True Colors: Bottle or Au Naturale?
VIRGINIA [9:34 A.M.]: Well it certainly makes you know that other people have NOTICED the gray. I wonder how she'll feel when it's her gray hair? Will she want to keep it?
DONNA [9:40 A.M.]: I think gray is so far removed from her existence that right now she can't imagine it. But you know I've been ambivalent, especially since mine has come in at my temples. Some days it's a little too "Uncle Ben" for me. I have been just surgically removing the offending hairs, but I think it's reached the point where I'd look a little bald if I continue.
VIRGINIA [9:42 A.M.]: You ambivalent? Tell me it isn't so!!!! You know how I feel about it. It's not about denying age, it's about not looking OLD...or as you so eloquently put it... like you belong on a rice box. You know I embrace age--although my approaching birthday has me a little jittery--I'm just not ready to look like I'm heading to the early bird special at the Bluebird Diner.
DONNA [9:48 A.M.]: Neither am I. But a lot of what we call “old” seems to be about an attitude—about giving up. That’s not gonna happen. But last month, when I hit the Miss Clairol for the first time, it looked really weird to me-- like I was missing an important feature. Now, I didn't change the color-- just blended it into my own. Except for the whole month it stayed on I couldn't get used to it. Now I'm back au naturale, and trying to figure out what I'm going to do.
VIRGINIA [9:50 A.M.]: Well knowing you, you'll get it figured out just before your whole head turns white! The problem with change is that you have to adjust to it. It's not supposed to be the same. I told you for an entire year...first thing in the morning...I was startled by my reflection in the mirror. It took that long to get used to my hair color change and my hair cut.
DONNA [9:51 A.M.]: Is this a hint? I hear Phil Collins singing "True Colors" on TV.
VIRGINIA [9:51 A.M.]: Uh huh. You can find an affirmation for whatever side you want. If you turned the channel, it would be a hair color commercial.
DONNA [9:55 A.M.]: Yeah, but sometimes the change happens if you just leave something alone. And it's not always bad. But you also know I had my shoulder length hair cut to the length of dust on a jug all at once. It was a big change, but I really liked it. Guess it's all about finding a place to deal with the reminders that there are more candles on the cake--even if we don't leave it out in the rain.
VIRGINIA [9:58 A.M.]: Yes, you cut your hair, but it took years of complaining that you wanted to do something different before you made up your mind. So yeah change will happen eventually--I'm just not always that patient...OK maybe I'm never that patient. I like to make the decision and get on with it. There are too many other things to think about to still be ruminating about my hair color or length. I just can't have it on my mind as long as you do.
DONNA [10:08 A.M.]: That speaks to the difference in our approach to most things. In speeches we call you the commando and me the analyst for a reason. But as for the gray, right now I think it's become a part of me and I'm looking for a way to incorporate it into my style. I think of someone like our friend Clara. She has a head full of gray hair, but she's the youngest, most vital senior I know-- a real silver fox. And I can't imagine her any other way. It suits her. I've got a ways to go before I hit senior status, but she makes it look hip. That is encouraging.
VIRGINIA [10:11 A.M.]: She's in her 70's. That's different. I might let mine go gray in my 70's. I'm just not ready yet. But be my guest, nature girl. Let your true colors shine---just don't bug me complaining about those glittering silver hairs that sprout around your ears! Embrace them along with whatever else you feel makes you feel like you. To quote us: "It wouldn't be me."
DONNA [10:15 A.M.]: You're my friend--your job is to let me bug you. So I'm sure we'll revisit this. But for right now, to paraphrase Phil, I won't be afraid to let my true colors show.
VIRGINIA [10:16 A.M.]: Go right ahead. Enjoy! My true colors come in a bottle!