Monday, February 10, 2014

"Grey Hair Is God's Graffiti"

"Grey hair is God's graffiti."  Bill Cosby

I have been going grey since my early twenties.  I still vividly remember discovering those coarse, renegade strands of hair corkscrewing their way out of my hairline while I was looking in my car's rearview mirror in the early 1980s.  I almost drove off the road when I saw them!

Having grey hair has never been a problem for me.  It was what it was.  I couldn't imagine having to dye my hair on a regular basis.  Good grief!  My hair grows so fast I'd have a grey streak constantly running down the middle of my head.

But things have been changing.

You may remember a story I wrote about the French woman who asked if my sister Chrissy was my daughter at a Bastille Day fete in the south-west of France.  She demurely asked, "Est-elle votre fille?"  I was stunned.  I wanted to respond, "Yeah, I GAVE BIRTH TO HER WHEN I WAS SIX YEARS OLD YOU IDIOT!"  But my French was not good enough to say that.  Instead I politely answered, "Non, elle est ma soeur, madame."

Me and my new friend in Castelfranc, France.  2011

Honestly.  Who asks those kinds of questions?  Do I really look like I could be the mother of a 47 year old?  Wait.  Don't answer that.

Fast forward three years.

My Dad suffered a massive heart attack and died a few weeks ago.  While my sisters and I were at his hospital bedside, not one but TWO nurses in different departments asked me if I was Floyd's wife.  WTF?  Seriously?  You think I look old enough to have an 81 year old husband?

While on bereavement leave, I went to my hairdresser's salon to have my eyebrows waxed.  I told the hairdresser about being mistaken for my 81 year old father's wife.  I made an appointment then and there to have 'lowlights' put in my hair.

Before picture.  (You gotta love a salon that offers its clients coffee and Baileys to warm them up after they've walked a whole two blocks through the falling snow to their hair appointment.)

Kena the magician.

After photo of the new do.  Kena calls this my 'winter-pixie hairstyle'.  Because, she says, I am so artsy!  Did you hear that, nurses and French woman?  ARTSY.  

Won't my students be surprised when I open the classroom door tomorrow morning?  I wonder if they will even recognize me.  

I don't even recognize me! 

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Mistaken Identity

Today Joe and I hiked the Smoke Bluffs, some granite outcroppings favoured by rock climbers.

A friend had told us about a new trail on the bluffs and we were keen to try it out.  A post at the trailhead warned us about having to use chains and ladders further on up the trail.

We started the hike and quickly encountered a knotted rope to pull ourselves up a granite boulder.  I tried to hoist myself up, but the granite was wet and my hiking boots couldn't grip the slippery rock.

I said, "I don't want to hike this trail.  Especially if we have to use chains and climb ladders."

"You go on ahead," I said to Joe.  "You hike it clockwise until it joins the Loop Trail.  I'll go Loop Trail and hike it counter-clockwise.  We'll meet in the middle and walk back out together."

Joe went his way and I went mine.

I began my ascent up the mountainside.  A woman was coming down the path.  We smiled at each other.

She asked, "Do you know these trails?"

"Kind of," I replied.  "Why?"

"Well, just to let you know, there's an old man up there acting weird.  He's wearing a toque and just wandering around.  He's standing at the junction of two trails, looking at his watch.  Luckily I was able to lose him.  But I just wanted to warn you because you are hiking alone."

I explained to her that my husband and I were meeting on the trail up above, so for her not to worry.  I wouldn't be alone for long.

Then she grabbed my arm and said, "OH MY GOD!  I AM SO SORRY!  IT'S YOUR HUSBAND UP THERE!"

I smiled.

She was right.

It was my husband.

Weird old man.