I smiled as I sat on the grassy edge of the soccer field watching my son and his buddies chase the ball all over, occasionally seeing it end up in the goal (usually due to defensive error or goalie mishap). But it was a great moment. Until...
My husband, who was standing next to me also enjoying the human herd, looked down and commented with a pleasant but matter-of-fact tone, "Hey, I never noticed all those GRAY hairs you've got." (BTW, it must be mentioned that he was actually smiling sweetly as he said this.)
My immediate thoughts were (in this order) . . . No, he did NOT just say that! Then Oh crap, it IS that obvious! Followed by Wonder how soon I can get in to see my hair lady?!? Ending with Hhhmmm, surely he does not plan on seeing this gray-haired woman's naked body tonight?
I sat there stunned, analyzing my feelings about his revelation (of course, this was not new info to me because I had stopped highlighting my hair months ago, and I noticed that those blonde streaks I had been adding for so long not only helped me cling onto the image of my younger self, but they also provided the added benefit of blending the random grays that I previously did not know existed in such growing numbers.)
What sucks even more about my new hair nemeses is the fact that my husband has his own little evidence of getting older. He is blessed with the prettiest light gray streak right in the front of his hair. Women who are trying to "grow old gracefully" pay big for that look. And he gets it naturally. Can you believe that?!?
So this is the guy, not the first to notice, I am sure, just the first with the ill-fortune of pointing it out to me. His next line was even better, for when he saw my look of horror from his comment, he quickly said, "No, I think it looks good! It's kinda like highlights, don't you think?"
No, dearest, it absolutely is not! A for effort. F for execution. Trust me, my grays add no aesthetic quality to my tresses. He could not say anything to make it better.
Perhaps I would not have been so deflated at his poorly-chosen proclamation had my daughter with peachy-perfect skin not been recently connecting the "cool red polka dots" on my belly. I later learned these are cherry angiomas, yes, scarlet age spots resulting from overexposure to the sun--my curse from my cuter, tanner bikini years.
It's been a few weeks since that soccer practice and belly game. Since then I've admitted to myself that I can't blame my husband or anyone else for my dulling do or sinister spots. I was being overly sensitive about the inevitable. I am getting older. I can squint when I'm in front of the mirror to blur the view of my eye wrinkles. I can dollop layers of lotion crammed full of collagen from tip to toe. My body is aging. I get some solace (but not much) from the new (but pretty ridiculous) saying that "40 is the new 30." But, hey, I'll take it, despite the fact that the words don't erase crows' feet.
And I've decided the next time one of my curious family members wants to innocently inquire about the tiny lines forming on my calves, rather than putting fresh linens on the guest bed and serving brussel sprouts for dinner, I plan to take a deep breath, smile big, and glance at my husband's gorgeous gray streak and admire my children's supple skin before announcing, "Spider veins, guys. My hair colorist says they're all the rage!"