Grace  6/4/2013
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There are days when going without make-up is all right, and other days when it’s a crime against nature.  As I age, I have more of the latter than the former.

I keep my three best friends very close at hand – Maybelline, Olay and Loriel. 

I remember seeing make-up and hair coloring ads when I was much younger and still in my hippy phase.  Oh, yeah, I was “one of those,” the girls with the long, long hair and make-up free faces, who wore granny dresses and big, floppy hats, and went around flashing the peace sign and sporting painted daisies on our cheeks. 

We of the Woodstock generation made fun of those extremely young-looking women in the television ads who needed this cream or that one to keep their skin youthful, or who colored their hair because the gray crept in.  We scoffed at being so “unnatural” as to cover up the aging process, reaching for the elusive state of “young” that we now occupied.  And we swore that we would age gracefully, without artifice.

Then I became a member of the corporate world when I learned that I would not be able to live on free love and nature alone.  I took my first job with an insurance company.  Struggle as hard as I might against it, I succumbed to the temptation of make-up, permed hair and high heels.  As I grew older and climbed the corporate ladder, I gave up all of my young ideals one by one.  I became a business woman.  When the first gray hair struck the year I turned 28, I didn’t give two thoughts to aging naturally.  I reached for the hair dye.

Now I’m stuck in the rut of grown out roots and touch-ups.  I no longer look natural without make-up, just tired.  And I’m wondering how to grow old gracefully after I’ve given in to the siren call of artificial youth.  There are days when I’d like to just let go of the hair color, let it “all hang out,” to use a really old phrase.  But after about five weeks, when those silvery-gray strands start to outnumber the darker where my hair parts, I call and make another color appointment.  Unless I figure out some way off of the merry-go-round, I’ll still be touching up when I’m 70. 

I remember when Bob Barker asked the audience if he should let his hair go back to its natural color.  He’d been dying it for years and probably, like me, had grown tired of the routine.  After an enthusiastic positive from his fans, he appeared the next day with a shining silver crown.  The crowds went wild.  Maybe I’ll try that.  Maybe by the time my hair is totally gray, I’ll be ready for it.

Maybe not.

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