Living a Lie

Thursday, July 18. 4:17 pm.

That's the moment everything changed. By 'everything' I mean nothing, and by 'changed' I mean 'stayed the same' but I just paid the dues for my poetic license so I figure I may as well use it.

I was sitting in a parking lot, waiting for Nash to finish his basketball day camp and that's when it happened. A glint of something shiny caught my eye in my rear view mirror.

A grey hair. My first grey hair. 

At 37 years old, I sprung grey. I know, I know. Ridiculous. I'm writing about ONE single grey hair. Clearly I need a bigger life. But here's the thing. My mom? She wages a war with white. My brother at 38, has more salt than pepper and my younger sister? Has an enviable skunk streak that I always said I'd pay good money to imitate if I had her colouring.

I was the one without any grey. And now I'm not. My family bragging rights had been revoked.

It's as though my always wheat blonde hair suddenly started darkening on it's own so that's it's a shade of dirty dishwater, not really brown, not really blonde and I'd spend the rest of my adult days trying to find a hair colour that brings any spark of colour to my head.

Oh wait, that already happened.

A grey hair is just another insult my hairline likes to dish out. 

It's like I don't even know who I am anymore. My entire identity was a lie.

(I did say I needed a life, right? I stand by that statement.)

Grey hairz. I haz them.

When Nash hopped into the vehicle the first thing I did was point to my forehead.

"Do you see this? Do you? Do you?"

He blinked rapidly, confusion written all over his face. "Um, do I see what?" he asked cautiously.

"THIS!!" I screeched as I pointed like a mad woman to my lone silver hair.

"Er, I, um," he leaned forward, seemingly peering at the hair in question. "All I see is a crazy woman and a wrinkle." 

"A WRINKLE! Not that! It's not a WRINKLE. It's a parenting line. They hand those suckers out with every baby you get. No, I meant the grey hair! I found a grey hair! My first!"

"I don't see anything. Except the wrinkled crazy lady."

My cheeky son may be myopic but the mirror didn't lie. My first grey hair stood out like a neon sign advertising the tragic end of my follicle youth.

I spent the night telling everybody and each time I got the same response. Ya, so?

It would seem, no one cares about other people's grey hairs because they're too busy hiding their own, or you know, having a life. Whichever.

I consoled myself by telling my reflection that it was only ONE grey hair. I can handle the boob drop, the cellulite, the chin whiskers, the nipple wires, heck; I even accept the loose neck skin, the crows' feet and the wrinkled brow. But the grey hair? Grey hair tips the scales into a direction I may not be able to navigate back from. At least it was only one hair. I had time.

Or so I thought.

As I sat in my stylist's chair on Saturday, shooting the breeze, catching up on each other's lives, I suddenly remembered my new follicle friend as she painted my dishwater hair yellow. 

"I found a grey hair this week! I can't believe it! A grey hair!" Surely my friend, my stylist, would understand my pain like no one else seemed to.

I expected her to stop painting my head and tell me to "Hush up! No! That's horrible!" Or tell me, "No way! Where? I didn't see it!"

I didn't understand the sounds coming out of her mouth.

It sounded like ... laughter.

"Took you long enough. You've got at least ten percent grey. Maybe more, Tanis."

Ten percent?! 

My mouth dropped.

"Ya, I didn't want to say anything. You've an entire colony right about here," she said as she tapped my head.

It turns out I've been living a lie. 

I have to tell you, I am okay with that. The lie made me feel good. Made me feel young. Next thing I'll find out is my ass is flat.

NOBODY LOOK. I don't want to know.

Now excuse me, I'm going to be obsessing over newly sprouting grey weeds in my garden of luscious locks while I wait to get a life.