A Gray Day And Shopping Around

Katie Young
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Wednesday - August 30, 2006
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Singing the birthday grays. Four days before my 30th birthday I made a chilling discovery: a single white hair atop my otherwise dark brown head.

It wasn’t a pretty hair either - instead, it was kind of kinked up at the root, coarse and dry-looking. And it was stubby.

It was the ugliest hair I’d ever seen.

“What on earth is this?!” I screeched, creating a small foggy spot on the bathroom mirror. I was leaning in as far as I could to get a better look.

“Is that ... no, it couldn’t be ...” I continued out loud to myself. “Is that hair white?! A white hair?!”

“What’s all the yelling about?” my father asked, coming to stand in the doorway.

“Oh my gosh,” I gasped, flopping my head down on the vanity. “I have a white hair!”

“Just one?” Dad asked. “That’s all it takes!!” I sobbed. Later on, I was recounting my ordeal to my friend Patrick (who, by the way, has yet to find a white hair on his own head).

“That sucks ...” he said, laughing.

“Not funny,” I replied.

“It’s just one hair,” Patrick continued. “It was bound to happen. After all you are turning 30, you know.”

“It’s just not fair,” I said. “Why now? Like turning 30 wasn’t stressful enough.”

“Well, do what Angelina Jolie did,” Patrick said. “Just will the gray hairs away.”

“What?!” I asked.

“Yeah. She started getting gray hairs and just decided to think positive and will them away and it worked ... or maybe it was another actress ...”

Patrick began silently contemplating which celebrity in fact had mind powers to reverse the signs of aging, and I - after two minutes of hysterical laughter at the vision of Miss Jolie meditating her grays away - began to wonder if it wasn’t such a bad idea after all.

(Not that I think there’s anything wrong with gray, mind you. I think gray is something to be proud of and when my whole head turns gray, I don’t plan to dye it anything else.) I just was not at all prepared for the mysterious intruder to appear suddenly on my head, especially when I had just decided that I was rather happy to be turning 30.

But Patrick had a point. While there may be no medical evidence to support claims of “mind managing your hair color,” a little positive thought never hurt anyone, right? There are countless anecdotes of people healing their ailments using the power of their minds. So why not will away the gray?

There’s nothing wrong with shopping around.

If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s a pushy salesperson. Now I realize that those sales people who rise to the top of their field are oftentimes relentless in a non-antagonizing way. It’s a tough balance to maintain.

For example, I was checking out new gyms the other day. Joining a gym is a very personal thing, in my opinion - not a decision to rush into.

I mentioned to the sales agent that this was my first stop of three to price memberships. He explained plans for about 10 minutes, but then started asking way too many personal questions about my finances, my personal life, etc.

This salesperson kept insisting that I needn’t look anywhere else because he could just tell me what the other gyms had to offer and it wasn’t nearly as great as his gym. Not only that, but if I didn’t sign up right then, he wouldn’t help me with a good rate; this was the “absolute final day” he could “give you this price.”

“I mean, come on now, sweet-ie, you look like a smart woman,” he said, after berating me with questions for another 20 minutes.

“Um, yeah, I am,” I retorted, “which is why I’m going to go price the other gyms myself before I make any decisions ... as I told you in the beginning.”

And the thing is: I’d honestly rather pay $10 more a month to join a gym where I feel comfortable and respected than to save a few bucks to join a workout facility where the salesperson made me feel stupid.

Remembering bubbles.

The other day I was in Longs Drugs when I happened to overhear a conversation between a rather buff-looking man (I’m guessing early 30s) and a store clerk.

“Can you help me find the bubble bath?” he asked.

“Sure,” the clerk replied. “Is this for children? We have some fun ones ... Elmo, cartoon characters, some smell like bubble gum ...”

“Uh, no. ” the man replied. “It’s for me.”

He kind of grinned after he said it, but didn’t seem embarrassed in the least. Obviously this big, tough guy was not ashamed of his softer side or his need to take a soak in a tub filled with frothy relaxation.

That got me thinking, “When was the last time I took a bath? I must have been 8.”

So I followed the two men to the bubble bath aisle and picked up a bottle for myself.

Now, for a bubble bath to be a real bubble bath, there needs to be hot, hot water and mountains of bubbles you can hide in. It can become a refuge from the outside world.

Completely relaxed (though also a bit “prunish”) I emerged 25 minutes later from the tub.

Note to self: Must take bubble baths more often.

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