Remember when I said I was “totally cool” with being “in my thirties?” Well I take it back. A couple of weeks ago while in a Target bathroom washing my hands, I looked in the mirror and said to myself, “I really need to wax my eyebrows.” I leaned in closer because it looked like I had a small bald spot in the renegade hairs beneath my left arch. But to my surprise it wasn’t a bald spot- it was TWO GRAY HAIRS.
Not even gray, people. More like stark white. With soap still on my hands, I touched the offending protrusions. All this did was confirm what my eyes were seeing. Not only were they gray/white hairs, they were wiry and had a different texture from the rest of the eyebrow. I stumbled from the restroom in a daze and headed to the holiday card display to do what I had originally come to Target to do: buy a Father’s Day card for my step-dad.
But I was shaken to the core. I thought I had come to terms with this! However, I was completely unprepared to see such a solid sign of my aging. My step-dad is 58 years old. I’m 31. He’s been a parent to me for about 23 years. If he was getting older, I must have been aging too. It doesn’t seem real.
I waited about a week and a half to actually get the waxing done. For some reason, I couldn’t bring myself to pluck the gray hairs out. I told one of my girlfriends about it. She asked, “Are you waiting to see if they turn back to brown?” Laughing, I had to admit that she might have been right. Or maybe I was simply trying to get used to the idea that a portion of my eyebrow had gone rogue and decided it was time to stop producing pigment. And that this was only the first step.
Soon I’ll be plucking gray hairs from all regions of my body. I hope they stick to my eyebrows a bit longer before they make an appearance in the hair on my head. There are all kinds of cover-ups for gray hair. But I’m trying to tell myself that there’s no reason to go to such lengths. That I should be proud of my gray hair. And to be fair, this body and I have had a decent 31 year run with absolutely no gray hair in sight. We should take a bow, my body and I. Great work, body. You’re a champ for holding out until now.
Besides, the wisest parents have gray hair, right? I’m just getting a head start before we manage to have a baby. I’ll look distinguished and wise from the very beginning of parenthood! Right? Right!
In other news, I have to have some routine maintenance performed on my 30-something year old chompers this morning. When I go in for my normal six month cleaning, I often refuse the X-rays because of where we are in our cycle. Even though I desperately hoped that last cycle was the one, it was not. And so, when Aunt Flo appeared the week after my cleaning, I headed back to the dentist’s office to have the previously refused X-ray done.
Good thing I was able to crawl out of my misery and suck it up to head back. Because I have a lovely “deep” cavity between two teeth that is not yet causing me pain and can not be seen in a normal exam. Deep is how the dentist describes it. *shiver*
Now, I think I can take a certain amount of pain with decorum. But when it comes to dental work, I’m a total weeny. This is only the 3rd cavity I’ve had my whole life. Thanks to my mother’s fixation on keeping her daughters’ teeth well cared for, I came out of childhood with strong, healthy teeth. And they’ve served me well. I had no cavities at all the entire time my mother was on the case.
However, either aging or my mother’s lack of involvement in my personal dental hygiene has brought me three cavities since I left home. My husband has had far more dental work than I have. He laughs at my nervousness because he knows I’ll be just fine. This dentist will give me nitrous oxide to keep me from leaping out of the chair during the filling. And as long as I have that, I will be okay.
That doesn’t mean I have to like it.
Getting older is a bitch.