Guess it’s time to dye my roots.

30 Aug

Alan and I have been living on different continents for much of the past four months. As a result, he’s viewing me with fresh eyes. At least, I’d like to think that’s what prompted him – completely unprompted – to ask this weekend,”Wow. How dark is your hair naturally?”

I looked at him steadily, and in the pause that allowed me to formulate my thoughts, he continued, “I mean. I’m confused. I’m not seeing the amount of silvers that I usually do, so you must’ve dyed it recently, but the roots are still really dark. Almost brown. How do you do that?”

Admittedly, I find it endearing that he doesn’t realize how most women would take this. (Flashback to when he compared me to a calico cat because I had swirls of blond, brown and gray hair.) And I’m under no illusion that I have great hair or even well-colored hair.

The truth is, I don’t know what my natural color is. I was blond as a child and started swimming in middle school, so my hair has had some degree of chemical treatment since I was 11. Since I now have a ridiculous number of grays on my head (random guess would point to 25%), I color my hair to help them blend in, rather than to chase some fantasy of being blond.

In any case, Alan’s fascination with my hair led me to explain that I couldn’t exactly define “natural,” but I was pretty sure it wasn’t actually blond. He seemed satisfied with that explanation, so we hopped a bus to meet friends in Georgetown for a mid-hurricane brunch.

On the way there, the rain started to REALLY come down. When we got off the bus, we started hustling toward the restaurant. Always multi-tasking, I kept fishing around in my purse as I walked.

You know the feeling of panic that washes over you when you realize you’ve lost something important, like your keys or your wallet? Well that hit me as we strode down Wisconsin Ave, rain pouring around us.

I stopped dead in my tracks and looked at Alan as I said, “Shit! You know what I left on the bus? My um-”

And unfortunately, in that moment my eyes flicked up and registered the fully functional umbrella I was holding above my head.

“Nevermind!” I continued walking, hoping Alan hadn’t quite heard me.

No such luck. He reached for my arm to slow me down. “Hold on! Were you just panicked, thinking you’d left your umbrella on the bus?”

Sheepishly, I nodded.

Alan shook his head. “I take it back. Maybe you are more blond than I thought!”

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12 Responses to “Guess it’s time to dye my roots.”

  1. thesinglecell August 30, 2011 at 9:37 am #

    Oh, Alan. Never question hair color. At least let us have the fantasy that it looks natural. 😉 The umbrella thing is too funny. What color is your hair when it’s soaked by rain?

    • popdialectic August 30, 2011 at 11:35 am #

      No matter how admiring my tone? Curiosity gets the better of me and I’ve decided that you women keep the rules murky on purpose.

    • pithypants August 31, 2011 at 4:27 am #

      Did you know that “wet” is a color? In Crayola’s new line-up it’ll be sitting right next to the “calico cat” crayon.

  2. skippingstones August 30, 2011 at 3:09 pm #

    I would so do that!

    • skippingstones August 30, 2011 at 6:23 pm #

      In fact, I’m quickly heading to that point in my life when I frantically search for – loudly – my glasses, only to be told that they are either on the top of my head or in my hand.

      • pithypants August 31, 2011 at 4:26 am #

        That was EXACTLY what this felt like.

  3. Byron MacLymont August 30, 2011 at 6:52 pm #

    I had a friend who went salt & pepper gray in his 20’s. One time two girls with flamboyantly dyed hair ran up, saying how cool his hair was and how did he get it to look like that? “Um, stress? An inability to express my feelings?”

  4. Martha Goudey August 31, 2011 at 11:51 am #

    Yesterday I had a foil job. Is that how you say it? I’ve never been foiled before. You know, when they put blond streaks in gray (or any color) hair. I wasn’t sure about it, but the hairdresser said, “You’ll love it.” It’s the latest thing, (or not) for those of us who have reached gray and that’s it, but it’s drab, and we don’t really want to dye it, we just want “highlights.” So now I’m more blond than gray and still deciding if I love it. As for the umbrella? It’s reassuring to those much older that it’s not just us.

  5. Sara no "H" August 31, 2011 at 5:29 pm #

    I always do crap like that. I will lose a pencil 15 times in a day and it will be tucked behind my ear! I tell my husband if he wants to know my hair color he can always look at my eyebrows. Pretty sure they are the right color.

  6. dhayter28 September 1, 2011 at 5:43 pm #

    Good save on his part if I do say so myself. LOL

    • pithypants September 1, 2011 at 6:49 pm #

      Good save? Good save? It’s like when he first noticed veins in my legs and said, “Is THAT what a varicose vein looks like?!” Aww. I’ll take ’em sweet and naive about that stuff. 🙂

  7. Tanitha Smith October 27, 2011 at 10:52 am #

    I once spent half an hour looking for my hat. I was really beginning to panic so I asked my sister if she had seen it anywhere. She raised her eyebrowns and said calmly, “It’s on your head.”

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