I think women of all ages look lovely with grey hair. One of the women in my dorm my sophomore year in college was at least 50% grey and never colored her hair, and it looked great. My family is not by nature of the hair-coloring type. I always figured that going grey was just a part of life and time marching on and something to wear with pride.
The thing is, I never thought I'd be a widow at 35.
Something in Emmie's post really struck me:
[ . . . ] I started dreading the 2 or 3 hours and $60-80 it took to get the look back. And now, now that I am a mom, now that I’m pretty content with my lot in life and I know my spouse could care less about my hair color [Ed: emphasis mine], well, I just can’t really justify it anymore.John didn't care what I wore or how I did my hair. Make-up, no make-up, it was all the same to him. He wanted me to feel confident and happy with my appearance, period, end of sentence. If he were still alive, we'd be laughing about my grey, about having escaped for this long, wondering how many of the silver strands were from Riley and how many from Maddie. I would not be giving the grey a second thought.
Alas, it's just me, the young widow. Nothing will make you feel old like having the word widow as part of your identity. Well, nothing except parenting two active, amazing, challenging, talkative, rowdy, curious, beautiful toddlers on your own. And then going grey from it all.
The thing is, I'm not old. I feel old, but I'm not. I'm 35. I'm young and smart and damn if I'm not pretty good looking. I have lots of interests and friends and ideas. They grey hair is hiding that. Not really, of course, but it feels like it is, like if I get really grey no one will know that I'm young and smart and filled with ideas.
To break it down/sum up:
1. Women should color their hair if they want to. But they shouldn't feel like they have to.
2. In theory, I don't want to.
3. But in practice, I feel old on the inside, and I feel like the grey makes me look old on the outside.
4. If my husband were alive, I would not care.
5. But he is not, so I do.
6. So perhaps I will color my hair.
I can't quite articulate everything I want to say. It's a mess of jumbled up beliefs and ideals and feelings. For now, I'm going to sit with it all and see where my path leads me. Which aisle will I turn down at Walgreen's next time I'm there?