I’m beginning to understand what it’s like to live with someone who has dementia, at least in the early stages. I assume it’s similar to having to say the same thing to the same person 900 times in a manner that sounds entirely new to them because they’ve never heard what you said the first time you said it.
Except I don’t live with a person with dementia. I live with someone who literally stares at me when I talk and hears absolutely fucking nothing. Lots of head nodding and nothing registering. My father used to say, the lights are on but nobody’s home. Yes, just like that.
Otherwise, no one in this house would have been confused or surprised when I came home with silver hair the other day.
Hours away at the salon, I return home, triumphant and pumped about my new hair. I swing open the door and expect some kid of, ooh, isn’t that different and sexy, look from the Mr. Instead, he looks at me and then starts to say, “Ooooh, Soy, look at Mommy’s haa…..”
And then he just stops. And then he looks at me and then his face twists up into that pained look of confusion that doesn’t even come close to being discreet.
“Is that blonde? That’s not blonde. What color is that? Is that…” I had no idea I had a third person in this house who would need a color wheel tutorial in the near future.
“Silver?” I interrupted. “Yes, it’s silver. I had her do silver.” And then I smiled because I was quite proud of myself. He just stared at me and the confused look didn’t change and also the things that kept coming out of his mouth didn’t change.
“Did you mean to do that?” Seriously no fucking idea why those words were just falling out of his mouth.
“No, I fell into a bucket of silver. Yes, of course I meant to do that. What do you mean, did I mean to?” This is why I think speaking to your spouse does not have to be mandatory.
“Well, I just don’t know why.”
“WHY WHAT?” I knew he meant why in the world would you do that but I thought I’d give him a few last options to save himself.
“You don’t think it’s edgy?” He kept staring.
“Fun?” Blank stare.
“Sexy?” So much staring, probably very little brain waves.
“This is why your opinion does not matter when I go to the salon.” I walked away so that I could go take 213 selfies to post 1 good one on FB.
Later in the car, on the way to the playground—
“You really don’t like it?” I tried again, admiring my hair in the mirror.
“You don’t think dying your hair grey makes you look old?” Apparently someone hasn’t been paying attention to fucking Pinterest.
I didn’t answer and just stared out the window, wondering if there was a charm school in this world that would have him.