Jewish World Review March 13, 2014 / 11 Adar II, 5774
Dyeing for a change
By Sharon Randall
http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) Someday, I swear, I am going to quit. Next month, maybe. Or next year. Iíve done it most of my life and itís getting old.
Not that itís hard. Iíve been doing it so long itís like taking a shower or brushing my teeth or reminding my husband to tie his shoes. I could do it in my sleep.
Every time I do it, I think, ďYou donít have to do this. You are just too chicken to quit.Ē
Thatís the truth. Itís become such a part of my life, not to mention, my identity, that I canít picture me without it.
Who would I be?
What would people think?
Who would care?
Iíve been asking those same questions for as long as I can remember about all sorts of things, really, and the answers are always the same:
1. Iíd still be the same person.
2. It doesnít matter what people think.
3. Nobody would care anyhow.
As much as Iíd like to believe those answers, clearly, I do not. What I really think is this:
1. I would not be the same person. Iíd be somebody else. Somebody I might not like.
2. It matters very much to me what people think. Possibly too much. Always has. Always will.
3. Maybe nobody else would care a lick, but I would.
That last answer is the bottom line, the one reason I keep doing something I shouldíve quit long ago: I care.
So today, again, for the forty-eleven-millionth time in my life, I pulled on a pair of rubber gloves and dyed my roots.
I wish you could see them.
My roots, not the gloves. They arenít gray any more. For now.
I started going gray in my 20s, after the birth of my third child. Some might call that premature. I just call it motherhood.
At first, it was only a random gray hair here or there, nothing anybody else would notice. But I did. I noticed it the way you might notice an armored tank rolling through your bedroom.
Iíd check my hair daily for any stray gray and yank it right out. Finally, when I began to fear I might be yanking myself bald, I started coloring my roots.
Call me simple, but it didnít occur to me when I started that Iíd have to keep doing it forever. Or at least until a point at which I would get so fed up Iíd give up and just go gray.
I am at that point now. Well, nearly. I have friends whoíve gone gray and they look totally fabulous. But they would look totally fabulous totally bald.
I donít kid myself. I know Iím not hiding my age.
Once, long ago, while driving my oldest and his buddy Eric to preschool, we passed a parked car covered with a tarp.
ďLook!Ē Eric said. ďGrownups are so dumb. Everybody knows thereís a car under there!Ē
I cover my roots, but Iím no fool. Everybody knows thereís a lot of gray under there.
So why do I keep doing it?
Itís not so much about how others see me. Itís about how I see myself and the way it makes me feel. Isnít that what counts?
I live in Las Vegas. Every day I see people sporting all sorts of interesting looks ó tattoos and nose rings and goatees and comb-overs and mind-boggling clothing (or the lack of it.) It often begs the question: Why?
But why not? Everybody knows thereís a person under there. Shouldnít that person get to pick how they want to look?
Thatís called freedom. No matter how goofy-looking it may seem, itís still a beautiful thing.
Especially if it makes you feel better about yourself. If weíre lucky, the people who matter most to us will let us be who we are and look the way we want to look, and like us anyway.
Who knows? Maybe weíll even do the same for them.
Everybody wants to hide something. Mistakes. Scars. Roots. Whatever.
But everybody knows, G0D help us, weíre all under there somewhere. Together.
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