Monday, May 14, 2012

going gray and the myth of youth

I was born a redhead.  Not the flaming, shield-your-eyes type, no.  Kind of an auburn red, pleasant, actually pretty... along with that came my connection to Red.   Redheads, in particular, do get singled out at an early age as unique. 

I grew up in the 50's, a time when people would call you "carrot top", or ask you where you got your red hair (a question that would usually illicit the wise-ass "from the milkman" response).  I identified with being a redhead, felt it was part of my personality...I had spunk, fire.   Wasn't that attributable to the redness?

As with most tones of youth, the red faded... I began dying my hair in my forties, mostly just a rinse, to brighten the color that was going brownish.  My mind perceived me as a redhead, but when it would come up somehow that I had brown hair, I was actually shocked, taken aback at this foreign notion.  I did not have brown hair, I had the heart of a redhead...wasn't that certainly shining from me like an aura around my head?  A sure sign of my Irish lineage?  So, I colored.  Sometimes a hit, sometimes a miss.  Most of the time, it was successfully natural looking and I was content with the outcome. 

I always thought I would dye my hair till I breathed my last breath, of course assuming this event would take place at some ripe, old number.  Of late, at the age of 61, somehow, it doesn't fit anymore.  Seems inauthentic somehow, not really me.  I look around, see women of my age, and colored hair just says, "who are you fooling?"  It's the "of course my hair is gray, but I'll play-act that I'm young and pretty, with this bottle of dye" syndrome.  I think we understand in our minds, that somehow this color deception is carried through to the general public...and, for some, that may be the case.  But, for most, it is is a person of a certain age who colors their hair.  That's it.

Now, I don't wear makeup, choose not to, think it's silly really, plus my skin does not agree with all the crap in most of it, sometimes resulting in swollen eyelids.  I have a friend who would never think to leave her house without "her face on".  What the hell is that?  I see women with makeup and sometimes it just here is a face which has stuff applied to make it appear in some other manner, hopefully, more attractive.  Now, I'm not taking a femme-Nazi approach.  Just seems somewhat like acting, getting ready for a show.  I will put makeup on, when the occasion arises that I'm getting dressed up a bit, and want to add alittle bling to my face, but in general, for every day, no.  So, it seems to me that this should go hand-in-hand with this hair business.  There has been a shift.  An epiphany of sorts.  Don't bother being red anymore.  Just let it go, see what happens.  I'm letting it go.  Now, since I did just use rinses, I'm not getting that skunk stripe where the gray and ungray is coming in, so it's not so bad (so she says).  I'm trying to keep an open mind as to the end product, thought of just cutting my hair very short, to shorten the process, but that is not a look that my head and "pixie" ever agreed upon. 

The other day I saw an old friend from high school, we're very close, she has known me since I had the beautiful red.  We live in different states, but get to see each other as often as we can.  This is my oldest friend, who once had beautiful chestnut brown hair, which was traded in for blond, an image that I can never truly accept in my mind's eye.  At one  point, I bent over, and she noticed the top of my head, commenting on the grayness coming in.  Says her husband calls women with gray hair "bird watchers".  We laugh.  But there's a difference in our laughs.  Hers is in agreement.    Mine, I think, is thinking that "bird watcher" may be a PC euphemism for "Birkenstock Lesbian".  Now, I've been thinking about this since that day, only a couple of days ago.  I don't want to judge him, but can't help but feel that this is narrow thinking under the guise of humor.  Here is a successful, fit, attractive 62 year old man, with a full head of attractive gray hair, pigeon-holing women who choose to make the same choice he did...allow nature to take it's course.

Now, all this must have you thinking that I am judging everyone out there who makes the choice to color their hair...  I'm not.  Color is fine, most times it's an enhancement of the overall image.  Sometimes it's a tragic mistake.  It can be fun too...a pink or turquoise shock has quirky appeal.  I am just feeling that this may be the time to stop coloring.  As if there is some inner need to have all parts match. 

So, the jury is still out.  I'm waiting for growth and will judge the final result...probably by the end of the summer.  I'm thinking convenience may out-weigh any negatives.  I'll see...

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

What Do We Own?

Was just thinking about the word Own, and how little it's being used today, unless it's describing possession.

When I was a kid, there was a local pond, which, during cold winters would freeze over and the crowds would go and enjoy their days skating on the ice. All sorts would be out there... families with small children, those kids that would claim a section for their hockey games, the elderly. It was a cross-section of the community enjoying a simple wonder of nature, frozen water. I remember skating on lit full moon nights with a group of friends, when the ice appeared lit up from the sky. It was magical.

Of course, I also remember seeing a sign for years that was faithfully posted at the entrance to this pond that read "Skate at Own Risk". So, there, on the ice, was a large number of people willing to share this risk. Risk of falling through the ice, getting cold, wet, possibly losing one's own life, knowing all the while that the responsibility was ours. Ours alone.

When did places like this change their signs of ownership to take away the risk, not allowing us to even enter the game? "No Skating" signs replaced the old. So now, if you were brave enough to go out on the ice, not only were you fully assuming the responsibility of any consequences, you were also breaking the Law.

This may seem small, but I believe it weakens our power of self. Our control. We become followers, waiting to be told what we can do and what we can't. And, some of us, if we do take risks or injure ourselves, don't own it. We go after someone else for restitution. Instead of learning from an experience in our lives, we somehow believe if we shift the blame elsewhere, we can gain from our "bad luck".

Now, I'm resisting the temptation for a disclaimer here. One that says, "of course, I'm not talking about reckless behavior that puts myself or innocents at risk"... We all know the phrasing. I won't use it. I will try to operate under the "old" way of assuming you are reasonably bright and intuitively know that I am speaking within a reasonable range of possibilities. That way, you may own your opinion... I don't have to structure for you how you should receive my opinion. I own it, and now you own it.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

amuse bouche'

amuse bouche'...just discovered this word and was very curious about it.

Now, I don't watch alot of Top Chef or those kind of programs to have already known what this was, and was leafing through a magazine and saw the term accompanied with pics of tiny mouth-size bites of delicacies. So, I did the french/english translation thing online, and was amused (no pun intended) to see the literal translation, haha, yes.

amuse - adj. amused

bouche - n. mouth, facial feature above the chin and below the nose

haha...amused mouth...who comes up with this stuff? It's actually very appropriate for what this is, a tiny morsel of taste. I guess french is still the preferred language of food... :)

Friday, May 14, 2010


o m g...I am so disgusted with the media and who the f*ck cares about a person's sexual 'preference' (like it's really a choice?)

opened up AOL this morning and one of the flashing "headlines"...I see a pic of Alena Kagan, the Supreme Court nominee playing softball. Softball...jeezus. LIke, of course, we all know that if a woman has short hair and plays a game like softball, she's got to be (excuse the pun), pitching for the 'other' team.

The fact that this bit of information is being hashed over by the media at all is so annoying to me... Why do we need to know everything that can possibly be dug up on a person these days? we don't.

If it be true, and I don't really care one way or another, unless this would affect her judgement in her capacity as a Supreme Court Judge, it has nothing to do with the story at all. If she happened to be gay and also was what might be called a "lipstick lesbian"...what could the press show us then? A lithesome, tall blond, looking sexy at the bat, somehow might not make much fodder for the media...

When is this going to stop, if at all? Will we ever get back to just the basics, or will this go further, to the point of pics of nose-picking, booger-eaters?

enuf is enuf. How can a reasonably intelligent person weed through all the crap that is constantly being hurled at us and make a clear determination of how we really feel about something?

Not easy, takes a presence of mind and conscious effort. Most of which the average Joe does not possess or really cares to put the effort into...

Sunday, March 28, 2010

2010 Census

Okay. I am curious why I seem to be in a such a minority in feeling that the Census form seems so blatantly unbalanced in it's request for information.

I was almost expecting a Spanish version first, then English, but gladly, was not presented with that choice...

But, what is up with Question 8? Wanting to know if I am of Hispanic, Latino or Spanish origin, and if so, what country do I originate from. This is not a race, but a place of origin.

Then, Question 9...concerning race. First one is White. Second, Black, African American, or Negro. I found this staggeringly obvious in it's omission. If our dark-skinned citizens require three different racial descriptions, how is it that White is only one? Last I knew, White was a ridiculous term laced with a history of all kinds of negative connotation, with Caucasian actually being the correct racial term as Negroid was the original correct term... I personally don't like to be called White and always write in Caucasian, if it is necessary for me to state "what I am". White is the color of a sheet, or a clean piece of paper, not me. If language and proper names and terminology are so critical in these days of political sensitivity, then why and how does the term "White" still stand so singularly?

It's like trying to find that old crayon color, "flesh tone", a pasty pinky color with the implication that everyone's flesh is that color... Crayola no longer makes that one.

And, as for Question 8, why is it that only that "group" is being asked for their origin? Why is it not important where my "Whiteness" comes from? Germany, Ireland, Poland and Holland all had a part in what makes me "White".

So, in the end, there does seem to be a certain agenda to this year's Census form and I am choosing not to participate. This form's original purpose was solely to determine how many representatives each State would be allocated in Congress. That purpose and that purpose only. I will give them that, my body count, and that's it.

As for all the other questions on this form, one can only wonder, where is the outrage over these requests for information?

Where is Reverend Al when you really need him?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

life's question

In all my fifty-eight years on the planet I don't think I've ever had a clear picture of where I should be going... What direction am I destined to take?
What 'purpose' was I created to fill? Never gave it enough thought to actually cause a change in direction, or have the confidence that I could make that choice.
I feel different now. Feel as if the person I was meant to be has come into power, risen above all the other small voices that silence that soul.
There can always be regrets of lost opportunities, different paths that could have been taken, but I won't allow myself to go there. That serves no purpose in enjoying the current time of my life.
I want to live my truth. And there are so many parts of myself that need further exploration and experience.
The part that is the work in all this, is the effort to not allow the mundane chores of life be an excuse to not venture further into personal growth. This is easy for a child of Depression era parents. Work, work, work, don't waste time, save that, fix that... This is so ingrained in me that I feel I'm 'wasting' time if I sit and read during the day, take time to meditate, anything that might be personally (that is, just something done for my person)enjoyable.
Conciousness is the key. A human being, not a human doing...

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

diversity with labels

Just read an article in the local paper about a guy with three daughters raising them alone. His wife died from cancer a couple of years ago, and he was just talking about the adjustment to single parenting from a male perspective. One of the points he brushed upon was the bias concerning men "mothering" children, and how general opinion assumed he would be incapable of doing the job right. Beginning with the cleaning, cooking, all that household chore stuff generally relegated to the female of the house, then on to the emotional aspect of a man raising three daughters.

I won't get into his story that much, because that's not what really hit me about the tale.

I am fed up with the labeling that is put on everyone in our society.

As a free nation, we struggle with, but purport that we celebrate the diversity of all our inhabitants. This is a fabrication of wishful thinking. Ooh, yes, America, a melting pot of immigrants from all over the globe...came to escape oppression, and feel the thrill, to live and work in the land of the free.

I see more and more, the need to put a name on everything. And everyone. Seems to be, that the list of labels has expanded to include even the smallest deviation from the "norm", whatever that is. Why do we need to know some one's sexual preference, racial heritage, career choice, college or tech school, familial status, eating habits, religion, physical condition...the list goes on.

In a country that should be growing to lower these walls of differences between us, we really seem to be setting up little boxes and sorting everyone out, like a pile of laundry. Maybe this has become our unique heritage, because we are a nation compiled from many. A new group surfaces, and we eye them up and down, put them in the right box...maybe they'll need to be moved around alittle till we get it right, but we are determined to find the right box. And, to top it off, we must be very sensitive to what the label may be and that we use it correctly, or be accused of not being "politically correct". A term that originated to indicate religion or race, but is now all inclusive.

This has become so ingrained in our society, that we fumble for the right words to label even ourselves. Struggle with what might sound more impressive, or less one-sided, so as not to exclude inclusion into any one group. We want broad appeal. This is where the Celebrate our Diversity trick comes in. Slap it all together, put it on a poster in Third Grade, and that is sure to have us all holding hands in no time. Ha.