The sun was up (still is). The skies were impossibly clear and blue. I felt rested and really quite well after a harrowing week at work. I was due for a haircut, a shopping date with M, followed by a Taiwanese dinner with friends.
I put some effort into my dressing. Painted my face and even spritzed on some Jo Malone. I was Spring and I felt prett-ay darn good. Heck, the flowers were even peeking out to say hello as I skipped down the street from my place.
Then reality kicked in.
My hairdresser, bless her, found a strand of white hair as she was shearing my lion’s mane. She asked me if I would like her to get rid of it, I shrugged, and told her to go ahead. A few skillful and rapid snips later, she slowed down and I knew it. She found another. She apologised, as if it were her fault that I had white hair, and made me one strand younger. Another couple of snips later, she looked like she struck gold, and proceeded to do the deed without asking me. I was okay with it, but I was beginning to feel a little embarrassed. And then came the fourth. She held my lucky number four in her hand, with a triumphant smile on her face and declared that she couldn’t resist taking my white hairs down. In her words, ‘It feels good to keep going’.
After the hair-rowing experience, I hopped into M’s waiting car, and whilst fussing over my new do, I found a few more strands of my ghostly white friends. Pfffft. I was a little startled, and yet I couldn’t quite stifle my manic laughter. Let’s face it, I am getting older, and a few years ago, I would have shrieked at white hairs, but there I was, sitting in a car, being comfortable with looking older and finding the whole hairdresser thing funnier than it should be if I were a little younger.
The day went by too quickly and it was time for dinner. With our tummies filled and almost ready for bed, I bade the waitress and owner goodbye as we left. The waitress, exclaimed in as quiet a whisper as she could manage, ‘Are you pregnant?’, as she pointed to my tummy. She might as well half-shouted it across London because my friends heard it. I was, to say the least, mortified that she asked such a private question in front others. I exclaimed, in as quiet a whisper as I could manage, ‘No!’. I asked her why she would even think that, a little miffed that people could be so outwardly nosey about other people’s family planning business, and she hesitated, ‘Oh, because you are wearing the maxi-dress, and it’s loose, so……’. By the way, I was wearing this.
First, white hairs plucked and announced in front of a public audience, then a mistaken baby bump which was really just a rude jelly belly. I spent my waking hours yesterday night feeling a tad confused. It was easy to give in and be bothered by it. It was also equally easy to shrug it off. In fact, I was more amused by the fact that I was sitting on the fence. Then it hit me, I’m just on the cusp of really being comfortable with my appearance. I am coming of age.
So this morning, I accepted these facts and crossed over. I hit the gym (usually M drags me, kicking and screaming) and told myself I should really try to be healthy and fit even as I get older. If I were getting old, I want to age gracefully. If I were putting on weight, I should cut down on the junk I eat and endeavour to be more active.
As I worked out to Black Eyed Pea’s My Humps, the guy taunts, ‘What you goin’ to do with all that ass, all that ass inside them jeans’. Fergie teases, ‘I’m a make make make make you scream.’ And me? I say, ‘Errrrr, I’m going to lose it?’. Then I caught my red-faced reflection smiling back at me.
Yes, what a revelation.