The Gray Area

Thursday, August 23, 2012

I’m walking down Ninth Street on my way to a lunch meeting at Banh’s. (It’s Wednesday, Vietnamese specials … yum!). Guy sitting outside Bean Traders catches my eye and says, “Hello, young lady.”

Whenever anyone says this to me now I have to figure out if (a) they’re trying to suck up to me because they’re going to hit me up for something, (b) they’re using that term with irony, like orderlies in a nursing home, or (c) the fact that I’m dressed like a 12-year-old boy has momentarily confused them.

I didn’t think I was dressed like a 12-year-old boy since I was on my way to a lunch meeting so I was debating between (a) and (b). I say hello.

He says, “You should keep that gray in your hair, it looks good.”

Okay. So there you have it.

Street guys like the gray hair. And really, I appreciate the compliment, but that one’s hard to know what to do with.


6 Responses to “The Gray Area”

  1. Joy Says:

    Gray hair rocks! I found my first gray hair at 21. Sigh. I’m 44 now, and I appreciate it a lot more. If you want some gray hair inspiration, go to Pinterest, and search for gray hair pictures. Some amazingly beautiful women have gray hair.

  2. fivecats Says:

    Emmylou Harris looks great with her gray hair.

  3. lessisenough Says:

    Nice to have something in common with Emmylou Harris, even if gray hair is the best I can do.

    I feel like the thing about gray hair is that when women start to turn gray, they think oh I’m not old enough for this and they cover it up. But then they usually keep coloring it well past when they should have stopped. Apparently “I guess I’m old enough for gray hair now” is not a thought that comes readily to the female brain.

    The guy on the street will be glad to know I’m too cheap and lazy to do much about my hair. Except get it cut every now and then.

  4. Joy Says:

    Growing out gray hair can look truly awful. Much better (and cheaper and healthier) to just let it go gray on it’s own. Besides, gray is gorgeous!

  5. yonderlight Says:

    haha. its funny how street guys can be more strangely sweet than hallway guys, aisle guys, and water cooler guys. it sounds like you ran into Slim, the ladies man of 9th street, he once told me i looked real good, even though i was quite chubby, he added girl you know a dog loves a bone with some meat on it. still a compliment is a compliment is a compliment. And hey gray is the new blonde!

  6. Lorrie Harder Says:

    I found my first gray hair at 21 and have never had any desire to dye it. I couldn’t stand the thought of putting chemicals on my hair or spending lots of money to do it or have it done. When my daughter (who I had at the age of 42) was 3, my hair already had a lot of gray in it. Megan was sitting on my lap playing with my hair one day. She said to me, “Mommy, I wish I had pretty white hair like you.” It was such a sweet thing to say and I will always remember it. She had beautiful blonde hair and I told her that her hair was beautiful hair just the way it was.

    Now I am 58 and my hair is mostly a silvery white, and I have continued to receive compliments from complete strangers about how pretty my gray hair is. Maybe I was just lucky.

    On the down side, one time when I took my kids to a children’s museum, the ticket person offered me the senior citizen rate because she thought my children were my grandchildren, probably because of my gray hair! She obviously did not look past my gray hair, as my skin was very young looking.

    I think that gray looks a whole lot better on an older face than hair that is dyed too dark, or hair that is showing gray roots. We are beautiful just the way we are. So, be proud of your grays. They mean that you have lived and have a bit of wisdom under those lovely tresses. And that is all I have to say about that!

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