Wednesday, April 21, 2010

4 Dolla Hooka's

This past weekend, I had the privilege of having my very favorite women in world around me for four solid days. There was food, drink, stories and much laughter. On Monday when I had the opportunity to reflect on the weekend, I asked my sister and my mom what they thought the common thread was between all of us women, aged 75 to 20. The answer - strength.

Take for example my mom. She is three weeks shy of her 75 birthday and the oldest "queen" in this bunch. She raised four kids, none of which have committed a serious crime, stayed married to my dad for 50 years, was by his side when he passed and as hard as it has been, she's learned to flourish after his passing.

Then there's 36Oldsgal. A single mom at 17 who lied about her age to get a job at the phone company so she could provide for her family. She retired after a million years with Bell South, married a guy we all love, has a beautiful house that has no mortgage and works at a liquor store so she has "pocket money".

Enter EC, my oldest and dearest friend. We were geographically close for one year and friends for a lifetime. She joined the Army, served in Desert Storm, came home and married the man of her early dreams only to be betrayed by him. She has buried her mom, works for Nassau County in NY and last year bought her first house by herself.

Diva, she's a 35 year old mother of two. She raised her 10 year old son by herself for the first five years of his life. She met a great guy, had a little girl then had the presence of mind to toss her 39 year old hubby in the car last year when he experienced a heart attack in the middle of the night.

Vampgal, well if you read my blog, you know she's my sister. She escaped a marriage to a drug addict at 25, graduated from college at 39, her husband died unexpectedly last year and she allows my mom to live with her when she's in town.

Bebe, well she's from Alabama. Enough said.

Daughter #1, a senior this year at UGA who is working her way through college and earning extra dollars with a photography business.

Daughter #2 became a mom at 16 and for the past three and one half years, has devoted her life to the world's sweetest little boy.

Do you see the pattern? These are the strongest women I know and I make it a point to spend as much quality time as I can with them - together or separately. They make me laugh, comfort me when I cry, curse with me through the aging process and encourage me when I cannot go another day. We may be as cheap as a 4 dolla hooka, but we are as strong as love that binds us together.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Going Gray

Did you make a resolution at the New Year? I did. This is very unusual for me as typically they are just a reminder to me on how much I don't follow through. I already knew I wasn't going to stop cursing, lose any significant weight, join an online dating service or any of the other things I think about at the first of every year. Instead, I decided to stop coloring my hair.

Around about the age of 25, I noticed a few gray hairs right in the front of my hairline to the right (my right) of my face. No biggie, I said. Just a little character creeping in to go along with the birth of my girls. Little did I realize that just as all things that start out small, without intervention, they can and will, take over your life.

By 30, I was divorcing Music Man and my gray hairs were morphing into a gray spot about the size of a dime. I chalked this up to the stress and strain of my divorce and the difficulty of taking over a household with two small children. If I brushed my hair just so, you could hardly see it. So, I brushed my hair just so. By 35, I was knee deep in living, carpooling, working, dieting, line dancing, dating, etc., and really didn't give a crap. As long as my hair was clean, I was good to go. By 40, I had uprooted my girls, sold my house and moved to Atlanta. I needed to find a new hairdresser and a new job, so I met Juanita - who is more of a magician than beautician - and she began to highlight my hair. By 45, my dime sized spot was the size of a half dollar, so Juanita began coloring my hair. The funny thing was I had so much gray, that even with all over color, it looked that I had highlighted my hair.

This past December I turned 47. I can't tell you what happened or why, but I decided to stop the madness and let the gray grow out. My confession to stop coloring had Juanita spinning in her chair. We talked about stripping, blonding, cutting and being able to fix whatever happened next. I left the salon feeling like a cross between John Davidson (do you remember "That's Incredible") and Bonnie Raitt. I startled myself every time I looked in the mirror and was the recipient of many "colorful" comments from my family.

Now, a good three months into gray, I feel okay. It's amazing how much money, time and effort I was spending on fighting the fight that I'm growing old. The world didn't fall off of its axis, I wasn't fired for being too old, I haven't attracted the attention of much older men (I can't even garner attention from any men) and my Jack-jack hasn't asked me why my hair is funny. It's just gray. I've lived to experience the true color of my hair, and nothing bad happened. Just don't think for one minute that I am giving up my skin regimen.