I turned 40 a little more than six months ago. Save the party that was thrown for me, the actual turning of 40 was a non-event. The emotional hand wringing, increased levels of depression, and other forms of anxiety surrounding the dull act of growing older had inexplicably come and gone at 35.
That aside, my first signs of gray started appearing in my mid thirties. I rationalized this early autumnal change in hair color, with the explanation that I possess an unusually high intelligence and maturity level for a man my age, and obviously I needed to look the part. Never mind the fact that I was coming to a point where I would soon have more birthdays under my belt than I had inches in my waistline, I sometimes lie to myself to keep the self-esteem inappropriately high.
Since I turned 40, it seemed like everybody and their mother had something to say about the changing color scheme on my head. Everywhere I turned, “Man! You’ve got a lot of gray!” or “You’re started look old buddy!”, were being tossed my way with reckless abandon. I began to wonder whether or not I was grayer than I actually was. Maybe the gray got grayer once you’d crossed into your 40’s? Maybe there was an unwritten rule that stated that friends, family and acquaintances could just ‘go in’ on your gray? I started to wonder.
The amount of gray on my head didn’t bother me, but what did bother me was this sudden chatter that I should do something about it. Earnest suggestions, that I dye my hair with Just For Men, were affirmed with head nods from my friends while they gazed with pity at this ash ridden domepiece. I always responded that I would never do it, but, maybe it was time to concede to the will of the people.
My vanity is not to be underestimated. These people with their silly cosmetic suggestions were fools! No self-respecting man dyes his hair! I’m not trying to look younger at all. The only thing I need from my youth is my metabolism and my fast twitch muscle response. Otherwise, sing Fun’s “We Are Young” all you want, I don’t mind aging at all, I think I still look good.