“Well, maybe you should quit coloring it, then.”
This is what my husband Jim said to me not long ago, in response to my own announcement that “I don’t have enough hair for that.” I don’t remember what “that” was and it doesn’t matter anyway. The point is that he was trying to be helpful by suggesting that a noxious chemical bath every 2-3 months might not be the thing for thinning hair. He was also indirectly saying, “I will love you even if your hair is the color of a pile of dead kindling.” Which was nice. It really was.
Here is something else Jim said to me recently: “Christie Brinkley looks good for her age!”
This statement tells me so many things, not the least of which being that Jim clearly does not understand how hair color works. Or aging.
I’m fine with getting older, I really am, especially given that my only other choice is to be dead. It’s so weird to me that people complain about aging; I mean, it seems so ungrateful. Doesn’t it? Look at Betty White; she never complains. She is 94 years old and never quits smiling, as far as I can tell, which is why one of my fondest wishes is to age just like Betty White. I’m not really a natural smiler, but I don’t think that will be a problem because I’m pretty sure one can radiate enthusiasm and good cheer without making awkward faces all day long. Just ask my husband, he’s always remarking on how I am the cheeriest and happiest person he knows. Just kidding. He’s never said that. Quite honestly he’s probably never thought it, either. I’m the thinker in our marriage, he’s more of the eye-roller, but I can understand that. Because sometimes even I have a hard time caring about what I am saying.
Anyway. One of the things that keeps me happy as I get older is the knowledge that even though Amy Poehler is a few months younger than me, both Tina Fey and Melissa McCarthy are older. Also Sandra Bullock and Jennifer Aniston. Of course, as the years go by I will undoubtedly grow to look older than all of them, because that’s the way it goes when you’re not famous. Also because, I don’t know, I’m kind of nervous about plastic surgery. Not that I’ll never try it, but I’m very hesitant – first of all, because people have died during plastic surgery, but just as importantly because, what if it turns out bad? Or even if it turns out okay, what if you hate the result for complicated and unforeseen reasons of your own?
Plus, Jim is pretty much against artificiality all around. He says he wants us to “grow old together,” and by that I know he means “look old together.” Leading me to another thing he doesn’t understand, which is that a man almost never looks good “for his age.” You ever hear anyone say that about Tom Selleck? No. He just looks good, and I know it, because I’ve said it myself. Jon Bon Jovi “looks good,” too. Some people say Tom Cruise looks good, and there I do not agree, because in order to “look good” I think you have to actually “be human.” And it’s pretty clear that Tom Cruise is not a real person at all but instead some type of L. Ron Hubbard science fair project. Like Frankenstein’s monster but with better hair and skin tone.
So, fine – Jim and I will grow old together and look old together. And I’m cool with that, I really am, because like I said, I’m going the Betty White route. So, no, you will not find me posing on a sailboat in a bikini when I’m 60, or even when I’m 50. Probably not when I’m 45 either. You will never find me with luxurious golden hair extensions, because I am afraid that similar to acrylic fingernails, they would ruin the hair that I do have. If I’m really lucky, you will find me at age 94, snuggling up with my great-grandchildren and leaving bright pink lipstick marks on their little faces. I will have countless untold things to laugh about. And I’ll still be getting my hair colored every 2-3 months, and probably “set” once a week. Or who knows, maybe I’ll just say oh, whatever, and start wearing a wig, which is fine too. Because if you ask me, there’s more than one way to look good for your age.