Friday, May 06, 2005

Grey hair

It's true. My hair is turning grey.

You'd imagine that such being the case I'd wear it short to display the grey to it's least advantage.

Hell no! If it's going to show the passage of years I might as well milk it for all it's worth. Why else do greybeards grow such grey beards?

But I can't grow a beard to save my life. Well I can, kinda, but it's such a pitiful and uncomfortable beard that it's not worth the trouble. I know; I tried in late 1987. At about day 7 one of my workmates, at a team meeting, offered to run book on when I'd manage to completely cover my chin. I laughed along with the rest of the team but I fancy my laughter was somewhat less comfortable than theirs.

By day 21 I had a beard that completely hid my chin but it felt greasy and chafed like you wouldn't believe. But I stuck it out, for the nonce. I shampooed the bugger every day but it never lost that greasy feel. On Christmas day 1987 I went to Christmas with my folks and I was photographed. When I saw the developed photo I was aghast. Not so much a cognitive human being as an aggrandised monkey. I lost the beard that day and I've never worn one since!

So back to the hair. In the 1960's when long hair was all the rage I had a crewcut. Dunno why; I wasn't much given to thoughts of social change at the time. But sometime in the mid 1970's I stopped having haircuts and grew my hair down to below my elbows. Did the whole thing; henna shampoo to impart that red glow... curlers to impart the curls.

Yeah, I did curlers. In mid 1975 I was cooking dinner for some friends who were coming over (my best mate Heino's sister and her husband as it happens - June 30th 1975). Halfway through cooking and just before they arrived I remembered some ingredient I needed and had forgotten. So I nipped over to the supermarket just up the street and snagged whatever it was. I was standing in line behind a woman with a full shopping cart. 'Excuse me' I said, 'would you mind if I went ahead. I have just this one thing and my roast is in danger of burning!'. Open mouthed she let me take precedence! 30 years down the track she's probably forgotten the incident; I certainly hope she has!

The following year I bought my favourite hairbrush. I've written about it before[^]. The only thing, apart from my skin and bones and memory that I still possess from that time.

On Friday July 11th 1986 I had dinner with my first wife at the Pancake Parlour, Doncaster Road, Melbourne. It was the night before my second trip to the US (now you know why I remember the date ). Suddenly she shrieked (you have to know her to understand how accurate a description that is) as she poked at my hair just above my left ear. 'You've got white hair!'. I was aghast. It seems that I had three white hairs!

It's almost 19 years since that day and I'm reconciled to my grey. I remember swearing, back in the days, 20 or more years ago when it was still a remote future, that when I started to go grey I'd do it with dignity. None of your Grecian 2000 for this little grey duck! I'm going to stick with that resolution. The choice is between being extinguished and distinguished. I'd much rather be a dis than an ex!

I'm almost at my goal of growing my hair back to my elbows!

But of course you know that I blame my step kids! Yeah, that's the ticket; it's their fault; nothing whatsoever to do with being 50!

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