Two weeks ago, I was staring at myself in the mirror, primarily to check and see if my hair was dreading again OR if the dreads I did chop off were now longer than one inch spikes and then I saw it.
Gray hair. Like 10-20 nightmare strands of it, sprinkled everywhere with no rhyme or reason.
This can’t be happening, I thought while gasping and grabbing at my heart while simultaneously trying to rip them out/pat them down to hide them. I tried staring them away with my evil eye, which can usually make anything or one disappear quickly. No luck.
I tried the, I’ll be proud of my experienced self and told anyone I came in contact with, just so I beat them to seeing it. I figured if I knew about it and was willing to announce to the world that I was going gray, going gray would be ok. Of course shouting, UM HAVE I TOLD YOU I’M GOING GRAY? the minute I picked up the phone, sans greeting, is not what most people expect and of course I’m lying about being fine with it and by the way, I NEVER NOTICED I WAS GOING GRAY WHEN I WAS BLONDE.
And yes, I have blonde hair. Really. Goddamn you, GINGER HAIR. Stop fucking with me.
Well, I thought my dark hair had failed me until one day, I couldn’t take this gray hair issue anymore and grabbed one of my girlfriends, forced my head in her face and shouted, “LOOK. LOOK AT WHAT I AM BECOMING.”
She just looked at me and said flatly, “WHAT NOW?” She is very good at dealing with my panic and insanity.
“I am going gray. It is taking over,” I was not being dramatic at all.
This friend, a very trusted friend, a friend who has told me when I’m getting fat, when I’m dressing like a butch lesbian and when I’m being annoying (you wouldn’t believe how many times those things can be relayed to me a month), looked me straight in the eye, told me to calm down and said that I’m:
1. Not growing gray hair. That I’m paranoid and that it’s just lighter hair, growing against dark hair.
2. Still not as attractive as I think I am with my red hair.
3. I need to stop looking in a mirror.
So basically in my head that merely translated into, Heather, you’re not an old hag yet.
Thank fucking God.
This leads me to the following, though. I remember when I graduated high school that I thought if one was not married with one child by the age of twenty-six it meant something was obviously wrong with you because you were almost over the hill and your vagina was probably drying out at an alarming rate and if you were male, your penis was probably a candidate for a Viagra trial.
hahahahahahahahhahahahahhahahahahah. Dear, sweet, naive, fucking stupid Young Heather. Jesus, she’s cute.
So. What are my (thirty-two year old) current top three indicators of getting old?
1. Gray hair. It obviously gives me a complex, especially since I love mirrors.
2. When buying appliances excites you. No lie, I cannot even explain how giddy I get when I purchase a new appliance. Just the other day I mentioned that I wanted a newer, higher powered vacuum and when given the ok to go crazy, I shouted, Vacuuming is my number two favorite chore only behind doing laundry. What the fuck is wrong with me sometimes?
3. Hangovers are hell. I could quite possibly be the queen of all things hungover and dehydrated but even I can’t handle a solid hangover like I used to. And jesus, I’ve had practice.
I do realize that most of these things happen while in your 30s, which is funny considering up until around twenty-two, I thought the age of sixty-six was old. Like worthless old, though truthfully, I find very little value in the elderly for the most part. A decade ago, I figured that after the age of sixty-six your mind is gone, you start to smell and you become a burden on society, therefore everyone should just be ok with dying at sixty-six and get over it. I was willing to add myself to the “It’s ok to die at 66 list” and so I told this to my boss at the time one day over drinks and she said, “Nice, Heather. My mother is sixty-six.” I just shrugged because I’m sure on one level, she was worthless and it was not my problem.
Then I became 32 and our parents are in their 60s (well, not mine. Mine are spring chickens but I’m generalizing) and time flies by and so now I’ve upped OLDER THAN DIRT to say around 85. I will have a really hard time defending anyone’s burning desire to live past that age. At that point, you’re only around to slow me down and terrorize me or make me feel sad about lost minds and loneliness and I cannot be feeling badly all the time.
Jesus, between old people and shelter dogs, my fucking heart-strings are almost broken.
So. What are the first three indicators that made you realize you’re not as young as you used to be?