I was doing OK, letting my natural colour see daylight for the first time in two and a half decades. But then I spotted a grey hair and my world came crashing down around me. My stylist, my fabulous stylist…I though she could rescue me. But she has only been my stylist for 10 years. I learned 20 years ago that my hair is greedy for red. She did not know my hair 20 years ago. How could she know? Why did I not remember?
But now I’m 47 and I have rosacea, my skin is less ivory and more white, I have some fine lines, and my jaw line is starting to sag a bit. I look like a trope. You know that trope… the middle aged woman who goes flaming red in an attempt to convince the world and herself that she is still vibrantly alive.
To pull off red hair after 45 you either have to actually be a redhead or be Vivienne Westwood – cos Vivienne don’t give a rats ass about aging. Vivienne Westwood is a redhead with chutzpah and redheadedness is her badge of non-conformity.
I, on the other hand, am the shibboleth of the aging western woman, pursuing youth at all costs, oblivious to her privileged place in the world. Ugh. I am not Vivienne Westwood. In fact, in a particularly ironic blow to my sense of self, my favourite Vivienne Westwood dress is pink, and one simply cannot wear pink as a redhead.
My darling, devoted husband is standing by me through this. He really is a gem. Our love can overcome this set back. Specifically, our love must overcome this set back before Feb 25th, which is when I fly to meet him at a convention in Las Vegas. Let’s be honest, going to Vegas in itself is a sad enough trope, and the cliche would only be compounded by showing up there looking like a redheaded cougar wannabe. I might as well just throw up my hands in resignation, buy some dresses with sequins, and play the slots until all the doctors come fetch their wives from the casino for dinner.
No, I have to make this right. It has been two days and I have washed my hair seven times. If I can fade this colour to auburn then I can be a (possibly the only) dignified trophy wife in Las Vegas. I’m going to put on my favourite beret and head out to buy more shampoo now. Wish me luck. Otherwise I will be forced to spend the whole trip to Vegas in my hotel room. There’s no way my husband would enjoy that.