Guest Blogger Lorie Sheffer: Gray rebellion

Lorie Sheffer in 2008
Sooner or later it becomes crystal clear, life is not a dress rehearsal.


Nothing I have ever said has caused more of a reaction than three little words I uttered last week: I’m going gray.

Seven years ago, I let my medium brown color grow out to its’ natural salt and pepper. Then after a few years I hit the bottle again. Fell right off the wagon and into Miss Clairol’s open arms. I got my state cosmetology license back in 1978, so I can dye in privacy if I like. I wasn’t even that upset when I accidentally dropped a glob of color on our new floor. (BTW, Magic Eraser will remove permanent hair dye from hardwood without removing the sheen!) Then last week I decided I was sick of my chin length, choppy bob. And so I got it cut short; very short. With that cut came the decision to go back to my natural color.

I got positive comments on the cut. The comments about the color decision have been interesting to say the least.

“I’m not ready for that!” was a popular reaction.

“You’re so brave!” Actually it was more brave (stupid) standing over that new floor with color glopped on my head.

My favorite, hands down? “You look like you’re about 35 on this picture. Let’s see how old you look when that color grows out.”

Well, I am going to be 55 in May. So maybe I will actually look -gasp, choke- FIFTY-FIVE!

I’m not able to understand what is so bad about looking one’s age. And even if I color my hair and that shaves a couple of years off of how I LOOK, that doesn’t change how old I AM. I think back to when I really was 35. The next year was one of the most difficult of my life. Not sure I would want to repeat that one. I happen to think gray is lovely, and I happen to think that it’s not such a bad thing to look my age. Most importantly, I stopped caring what other people think about how I look YEARS ago. Probably when I was about 35.

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By jeff noel

Retired Disney Institute Keynote Speaker and Prolific Blogger. Five daily, differently-themed personal blogs (about life's 5 big choices) on five interconnected sites.