So my sweet teenager kindly informed me yesterday that I have "rustic hair." Huh? Rustic? Like log-cabin-in-the-wilderness rustic? She continued with "Mom, really, why don't you color your hair?" Okay, now I understand. Rustic as in due-for-a-paint-job. Rustic as in G-R-A-Y. Just for the record, my hair isn't completely gray. It is salt and pepper, and I've been salty for quite some time.
Going gray early has been a long-standing tradition in my family. The first truly light strands usually show up in time for that all-important 18th birthday. Grandma often said "if you're old enough to vote, you're old enough to go gray." (That's not to say voting gives one gray hair, but I hear that running for office just might!) Those bright silver highlights are anticipated and accepted. In the family, it's a sign of true maturity and pride to let your true colors show.
I caught myself today peering more closely in the mirror. Rustic? The handyman and Miss Clairol both have the same advice -- any old barn looks better with a fresh coat of paint. The selection of hair colorings I found was astonishing! There was color after color, box after box, and shelf after shelf. But standard blonde, ordinary brunette and regular redhead weren't even options. Instead there was Golden Toasted Pecan with Caramel Essense, Chocolate Truffle with Fudge Accent, and Sweet Raspberry Plum Surprise. I was confused. Was I looking at hair color or ice cream? Ultimately, nothing looked right or sounded good.
Back home again, I found myself standing in front of the mirror. What was so bad about being gray? Nothing. "I'm not painting this old barn!" I huffed. Now since that issue has been settled, how about some ice cream. Plain rustic vanilla, please!