Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Bonfire of My Vanity

I got my hair cut really short.
I am done coloring my hair.

My new motto:

I'm not graying, I'm roaning.


At least I'm in good company.
Well, maybe not good,
but familiar.


No amount of hair color can
change the fact that I'm 57 years old.
The suspension of time is an illusion.
We're all going to die,
regardless of how beautiful a corpse
we hope to leave behind.

I have earned every one of those gray hairs.

Judge for yourself — here are a few
highlights off the top of my head
(pun intended):

Almost having my kid taken away
by CPS because the little shit was
mad I wouldn't give him candy
or let him sit inside all day
in front of the TV.
He told the neighbors I
wouldn't feed him and
that I locked him outside.

Or the time I took him on an
outing in the desert.
I looked up from my conversation
to see a tiny speck
clinging to the sheer face
near the top of a rock formation
hundreds of feet high.

Or the night I awoke and
my addict ex wasn't in bed beside me.
I found him outside
burning press sheets of $20 bills
in the charcoal grill.

Or the night I got a call
from the cops to
come and bail said addict ex
from jail after he totaled
my beloved Nissan 280 ZX.
I didn't.

Let's not forget the time
he emptied my bank account
the day before the rent, daycare,
and my car payment were due.

Or the time after I left addict ex when
he showed up at my apartment
"to make amends"
and tried to kill me as
my young child stood frozen
by the front door, screaming.

On my very first convention trip,
our entertainment, The Passing Zone,
got hung up in Jamaican customs
a few hours before they were to perform.
While a coworker sped to Montego Bay
to bribe customs officials,
my boss and I were literally
on our knees in a dank closet, praying,
"Please God, send chainsaws."

We had just moved to Casa Fry.
The kid ran in yelling, "Call 911
RIGHT. NOW." And I did, calmly.
I walked out to see that he and Mike had
set the field — the front yard — on fire.
It was a BIG fire.
I stayed inside and let them deal with it,
except the cops showed up and wrote ME
a ticket because there was a burn ban.
The guys were nowhere to be found.
They had gone to the store to get cold drinks.
It's still on my record and the
local yokels haven't forgotten.
Stupid damn city folks.

The phone call from the kid, now grown
and in the military, stationed in Korea,
telling me they were
being deployed to Iraq.
I blame George Bush
for a BUNCH of my gray hair.

The phone call from Mike while
I was at Atlantis, telling me the kid,
home on leave before going to Iraq,
was going to marry his 16-year old girlfriend,
the day after I got back,
with HER parents' blessing.
My kingdom for an unregistered handgun.

I could go on, but you get the picture.

I plan on wearing my gray like a
badge of courage and survival.

This grey mare can still
kick ass and take names.

11 comments:

One Red Horse said...

There is a certain pleasure in this side of 50 - like most of the reasons for my grey hair are at least a decade or two behind me. Had some grey hair promoters similar to some of yours. The finest pleasures I've found this side of 50 are my sweet horses.

AareneX said...

Yup, you've shore 'nuff paid CASH for those grey hairs. Here's hoping that all those grey-inducing days are behind you (us) now.

(And hooray that you've joined the really-short-hair society! Betcha will never go back to slaving over a comb or brush again!)

Dusty Devoe said...

I always say it is what it is! Can't stop the aging process!!! Enjoy it while we can. I think I'm gonna like your new doo!

Leah Fry said...

I'm enjoying the hell out of my fifties.

Cactus Jack Splash said...

I quit dying my hair several years ago, it is now mostly white. I have decided that being 50 and over I don't have to try to fit the image people have or put out there. I get to be myself and it has been liberating!

Grey Horse Matters said...

I'm surprised you don't have more gray hair than what's in the picture. I'm the same age as you and haven't dyed mine in months and got it cut shorter too. I figure I earned every one of those gray hairs and display them proudly.

Blackfeatherfarm said...

Whoa sister ! You have earned every one, wear them proudly. I turn 50 in August. When you get to that age, you don't care so much what people think, and realize its time to have a little happiness for your own. Its time to "Speak your mind, but ride a fast horse."
I get the part about the unregistered handgun - my south neighbors would be the intended victims. I like to just imagine it. Sounds pretty mean but if you knew the whole story.... Thats a long tale for another day.

Paint Girl said...

I have started to get gray hairs, and I am almost 36. I could color my hair, but choose not too. I have accepted that they are going to come, whether I like it or not.
I love how you have decided to stay "roan". And you will look even better riding your "roan" horse!

jacksonsgrrl said...

Wonderful post Leah! Of course you are starting to match your horse...it only makes sense. Wow, such experiences! But then again, I'm sure I could make my own little crazy list! At 38 I am still a red head with no gray, but actually, my grandmother told me that real red heads don't go gray we go silver. She would know, she too was a fire girl. SO, when the time comes I just figure I'm gonna have some bad a** highlites! (at least for a bit! :) Hope you like your short do, put up a pic so we can see more than the top of your head! Lucky you! Not everyone can get away with it super short!!!
--Mindy

The Wades said...

Wow, you've been through quite a lot in your years. Yes, I'd say you've earned whatever gray hairs you have. Wear them proud!

KD said...

I wear my grey with pride as well! I have also lived through a few addict ex stories of my own and can relate. Horses make up for a lot of hurts.

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