I found my first grey hair.
I thought I found my first grey hair, but I wasn’t sure.
What I was sure about was the impossibility of getting a good look at the back of my head in the bathroom mirror. (This is a problem I’ve had before.)
It could have been one of the odd strands that picks up light differently than the rest, looking blonde instead of brown, but I couldn’t know without getting a closer look. The hair in question had to be pulled — not because it was grey, but because I wasn’t sure if it was grey.
After mistakenly uprooting several of its innocent medium brown brothers, I finally managed to pull the offending strand from it’s follicle. I held it up to the light and looked at it from different angles, I laid it in my palm and examined it up close, but I still couldn’t ascertain its color.
I needed a second opinion to get some confirmation of its greyness.
“Honey,” I would say, “I think I found a grey hair, but I can’t tell. Can you find it?”
I’d point to the general location and bow my head to give him a better look. But instead of looking, he would place his hands on my shoulders and kiss the top of my head.
“You’re beautiful,” he’d say, “You’ll be beautiful with one grey hair or one million.”
I would lift my head and look at him with a half smile and a correction.
“Yeah. I already know that. I’m not questioning my appearance, I just want to know if it’s grey or not. It might be blonde, but I can’t get a good look.”
I would bow my head again, despite the fact he’s tall enough to see the top of my head without my help. He would examine my crown, find the odd strand, and offer a weak confirmation.
“Yep. It’s grey… at least I think it’s grey… I’m not sure.”
I would lift my head and frown a little.
“I hope it’s grey,” he’d look down at me with smiling eyes from beneath his own salt-and-pepper hair, “it’s about time you started catching up to me.”
“It’s not a race, love.” I’d respond, grinning, “and if it were, you’d be winning by a mile.”
He would return to his chair at the kitchen table and continue sketching out an idea for a new project. I’d go back to reading and drinking coffee in the chair across from his.
I enjoy daydreaming, but I also enjoy reality. I’m not lonely. I love my life, my work, my friends, and I like having my own space.
But sometimes I think it might be nice to share my mundane and meaningful life milestones with someone else.
The grey hair wasn’t exactly a milestone, but it felt like something. It felt like a quiet affirmation of moving forward — an opportunity to appreciate the fact I’ve made it this far without mangling my career, my health, or my personal life. I’m here, I’m okay, and that’s something to celebrate.
People are always around to share the big stuff, but not the small stuff. For a brief moment, I regretted the absence of someone who might have shared the tiny moment with me. At the least, it would have been nice to have someone else here just to confirm the color of the thing.
I carefully escorted the maybe-grey hair into the kitchen and rooted around in my utility drawer for clear tape. I taped one end of the single strand, but couldn’t find any dark paper lying around to stick it to.
I glanced over at the fridge. It was glossy, black, and immaculate — free of fingerprints and scratches, free of any evidence that often accompanies shared lives and shared spaces. It had no calendar, no shopping list, and no rudimentary crayon drawings. It had no dry erase board on which to write reminders to take the trash out when you get home, or pick up the laundry from the cleaners, or I love you. It had no magnets advertising take-out for those nights when we’re too tired to cook.
I stuck the maybe-grey hair to the front of the fridge. Against the glossy black surface, it certainly looked grey, but I couldn’t be sure.