Months ago, when I made plans to attend HippoCamp 2018, an amazing nonfiction conference in Lancaster PA, I figured I had plenty of time to lose twenty pounds, maybe even thirty (always the optimist), and be in amazing shape to impress new and old writing friends alike. Well, Spring became August just like that and, if anything, I'd gained weight. So much so that my four-year-old granddaughter asked, "Why are you so fat, Grandma?" From the mouths of babes.
Of all the resolutions I've made in recent years, the two I've been able to stick with are 1) write a book in a year (which I did, in 2017); and 2) grow out my gray. I'm proud of both and both remain works in progress. With the book, there are revisions, submissions, finding an agent or publisher. With the hair, I just let it grow and see what happens. Neither are what I expected. The hair is on my head for all to see. Half grown out. Six inches of brown at the tips. The top a mix of silver, gunmetal, white and blackish brown. A reverse ombre.
Between sessions at the writing conference, I was standing in line for the women's restroom, when the person behind me tapped me on the shoulder.
"I've been admiring your hair," she said. "I hope that doesn't sound too weird." I assured her it didn't. A good hair day is my equivalent of waking up on the right side of the bed.
Midway through my stay in Lancaster, I went to a local salon for a blowout. The stylist was twenty-something, with long, blonde hair. As she was finishing up, fluffing waves around my shoulders, she said, "I am obsessed with your hair." Another day off to a great start.
My hair, it seems, is my ambassador, an ice breaker. Instead of admiring my handbag or shoes, women comment on my multi-colored hair. Men? Not so much. But that's a topic for another day. For now, me and my hair are on the road, taking the comments as they come.
Dorothy, author of GRAY IS THE NEW BLACK, blogs about the challenges and opportunities of being a woman and a writer of a certain age in a youth-centric universe.