Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Are You 55 or Wiser?

About three months ago I decided to stop coloring my hair. I also started growing it out. There were quite a few reasons for both decisions. First, I was somewhat tired of putting the chemicals on my person. Also, it seemed like a waste of never ending money going down the literal drain. As far as growing it out, well, that is more for personal comfort than anything else. If I want to have it off my neck I’ll be able to pull it back but the option of leaving it down is also appealing. With a chin length bob it’ll still be short but easier to do stuff with.

I drink copious gallons of water every week living in the desert and let me tell you, the hydration is great for my hair even if there are way more grays than I’d like to see sprouting out at age thirty-nine. The water here is hard though so I’ve had to adjust to a more scalp friendly conditioner. That’s okay, I like the apple smell and my hair feels soft.

This morning I went out and got myself a haircut. I told her that I was looking to grow it out to one length and she was fantastic with listening. She did a stack cut in the back to make it look kind of cute and hip. With longer bits in the front on the sides the cut kind of has a youthful edge and I love it. Just getting those mullet-esque pieces off my neck alone made me look lighter, fresher.

With my monthly Scottsdale Society of Women Writers meeting coming up tomorrow night I was looking forward to showing off my new cut but the clothing in my closet is somewhat lacking. I only have a couple dresses that fit me right. And most of my business type outfits are geared toward cooler weather. So after I came home and showered off the hair, I decided to peruse the selection at my local Goodwill Store and see if there might be something cute I could wear to the meeting.

Goodwill is one of my favorite stores to thrift shop in because I never fail to find something brand new, tags still on, that costs half the price (or less) of what it did in the original store it came from. Today was no exception only instead of one item I found two dresses, one pair of shorts, and two tops to match. One dress will be perfect at the meeting. It’s summery white linen with yellow, green and blue flowers dotting the fabric. The dress is soft and feminine and it looks pretty on me which I tend to struggle with most of the time.

While I was pawing through the tops one of my favorite old school club days songs came on. Pick on me if you like but “Dancing Queen” never failed to get me on the floor. Its slower and always a good one at weddings or to get all the girls together to shake some booty. Hey don’t judge me, I was clubbing eighteen years ago. And plus it wasn’t like I was in the clubs when the song first came out or anything.

Anyway, as soon as the familiar intro began I smiled. The song takes me back to specific days in the past; days I’m happy to leave in the past but still great times in my life. I flipped through a handful of tops that would have made an appearance at said clubs back in the day. Clothes I know I have no business wearing anymore. With those tops still on the rack I continued on.

I spent about an hour in the store trying things on and when I was done I headed for the open register. There was a taller kid, I’d guess about eighteen, working the register. I felt the irony that his mom was probably pushing him out into the world as I was applying mascara that would inevitably make its way halfway down my face before the night was over. We exchanged the usual pleasantries:

“Hi how are you today ma’am?”
“I’m fantastic thanks, how are you?”
“I’d be better if I got more than one hour of sleep last night.”
“Oh bummer.”
“Yeah, up ‘til about three in the morning.”
“Wow, I’m usually asleep for five hours by three in the morning.” I said and smiled.

I let the ma’am slide because in reality I could be this kid’s mother so it didn’t really bother me. Plus I always think it’s more polite than calling me lady or miss. I glanced down at the counter and started reading. There’s a charity donation going on and when he asked me the next thing I thought that’s what he was referring to so I said no thanks. He continued to stare at me for a second so I asked ‘wait, what?’ and he repeated:

“Are you fifty-five or wiser?”

I literally blinked for a full second and stared at the kid. Now don’t get me wrong, I know maybe I look more my age these days with the sporadic gray hairs and couple extra pounds around the mid-section but for goodness sake I’m not sitting home waiting for my AARP card or anything. Like I said, I could be the kid’s mother. Not his grandmother.

“Um, no.”

He proceeded to ring up my purchase, I paid him and thanked him then headed out to the car.  As I pulled away all I could think was that maybe it’s time to look into henna. And go dancing.


Karen said...

Haha... been there, but now it doesn't bother me... I like the discounts!

kbailey said...

There is a Dunkin Donuts I kept going back to because the guy at the window always called me "Miss."

Jenn said...


I think he'd been to the club. Maybe his head was still fuzzy...

I like this place:
Selection is high end and diverse. More $ than Goodwill but not as crazy as some of the 'boutique' resalers I've mistakenly wandered into. More like Walmart prices for designer/high end clothing.

I dyed my hair for a few years when I started going grey. Now that it's more than 50% grey, it looks okay to me au natural. I do occasionally put one of those temp rinses on it - the ones that wash out after so may shampoos? I find these fade out nicely and I can go back to grey without that skunky stripe effect the full dyes produce. YMMV

I kind of think it's funny you're growing yours out. I just made the decision I need to keep mine shorter, and admit a bit more to my age. This means we will have similar cuts. (I'm easily amused... you may have already noticed this.)

Judi FitzPatrick said...

I like the "55 or wiser" rather than or older; can't believe he thought it of you, but then maybe he is supposed to ask everyone on Tuesdays.

Someday you'll be glad for the discounts, too!

Love ya, Mum

lettersfromlaunna said...

Oh my Jenn, I am closer to 55 and if he had asked me that question, I am sure I would have had an icy look on my face, lol. I color my hair and I have it grown out long, which I never thought I would do again but I love it. I am going to enjoy my long hair for as long as I possibly can, plus I will always color it.

You do NOT look anywhere near 55 at all:)

Suldog said...

I'm guessing he's been told to ask that of anyone even remotely looking like they might be near it, probably because somebody who was 55 or wiser complained about not getting a discount. Don't let it bother you. Guys are notorious for not knowing what age someone is. That's why some of us spend time in jail on statutory rape charges. This was just a reverse bad call. He probably could have just as easily been as clueless and asked if you were 26. Seriously.

#1Nana said...

I've let my hair go natural, but it's not an attractive shade of gray. My husband has lovely white hair, mine is just drab. I may color it again now that summer is almost over, but still no one will think I'm not eligible for the senior discount!

Joan said...

I meet my Dad at a coffee shop each week. Some clerks give me the discount, some don't. None have even asked. My Dad and I laugh each time. If I can save a few cents, I am happy to do it. I only have a couple of years to go though. Then I will definitely ask. lol
As for the hair... it IS a pain to color it. I let it go for two years, now I am back with coloring it again. :)

Rosebud Collection said...

I am sorry Jenn..but to me Lady Clairol is a saint..I wouldn't dare let my hair go normal..I think it is wonderful for those that do.
As far as the kid asking about a senior discount..I am sure he was a nice kid and all..but not good with judgment. I don't even think they are thinking about what they are saying..Now if anyone wants to card me..I jump the counter and hug them..but in all honesty, I know they can't see well..
Hope all is well with you two..Sept. is here and I am trying not to upset myself..Have a wonderful week..xoCarolyn