I was at the Farmerís Market a week ago when a friend I hadnít seen in a while came over to chat. I was surprised by how much heís changed. The first thing I noticed was heís gone completely gray. Heís about 10 years younger than I am, so I didnít expect his hair and mustache to have turned gray since I last saw him.
My hair is starting to turn gray now too. Itís not completely gray, but I have a pronounced streak of gray in the front. I canít kid myself anymore. Iím a senior citizen, and I look it.
The photo of me in this blog was taken in 2004 and is due for an update. I emailed my Editor some new photos I took last week. The original photo was taken by Don Schinnerer when I ran for DSRSD the first time. I used it again as my campaign photo last year when I ran, but I donít look like that anymore. My hat still looks the same. Tilley hats donít age, but Iím afraid the head underneath is has grown older.
A close friend of mine was prematurely gray. Her hair turned gray in her mid-thirties, but she dyed it for years. She stopped dying it about ten years ago, and itís almost white now. We are the exact same age. Her birthday is 8 days before mine in the same year, but she looks much older.
A few weeks ago KCBS News Anchor Dana King went through a spectacular on-screen transformation. For years she never seemed to age. When I moved here in 1997 and saw her on the local news, I recalled seeing her on a magazine-type show in Los Angeles in the 1980ís. She looked exactly the same. She hadnít aged at all.
Then all of a sudden her hair started turning gray. It was almost like a time-laps sequence. On each dayís newscast her hair would be a little grayer until her whole head was covered in snow. She followed up this transformation with a story on why going gray is so difficult for women.
It is scary growing older. Itís one of those things we put off or deny or try to avoid. I attended my 50th High School Reunion in October last year. It was held a week after I turned 68. I was very nervous about it. I donít know if I was more worried about not recognizing people or not being recognized.
Well most of the people I knew recognized me. They said I looked exactly the same. Gee I hope I didnít look this bad back then. Some people turned out completely different from what I remembered and some seemed completely unchanged.
The men didnít age as well as the women for the most part. Maybe thatís because the women took better care of themselves and/or dyed their hair. Most of the men didnít have much hair left to dye.
My mother is 95. Her hair is gray now. Itís not white or silver, itís a steel gray. My motherís hair stayed dark into her mid-80ís. She never dyed it. She didnít need to.
She used to have this obsession about plucking gray hairs out of my head. ďYou have a gray hair,Ē and sheíd pull it out, ďOuch!Ē Iíd shout.
That was when I was in High School. I canít start pulling my hair out now, and I donít plan to dye it. I will let nature take its course and accept the encroaching gray. Thereís always my timeless Tilley hat to cover it up.