One-way ticket on the Grey-found bus
While sitting on the toilet the other day, I found my first grayish-white hair. On my head, you pervs.
I resisted the urge to lament my misspent youth. And my misspent 20s. And my misspent $30 on that perpetually full Brita pitcher with a fancy green lid! built-in electronic filter indicator! and comfort-grip handle! that I bought because this time will be different that has failed to shame me into drinking more water and instead has become a 10-cup measuring device of my dyed-in-the-wool dehydration. Because this time was, in fact, not different.
No, instead of allowing that rogue hair to catapult me into a crisis, I felt a solidarity with my gray cats. After nine years together, I’m slowly, strand by strand, starting to look like Teva and Isabel. Or possibly Bonnie Raitt, with her bitchin’ white streak. Either way, I’m fine with it. Sort of.
The weird thing about this lone light hair amid my auburn locks is that it’s pure white at the tip, but as it wends its way toward my scalp, the turncoat turns back to red at the root — the Little Gray Hair That Couldn’t. I’m not sure what it all means, but I’m guessing it’s some sort of metaphor for my life. Even my hair is apparently wishy-washy, indecisive and can’t follow through. Awesome, my hair is insulting me.
The other night at work I couldn’t locate the wayward follicle and started to wonder whether I’d been mistaken. Perhaps it was just a cautionary tale, a message from The Ghost of Gray Yet to Come telling me I’m meant to do more than just tweeze the day. That’s when my co-worker Melanie and her 20/20 vision accepted the challenge. Her eyes narrowed to slits as she hunted, like a lioness ready to pounce on a gazelle who’s going gray. “Ah ha! Found it!” she gloated. “It’s *so* wiry.” She’s very helpful.
A few days later while I was washing my face in the shower, I wiped the shampoo suds from my eyes only to find an albino eyelash at the tip of my ring finger. Which, technically, is just a finger, because it bears no engagement or wedding ring. Constant reminder.
One gray hair I was prepared to gracefully accept. But two? This is all happening so fast.
I channeled kneecapped ice princess Nancy Kerrigan circa 1994 and shower-cried “WWHHHHHY? WWHHHHHY?” Then I remembered that she went on to win the silver medal. Silver — the official color of second place. And the elderly. And linings for the unbearably optimistic. Evoking Nancy Kerrigan suddenly didn’t seem like such a sterling idea.
My gray hairs are proof that my gray heirs and I aren’t getting any younger. It seems as if it was only yesterday I brought Teva and Isabel home in a cardboard box with air holes. This past year, we finally started to show our ages as we each had minor health scares: I developed complications with my practically prehensile tail, Isabel suffered a brief injury, and Teva did her best Telly Savalas impersonation by licking herself bald. Innocence lost. As an aside, I take issue with the vet for always calling Isabel “Chunkers.” That is not her name. And she’s obviously big-boned.
Entering this gray area forces me to think about our — my and my cats, although I’m sure you’re lovely — mortality. But I just can’t imagine my life without these girls. And I can’t imagine theirs without me. That’s why I’ve decided we’re all becoming vampires. Seems foolproof.
Without Teva and Isabel, this blog would just be called “Alone.” No one wants to read that. And if I’m not around to cater to their beck and call, all their intensive training of me would have been for naught. They’ve spent most of the past decade pussy-whipping me into putting the toilet lid down so they can repurpose it as a launch pad, keeping windows open even in subzero temperatures and leaving the bathroom sink on at a steady trickle pretty much at all times because their water dish is dead to them.
Honestly, none of us has any use for that Brita pitcher. Worse purchase ever.
You remember Blogologues, the New York City comedy show that performs hilarious material verbatim from the interwebs and sometimes stages my writing? Yeah. Me too. Good times. It’s happening again, kittens. “Blogologues: Younger Than Springtime” is running now every Thursday, Friday and Saturday through May 5 at the Players Loft in the west village. If you really love me, you’ll see it. And yes, that’s what date-rapists say. I should probably be in PR.