlight and my fantastic tweezers to prove her wrong. And baby brother is so far from gray hair I don't think he would even admit that it's in his future. But I come by this naturally. I should not be surprised, but I am.
I think I am bothered by looking older than I feel, almost as though it's proof that no matter how well I take care of myself, regardless of how hard I work to stay healthy, there are some things that are just going to quit working. I don't really want that proof. I just want to keep feeling good and then kick the bucket one day from over-exertion when I'm about 95.
Oh, well. I guess there are some things you just can't fight. CPod and I have come to an agreement, though. You see, he's red-headed and fair and already has a few more wrinkles than he should. That harsh Australian sun really did him in on his mission. I always tell him he'll age like Robert Redford: the wrinkles will just keep on coming, but that fair hair will never go anywhere. Too bad he can't carry a lighting crew around with him every where he goes to capitalize on the "natural" light a la The Horse Whisperer.
Well, if he's going to get all of the wrinkles, I guess it's the least I can do to get all of the gray hair.