Mary clawed at
her scalp along the part-line. The offending grey
strand stood out, bright and shiny, against the
glossy brown of its neighbours. A beacon
this way to middle age! It was just one, but that
was how it started. She plucked the grey hair,
plus a couple of dark ones on either side, so the
rest of them wouldn't get any bright ideas.
Followed by instant regret. What if the empty
follicles simply invited in more of the
interlopers? Most likely they were already there,
lurking just out of sight, waiting to ambush her
at a weak moment.
the plucked hairs carefully. The grey one
trembled and declared its innocence. Who me?
Not Grey! Silver. Distinguished silver. But
it was thicker, coarser, tougher than the rest. A
up at the bathroom mirror with a sigh. She wasn't
ready for it only 29 for goodness sake
actually 30 a couple of months ago, but
Mary had not yet reconciled herself with the
change of decade. Plucking would work for a while,
but then what? Dye probably. Something dark to
match her natural colour.
friend Gloria had gone to blonde straight out of
high school, claiming that premature grey ran in
her family and lighter shades hid it the best.
Going blonde was a big commitment, with roots and
touch ups to worry about. Mary was not sure she
had the time or energy for any of it, not with a
couple of toddlers in the house.
The sound of
banging in the kitchen broke Mary out of her
reverie. Her husband, Walter, was making coffee,
getting breakfast for the girls, making a mess
before heading out to work for the day,
completely unaware of the battle going on
Mary turned as
five-year old Kathleen stumbled into the bathroom,
sleepy-eyed. She lifted the little girl up to sit
on the vanity and ran damp fingers through her
daughter's tousled hair to get rid of the tangles.
Both her girls were dark blonde, like their
father. Mary glanced at the mirror. It could work.
If she changed her hair colour incrementally, a
shade lighter every few months, it would not look
you smiling Mommy?
just thinking about colouring my hair.
popped a thumb into her mouth, eyes wide. She
looked worried, like the time Walter shaved off
his moustache and scared the girls with his new
still be Mommy, Mary assured her. I
just want my hair to be a pretty new colour.
considered this for a moment, removed her thumb
and asked, Green?