From rainbow head to the old gray mar (ilyn)...

Riding my bike around town gets me out of myself...until I find myself all tangled up in my head about dumb things.

As I rode out of the driveway and around the corner on my way to meet a friend for lunch, helmet on my head and my stupid looking crossing guard vest draped over me, I started thinking about what the helmet did to my hair.  Did it give me hat head? Flat head? Air vent head?  And the correct answer was...nobody cares. 

Now halfway up the first block, I was thinking about my gray hair. Then I wondered "gosh, what's the difference between gray and grey?" And the correct answer was... nobody cares.  Maybe my really smart lunch-friend who knows everything about all the politics in the city would know.  Nah...he wouldn't care.

Then the kid's tune The Old Gray Mare jumped into my head.

As I completed my first right turn I remembered simpler times with my hair.  Until about three years ago it used to be super short.  No effort.  No hassles.  Like the quickie gardeners who mow, blow, and go I simply blew and went.

My gray started showing up when our daughter was in seventh grade.  By the time she was graduating from eighth grade I had a whole new look, based on her prodding.  In the course of about a year I went from natural to some type of henna coloring that didn't last long.  Oh those gray roots! So the hair lady added just a little peroxide to the mix to make it stay in a bit longer.

But somebody didn't figure out that my hair didn't like that and it took on a red/orange color.  Yipes!  It was awful and this was long before that gross color was 'in'.   

One day I marched into the the 'salon' and said make it all dark.  And she did.  Then I came back the next day and said put white streaks in it.  And she did.  It was absolutely painful as she grabbed sections of hair and yanked it through a cap.  Ugh!  Next I said, start making it short, and shorter.  I was attempting to get rid of all the junk I'd done, wanting, praying for the natural color come back.  What if it didn't?  Somewhere, someday, sometime new hair would meet up with shorter hair. The combination of my hair's reaction to sun and peroxide, going dark, and throwing in the streaks, created a new look. I became RAINBOW HEAD!  I think the only color missing was blue.

And I never did anything more to the color of my hair, not ever.  That was one extreme bad hair year.

Longer hair has me in a whole new world.  No more blow and go. What took seven minutes now takes over 25.  I've been introduced to tools I never knew existed.  My hairdresser gave me a diffuser for my hair dryer.  It still shoves out the same amount of hot air, but somehow it does it differently.  Now I use a cylinder shaped hair brush to shape 'the look.' I think it is a variation of what orange juice cans did for girls in the 60's when they rolled their hair around them.

I wrestle with the hairbrush in one hand and the confused diffused dryer in the other.  Slowly I morph into Cousin Itt, the walking hairball featured in the 1960's TV show, The Addams Family.  When I finally find my face it's contorted and compressed. Ut-oh. That can't be good for the wrinkles.  I'm often leaning sideways since I can't seem to do any of this standing straight.  I get confused between front and back when I'm looking in the mirror.  

I have rinses, lotions, gels, stuff to plaster hair down, stuff to make it shine, hair spray, hair clips (I refuse to buy bobby pins), scrunchies, cloth-covered elastic bands, and headbands in all stylish colors.

Oops. Reality check. Three hours later the power lunch was over.  I was glad if helmet head was the worst of my issues. I donned the helmet, got on my bike and headed home.

During the ride, the next words of that tune The Old Gray Mare came to mind.  They're 'she ain't what she used to be, she ain't what she used to be many long years ago.'  How fitting I thought.  I'm the old gray Marilyn, and I'm not the way I used to be many long years ago.  And I couldn't be more pleased.  And what else is good?  Nobody cares.

Live richly,



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