I’m getting old.
This morning I had to pluck (another) gray hair from my head. Yes, yes, I know I pull one out and seven sprout up in its place, but I have found that the ones that grow back are smoother and more apt to lay flat against my head, blending in with my other, not gray hair. The ones I have to pull out are the crazy, scraggly, rebel grays that defy mousse and shine serum and gel and straightening irons to kink up and out at all sorts of crazy angles. I personally think these rebel hairs get their strength (and shape) from the journey they must go through to grow two inches over night, but that is just me. And it doesn’t really matter, as they all meet the same, dastardly end.
Also this week, coming back from lunch with a bag from a local retailer, my boss asked if I weren’t too old to shop at said store. I was moderately peeved and said as much. It wasn’t like I was carrying a “Forever 21” bag or a “Delia’s” bag or even an “Abercrombie and Fitch” bag (though I do own a pair of their jeans and I have to say they really are lovely). Still as I laid into my boss about how such a comment could have me owning his house one day I wondered if part of my anger wasn’t masking that when I was there shopping I had worried about the very same thing.
Then the final straw hit the camel’s back when I shared the elevator of my building the next morning with a colleague and five or six summer interns. As the summer interns stepped off at their floor, the colleague, who I have only spoken to once before over cocktails at some reception, turned to me and said, “Are they getting younger or are we getting older?” My eyes spun behind my closed eyelids. I reached out to the elevator wall for support. It was a comment I specifically recall my mother or my father or one of their friends making on any number of occasions. Not to mention until that moment I would never have placed myself in this guy’s peer group. He was in a suit, carrying a briefcase. He had slicked back hair, a wedding ring and I would bet a calendar packed with meetings and lunches and kids’ soccer games. Worse, with only a moment’s hesitation, I responded back “they’re getting younger” because I knew it was what I was supposed to say.
I was just glad that the elevator doors opened to my floor before I passed out or threw up all over his shoes. Of course, had I passed out or thrown up, he probably would have assumed I was pregnant and not out late partying like a 22 year old the night before.
So maybe this age thing does have its advantages.