My Fountain of Youth


Ponce de Leon and The Fountain of Youth

Ponce de Leon and The Fountain of Youth

Ponce de Leon thought, upon arriving in St. Augustine, Florida, that he had discovered the “Fountain of Youth”. Senor de Leon would undoubtedly be shocked to discover that Florida has become NOT the place to maintain one’s youth but, instead and for many, the final destination before the grave. It’s a veritable “hot spot” for The Grim Reaper! Why should he haul that heavy scythe all over creation when he can knock off, in a manner of speaking, most of his “to-do” list with a short jaunt to sunny Florida? I have no personal experience with The GR myself, but one would think that, having made his career in the business of death throughout the whole history of humankind, he would appreciate the kind of one-stop shopping and increased productivity that a place like Florida could afford him.

I have been giving this whole idea of a more youthful appearance a great deal of thought lately. I have been toying with the idea of disposing of the boxes of hair dye that are currently taking up space in my closet. These boxes are my own version of “The Fountain of Youth”. You didn’t really think I was going to write about Ponce de Leon and The Grim Reaper, did you?

I’ve been graying since my twenties. It’s hereditary. My father had a full head of gray hair by the time he was forty. He likes to blame it on having four daughters, but we know better now. Studies have shown that gray hair, like baldness, hirsuteness, and most other physical (and mental) characteristics, are marked on our DNA. In other words, many of us are just plain doomed by our faulty genetics.

No one wants to be “marked” as old at the age of twenty-five. And, let’s be honest, gray hair is synonymous with old age. Nothing, and I mean nothing, screams “you’re aging!” quite like gray hair. Unlike losing one’s hair or having so much body hair that one could be mistaken in the dark for a Sasquatch, those of us who suffer from premature graying can just throw a box of hair dye into our shopping carts and painlessly (unless you get it in your eye!) and fairly quickly, solve the problem. Unlike our hairless or our excessively hairy friends, we don’t need daily doses of expensive prescription salves to halt our hair loss; we don’t need to subject our bodies to painful waxes or electrolysis treatments to rid ourselves of the extra coat of fur that our prehistoric ancestors needed for warmth but that is now, here in the 21st Century, just plain unsightly. I suppose, put in perspective, those of us whose afflictions can be solved with a six-dollar box of hair dye have it relatively easy.

At some point, usually by the time we reach our forties, graying ceases to be “premature” and gives way to just plain graying. Our friends and coworkers catch up to those of us who have suffered long and, usually, in silence. I knew this was the case when, beginning a few years ago, I could not run into one of my cohorts in the grocery store, the drug store, or, even the local Target, without spying the box of hair dye in their shopping cart. If I looked closely, (and I did!) I could almost always find it — usually hidden amongst other necessities like eggs, anti-perspirant, or that cute pair of trendy flats! (Why they thought they needed to engage in shopping cart subterfuge, I’ll never know.)

Sure, there are always a few women who don’t buy into covering up their graying locks. These women, generally speaking, tend to fall into two categories. They are either the bland and dowdy types who shop for the few cosmetics that they carelessly apply (only on special occasions!) at the dollar store (even I don’t buy make-up at the dollar store!) or they are the environmentally-conscious health food nuts who wouldn’t dream of putting chemicals on their heads (so close to their brains!). Either way, they’re not “my peeps”. These women are definitely NOT the ones with the leopard-print flats in their Target cart. More likely, they’re hiding things like support hose or flax seed oil in those bright red baskets. I’m no statistician, but I would, based on my own vast experience, go out on a limb and make the claim that these fortyish hair dye eschewing/support hose wearing/flax seed ingesting consumers are the exception, not the rule!

Lately, though, I have been thinking more and more about joining them. No. I haven’t taken up granola-crunching, but I did, just recently, begin a flax seed regimen (because of my dry eyes!). You won’t find me shopping for outdated Maybelline at the dollar store anytime soon and I think I’ll hold off on the support hose, at least for a few more years, but it may be time to throw in the towel where the hair dye is concerned. It’s become, quite frankly, a very time, energy, and money sucking battle with the bottle — one that I am, by the way, losing. (Already having lost one battle with the bottle, I simply may not have it in me to lose another!)

Part of the reason I haven’t, thus far, just done it already is because I am, and I’m not ashamed to admit this, vain. I don’t want to look older than I already am. I don’t consider forty-seven to be all that old, but it’s not all that young either. While I certainly understand that age is relative, I also work in a very youthful environment. At the end of a long shift I have a tendency to grow tired and lose my patience. On some level we all do, regardless of our ages, but my fear is that IF I stop dying my hair I will be perceived NOT just as fatigued and exasperated, but as old and cranky. I’m not saying that I’m NOT old and cranky. I’m saying that I don’t want OTHER people, YOUNGER people (who, by the way, I can still run circles around) to perceive me as such.

The other decision that I must make, IF I decide to stop dyeing my hair, is whether to dye my whole prodigious head of hair gray or to cut off the rather large and very long portion of my hair that is still brownish (as a result of various bottles of Miss Clairol, L’Oreal, or whatever brand was on sale). I know that the “ombre” look is “in”, but the gray on the top, brown on the bottom variation that I am currently sporting is more “two-tone” than it is “ombre”. I love Pepe LePew as much as the next gal. I do not, however, want to LOOK like him. (Nor would I want to smell like him, but that’s a whole other subject!) In order to avoid this — the looking like Pepe, NOT the smelling like Pepe — I must choose between two styles: The Jamie Leigh Curtis or The Emmylou Harris.

Jamie Leigh manages her style because she has such fine bone structure and because, let’s face it, she’s thin. Thin, successful actresses can wear almost any hairstyle. Emmylou pulls it off because she’s a musician. Those musicians can get away with almost anything. Also, she’s got the aging hippie thing going on. That doesn’t hurt. I am neither thin nor successful. I’m not Hollywood royalty, nor am I a world-renowned singer-songwriter. While I like to think of myself as a free spirit, it’s safe to say that no one would ever describe me as a hippie (or, come to think of it, hip).

Me! Or, Pepe --- you decide!

Me! Or, Pepe — you decide!


Jamie Leigh --- look at that chin! I'd kill for that chin!

Jamie Leigh — look at that chin! I’d kill for that chin!


Emmylou --- she's not dowdy at all!

Emmylou — she’s not dowdy at all!

So, it’s a dilemma. To dye or not to dye. To cut or not to cut. Maybe I should just move to Florida now. I could shave my head and invest in a couple of wigs. Because I don’t even want to get into with you what tropic-like humidity does to my hair. I know. I know. Florida is not “technically” the tropics, but still — two words spring to mind: Roseanne Roseannadanna.

My hair + humidity = Roseanne Roseannadanna

My hair + humidity = Roseanne Roseannadanna


genfablogoThis piece is also appearing on the NEW! GenFab website. There’s bound to be a great deal of incredible writing over there — grab another cup of coffee and read the day away. The laundry can wait. So can the dishes. Show these ladies some love!


photo credits:
The Fountain of Youth
Me
Emmylou
Jamie Leigh
Roseanne Roseannadanna

172 thoughts on “My Fountain of Youth

  1. I can’t believe (or I can!) how many comments I had to fly by to get here. You hit a nerve. I’ve been dying since my 20’s and I’m not going back. You? GAWGEOUS! P.S. When I move to Florida remind me not to invite you. Hahahahaha.

    Like

  2. Jona says:

    Reblogged this on Live, Laugh, Love.

    Like

  3. fahrusha says:

    I recommend henna, lots more healthy than dye. Comes in a variety of shades. The line of demarcation is less harsh. The brand I use is Avigal. Age like an ancient Egyptian! 😉

    Like

    • javaj240 says:

      I suppose henna is an option and you’re right — it is certainly more natural — my experience with henna is that it turns my hair red, which I really, really don’t like. Red just does not become me!

      Like

  4. Kate says:

    This blog topic couldn’t have come at a better time…we just vacationed in Florida (where 2 of our 3 sons live). I’m always looking for something different to do so my oldest suggested a visit to St. Augustine. So…of course, tho I KNOW it’s all hype, I just HAD to visit the fountain and drink the nectar that promises youth. Since then, haven’t noticed any difference – the hair is still gray…knees still creak…facial lines still as deep as ever…ah, I’ll never learn. There are no shortcuts or magical cures to stop Father Time.

    Like

    • javaj240 says:

      No. There are no magical cures, that’s for sure. But, isn’t St. Augustine beautiful? It’s about the only place I like in Florida, LOL!

      Like

      • Kate says:

        I loved visiting St. Augustine. But I also love where my other son lives, on the panhandle. Have you ever visited the “emerald coast”? The Destin/Fort Walton Beach area? It’s beautiful there!

        Like

        • javaj240 says:

          No, I have not. I’ve spent most of my Florida trips in central Florida, Miami, and the Gulf Coast — Naples, mainly.

          Like

    • Lil says:

      Being old is a privilege denied to many. I am not either of the people described in this bloggers article about what people who allow themselves to be gray are like. I am thin, I am pretty and quit obviously too old to have brown hair. Isnt it rather silly to keep dyeing our hair? I know when i see women in their 70’s and 80’s with dyed hair i just think it looks plain silly plus it is aging. nor am i near the age of 70 or 80 but if i do get that lucky i will be gratefull.

      Like

  5. Let me tell you the upside of moving to sunny Florida in your 40’s – you are youthful and glowing in the mainstream! Altho, the men dragging their oxygen tanks never look you in the eye, making a padded bra a must with all that aircon …

    Like

    • javaj240 says:

      OMG… that’s a great image. Great! Unfortunately, I HATE Florida. (Sorry, Floridians —- it’s okay by me if you want to go ahead and bash New Jersey — we can take it!)

      Like

  6. June Seghni says:

    I’m 48 and have seriously greyed in the last year or so..I quite like it and am not intending to dye it..and there’s a lovely Pinterest board on the subject http://pinterest.com/marytaye/community-board-4-going-gray/

    Like

    • javaj240 says:

      Thank you so much for pointing out the Pinterest board. I am going to check it out! Thanks for reading my post and for commenting. I appreciate it!

      Like

  7. […] continue reading on Ambling and Rambling […]

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  8. Bici Love says:

    I am not dying my hair. I have 80% grey in my 50’s. this is the second time I am trying it. The first time I cut my hair buzz short. I did not feel comfortable at all. This time 2 years later I am out of the I look like an owl, then I look like a skunk. I am now at I look like a can of white paint splashed on my hair. My hair is more like a bob and I can clip it back. I feel much better. A couple more inches I am taking vitamins like crazy to make my hair grow fast. Then I will cut the rest of my green gone bad hair due job off. Then, I will enjoy the freedom of not being a slave to the box every 2 weeks. Hey put on some colour on your lips, you look fabulous. I love growing old and healthy I am getting more freedom everyday

    Like

  9. javaj240 says:

    The “fitter” ship has sailed. If my arthritic hands weren’t enough of a dead giveaway to my age… the giant saggy boobs would be. LOL!

    Like

  10. Great read. Staying absolutely fit(her) was my wedge in a younger working environment. BTW, your gray is absolutely striking. Flaunt it!

    Like

  11. My grandfather died quietly in his 90’s. He had a full head of snow-white hair for as long as I ever knew him. Now that I’ve passed into the latter half of my 60’s, I can say that the last 20 years of my hair being grayish-white — I always wanted to have his hair when I grew up and I got it! — have been good to me. People like the contract of the hue of my hair to my blue eyes. At least, my wife tells me that. Especially when she wants me to wear my black jeans with a black, button-down shirt. (I’m one of those husbands who long ago gave up the good fight to wear what suited me.)

    At any rate, since I do not have to look at myself, and others see me instead, I’ll stay happy dressing the way my wife wishes me to dress, smug with the knowledge that, come what may, I did get the hair my grandfather passed down to me.

    Like

    • javaj240 says:

      That’s awesome. I’m so glad that you got what you wanted genetically!

      I think it’s hysterical that you wear what your wife “advises” you to wear. Perhaps you can call my husband? We are currently having some issues with his refusal to get a few new pairs of jeans! LOL!

      Like

  12. Haralee says:

    Go to a pro and get highlights or low lights and discuss your long range plan of giving up the battle with the gray. The stylist will help you ease into the change of colors and change of lengths if want the double whammy.

    Like

    • javaj240 says:

      Yes, I should absolutely seek professional help! (Probably not just for my hair!) Thanks for the tip. I’m you’re basic cheapskate, but I fear that I will have to “bite the bullet” and enter a salon.

      Like

  13. Loved this post!!! I’ve ‘straddled the fence’ for the time being….sporting a Cruella Deville look. You would be amazed at how many people have told me that they like my hair. I guess partially gray is cool?????

    Like

  14. queenlorene says:

    Here is a tongue-in-cheek Ode to the Hair We Wear to cheer you up:
    Oh hair, individual and follicular!

    Though dead, you are a MANE attraction.

    For we as humans are most particular

    to positive or negative hair reactions.

    Centuries long, you are ever evolving;

    changing our human portrait anew.

    Scientists, working long, still solving

    how to keep more of you.

    This chameleon changing image

    (a transient gift to most)

    leaves men in a saving scrimmage

    desperate to model head as host.

    The first change that many make

    is to cut, curl, shine or color

    if their image is to be replaced.

    For hair changes, like no other

    changes “the look” to those in haste.

    Oh what men will try when hair is dying

    the “comb over”, toupee (to name a few)

    does not leave the women sighing

    and wanting more of you.

    The title “hunk” is often symbiotic

    with great hair, along with other attractions.

    Although styles are transient and quixotic

    they are positively related to hair fraction.

    Many image worshipers spend much time

    on the current “creative” hairstyle craze.

    Each Era thinks them quite fine

    “What awesome hair” the worshiped phrase.

    Hindsight twenty-twenty, generations next

    find the hairstyles so adored quite ridiculous.

    Of course their elders, tasteless and un-blessed

    were sloppy, mundane and un-meticulous.

    I fear our cultural worship of hair

    (though silly, short-lived and vain)

    will always be a-kin to beauteous fair;

    unless left out in the rain. 🙂

    For a great style, if new and rare,

    no matter the time or pain;

    will achieve many a copy and stare;

    And that is quite insane!
    Cheers!

    Like

  15. deputydoug says:

    Yes, Firefox is just like Internet Explorer; they are both internet browsers. Every internet browser (there are dozens, perhaps you’ve heard of Google Chrome?) is created differently so each renders web pages slightly differently.
    Firefox is my default browser and I was unable to read the posts at the bottom of the page.
    I wonder if it’s my setup or if others are experiencing the same thing.
    (Why yes, I work in IT: how did you guess?) 🙂

    Like

    • javaj240 says:

      There’s just something about you IT guys —- I can spot you from a mile away —- provided I am wearing my glasses and you folks, your pocket protectors. Also, there’s your ease with the lingo, your ability to throw around terms like plug-in, your comfort with words like platform — all dead giveaways. In my world, a “plug-in” is an appliance; a platform, a shoe.

      As I have no frame of reference where Firefox is concerned (my daughter uses Google Chrome and has never mentioned having any issues reading my blog) and as I use IE on my PC and whatever Apple uses on my iPad (IOS? Does that sound right?), I don’t know what, other than contacting WordPress, I can do to solve the problem.

      To help me make myself clear when I do so, perhaps you can clarify why you weren’t able to read the blogs at the bottom of the page. This may sound stupid, but couldn’t you just bring those things from the bottom to the top of the page by “scrolling”? Do they black out completely? Grow fuzzy? Any information, or expertise, you can share would be much appreciated.

      I’m actually a pretty serious blogger and am currently enjoying some success with my blog and have been making serious attempts to grow my blog outside of WordPress —- I always welcome constructive criticism. I recently changed my theme because several bloggers who read my blog outside of WordPress were having issues with the font color/typeface. I certainly didn’t want to lose readership or growth opportunities ove something that I could (and did!) easily rectify!

      Thanks for your input!

      Like

  16. deputydoug says:

    All right; I’ll be horn-swoggled as to how you found my post and that quickly!
    Also, have you seen the bottom of your blog in Firefox? The rendering is fairly awful.

    Like

    • javaj240 says:

      When you linked to my blog in your post I was notified [WordPress calls it. “Ping back”, I think —- much like you were notified that I ad commented on your blog.

      Regarding Firefox, is that like Internet Explorer? I know next to nothing about technology. I only know my way around WordPress because I have been using it for years. In any case, why/how is the rendering awful? And do you think there is anything I can do to change that?

      Like

  17. […] found that it was rather stiff and formal and didn’t suit me. I poked around and stumbled on javaj420′s blog. The layout is better and she has more of what I was looking to do with mine, so I patterned mine […]

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  18. osherb says:

    Wow damn – 134 comments I like da post on alcoholism.

    Cultclassik.wordpress.com
    -The.definitive.music.blog-

    Like

  19. Coach Muller says:

    This was a great read…thanks!!

    Like

  20. Red says:

    Reblogged this on My Oz and commented:
    Humberto and I were discussing the grey hairs on our heads this morning. In a nut shell: I don’t mind his. Grey doesn’t look bad on men. I, on the other hand, want nothing to do with them. For someone whose red-headed identity pivots around the vividness of my hair, it signals the beginning of a real crisis. I think it was just around 39 that I noticed my first actual grey hair, but for the most part there just seem to be “dulling” patches above my ears and on the top front of my head. I don’t like this aging thing one bit. Take it back.

    Like

  21. I will most likely dye until I die. =-)
    My (balding) husband sums it up, “At least your hair isn’t falling out.”

    Like

  22. kthorpe says:

    Meh 🙂 Maybe you could keep applying color but allow some grey to gradually come through like highlights (don’t ask me how. I’m terrible with hair). Then later on you could go full gray with more ease, if you still wanted to.
    And when it comes to younger people in the office or elsewhere, don’t hide your age! Own it! 🙂

    Like

  23. osherb says:

    Wow this is a shit load of comments on one page! Thanks for the referral.

    Definitive Music blog:
    Cultclassik.wordpress.com

    Like

  24. Katie says:

    I always said I would accept the gray hair when it came….but I lied. One day I was getting my hair trimmed with my identical twin sister (who has not had children and for some strange reason is not going gray) and the hairdresser asked if I was her MOTHER. For reals. Got highlights the very next day. Two years later I added some more. Now I spend way more on my hair than I ever thought possible. However, recently I have seen more and more great looking gray heads on all sorts of people. Younger, older, larger, smaller…like they are getting it done gray on purpose. My mother and aunt sported gray hair and looked fabulous. I think you should do it. Find a style that works for you (because who looks like Jamie Leigh???) and go for it! If you don’t like it, you can always go back.

    Like

    • javaj240 says:

      LOL —- her MOTHER! Hysterical!

      The best thing about changing your hair is it’s temporal nature. I have, in the course of my lifetime, made some VERY unwise decisions, though. VERY UNWISE!

      Thanks so much for stopping by. I really enjoyed your comment!

      Like

  25. #CoolBlogPost @DrAnthony

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    • javaj240 says:

      Thanks for visiting.

      Is that a Twitter handle? I’m kind of ashamed to admit this, but I just do not “get” Twitter. At all.

      Like

  26. carolervin says:

    Check my pic, you youngster. Love your blog!

    Like

    • javaj240 says:

      I checked out your “pic” AND your blog. Love it. You are extremely talented. I have always wanted to write fiction, but I just don’t think it’s my thing — as you said, “Write YOUR book!” Great advice.

      Like

  27. emekatalks says:

    you still look amazing! lovely post. great blog. I live in Nigeria, west Africa. most times grey hairs come naturally. i have a friend who had grey hair at an early age of 12 🙂

    Like

    • javaj240 says:

      Thank you. Yes, most folks find a “rogue” silver early in life and yes, gray is natural, as you say — we have choices these days, though, particularly about our hair color. It’s a statement — some people choose purple or green! LOL.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Like

  28. osherb says:

    Nice blog!! Please visit mine!
    Cultclassik.wordpress.com
    Visit, read, comment, follow!!

    Like

  29. marylfloyd says:

    I think there’s a third category of women who go gray and who look sophisticated and sexy. Check out this photo exhibit that celebrates women with gray hair, http://www.womenonaging.com/. Of course I have just retired my hair dye boxes and gone back to having a colorist. I’m not ready.

    Like

    • javaj240 says:

      Hi, Mary!

      I had actually seen the Vicki Topaz images while I was wandering around trying to find pics for this post. I love it! So, AHTSY! I love how she manages to capture their energy while simultaneously celebrating aging. She’s a genius. I can barely take a decent “selfie”. (The one for this post is a fine example of that — I took 17 shots before I found one that wasn’t downright horrible, LOL!)

      I think I may have to retire the boxes myself and seek some professional advice, as well. You are beautiful, no matter what color your hair is!

      Thanks so much for reading my blog.

      Like

  30. bluesage63 says:

    You look like you have a beautiful full head of hair, which looks great on you. If you don’t want to color it, don’t. The best thing about that is, you can always change your mind. It’s really about how it makes you feel. I still color mine and I am over 60. I have tried to let it grow in (family gives me the thumbs down ),and after awhile i find i do too.
    I feel washed out and it makes my skin look that way too. Yours may make you feel wonderful.
    Loved your writing, sassy and clever.

    Like

    • javaj240 says:

      Yes. The best thing about hair is that color fades and cuts grow back in. Someone called hair their “accessory”. So true.

      My teenager calls me “sassy” all the time. She hasn’t caught on to how clever I actually am yet — that’ll probably take a few more years, LOL!

      Thanks so much for stopping by and for taking the time to write such a great comment!

      Like

  31. valleygirl96 says:

    Isn’t it funny how true this is about the grey hair and age thing? I’m 43 and I hear myself bragging, mostly at inappropriate times, about how I still don’t dye my hair and its all dark brown. Guess I just got lucky with the genes! At any rate, I think your grey is pretty, and your glasses are fabulous!

    Like

    • javaj240 says:

      We all need something to brag about. I say, “Brag away, sister!”

      I LOVE my glasses. It took me years to discover the style that worked best for me in that arena — I hope it doesn’t take me that long to do something about my hair. LOL!

      Thanks for always having something nice to say!

      Like

  32. peachyteachy says:

    Look at you, all fresh and pressed! Nice.

    Like

    • javaj240 says:

      I know, right? The worst part is that it forced me to shower and throw on a little lip gloss. Who wants to let down one’s public? Not me. That’s for sure.

      Thanks for always being so supportive!

      Like

  33. Honestly, I don’t find grey hair bad at all, and it’s not because I’ve been graying since long ago though I’m still 25. Grey hair gives you an atemporary appereance when you’re young. Anyway, I find grey hair attractive in many people.

    Like

    • javaj240 says:

      You may feel differently about gray hair (and what it means) when you’re facing 50, LOL! Or, maybe you won’t. It will depend on what your life experiences turn out to be.

      Thanks for visiting. And thanks for finding gray hair attractive!

      Like

  34. Jean says:

    Instead of the money spent on hair colouring (which probably has been a lot for the past few decades for you), how about be radical, a fabulous shorter cut.

    When you choose to be naturally grey, then spice up a dramatic facial visual change by a shorter hair cut…perhaps a great sleek bob or whatever. With you glasses and strong facial features, you will look great!

    As for me, I’m 54 and my naturally black hair does have some white strands. I just hope it’s just a very slow greying..alot of personal major life events have happened in past few years.

    I bike and not because it’s for environmental reasons. It’s just cheaper for me, healthier for me (the proof is in my figure) and I was never comfortable driving a car. A lot of women cyclists that I’ve met/known like fashion but become less obsessed with looking perfect/lovely..

    believe me grey hair becomes waaaaay less important, when you start to focus on having fun, while becoming healthier with some form of exercise that you love. The best fashion and youth statement any woman can make that is timeless, is to become fit and healthy….for life. All of the fashion clothing, makeup and hair colouring cannot give you good health.

    Like

    • javaj240 says:

      You may be on to something with regard to the shorter cut. Clearly I have many decisions to make about my hair. LOL!

      I have been staring at my bike all winter, thinking it might be a good thing to get it in shape and use it come springtime. The best thing about bike riding? I won’t have to learn a new skill.

      Thanks so much for stopping by and for your fabulous comment!

      P.S. I LOVE my glasses, too!

      Like

  35. Forget Jamie Leigh (although I do love her) – you are waaaay more rocking the Rogue from X-Men look – silver streaks and all! And it looks great, for serious.

    Sweet mother of pearl you are SUCH a good writer Ms. J.! x

    Like

  36. Hey, congrats on being Freshly Pressed! Again. It is well deserved. As for me, I have a few streaks of gray and will just go with it when the time comes. We are about the same age. I just turned 46 this month. As I tend to lean toward the masculine side of things, I think I can get away with it.

    Like

    • javaj240 says:

      Thanks. I kind of feel like you, though, with the “fish sandwich”. The post that I wrote after this one was deeply personal and a departure from anything else I have written and yet, this one got freshly pressed…. I’m not complaining. I just find it, for lack of a better word, interesting.

      On the up side, I have found several of the bloggers that I read regularly through freshly pressed. Hopefully a few will find me this way, too!

      The dyeing thing is an individual choice. Obviously, I have a tough time making decisions. LOL!

      Like

  37. annbibbi says:

    Oh boy, do I ever relate to you! I’ve dyed my hair on and off for years. I’ve tried the “salt and pepper” look in my 40’s, for a short time, dyed it very poorly for years in my early 50’s, stopped doing my own cause I hated the look, started to splurge for a professional dye job in my late 50’s, went to the “blonde” look most older girls go for – lasts longer and you don’t get the skunk line that you get with the high contrast dark to white. Have always had some kind of “magic age” that I’d stop dying and get graceful about my age… first it was 50… but I was still working and chickened out. I just turned 60, I’ve joined the vast numbers of the unemployed, so I decided to continue to dye my hair since I’m interviewing. Well, that’s about to stop (not the occasional interview) but the hair dyeing. I am finding age discrimination, regardless of my “blondish hair. I’m a graphic designer, my resume still gets me interviews, I do a great phone interview, and I do a great in-person, however they don’t ask to see my portfoilio….hmmm, gee could it be age? Well, anyway aside from that I am tired of the hair game. I’m going to embrace my natural hair, finally! You never know maybe next interview with my glorious WHITE hair they might be interested. LOL

    Like

    • javaj240 says:

      Good for you!

      You’re right, you never do know what does or does not influence why one receives a job offer or, conversely, why one does not.

      Good luck!

      Thank you for sharing your personal dyeing journey! And for viewing and commenting on my post!

      Like

  38. artsifrtsy says:

    Congrats on getting Pressed! I loved this. I got my first greys at 18 and decided then and there that being a redhead fit in better with my freckles. I have been coloring ever since and I am at a place where the dark brown of my youth has yielded to a dishwater brown that peppers through the salt of my hair – the red has been such a part of my view of myself I hate to give it up – but I hate that constant coloring even more.

    Like

  39. segmation says:

    I love St Augustine and all of its history and beautiful people there! Glad that Ponce de Leon arrived at St. Augustine, Florida, and brought the “Fountain of Youth” to us all!

    Like

    • javaj240 says:

      St. Augustine is a beautiful place!

      Just to clarify, though, Juan Ponce de Leon, “discovered” Florida and claimed it for Spain in 1513. He had sailed on Christopher Columbus’ 2nd voyage to The New World. He made his fortune, remained and, ultimately served as Governor of Puerto Rico. He held this post until funding and embarking on his own mission of discovery.

      He set out to pursue Gold, God, and Glory — as the other Spanish explorers had done before him and would continue to do after him. Searching for The Fountain of Youth was a motive assigned to him by someone else much later. While he was likely aware of the folklore surrounding such a thing, his journey and his accidental “discovery” of Florida probably had nothing to do with finding The Fountain f Youth. He certainly never claimed to have found any such place.

      Thanks for visiting!

      Like

  40. hannahjane21 says:

    I love this. I go to college in historic Saint Augustine (right by the fountain of youth!) and I happen to think it is a very lively city! Very artistic and fun. You should come sometime 🙂 I love the hair by the way!

    Like

    • javaj240 says:

      I have been to St. Augustine. I LOVED both the city (although the abundance of geckos kind of put me off ever living there!) and the Fountain of Youth attraction.

      My husband went to Flagler. Is that where you go to school?

      Like

  41. bronsonfive says:

    Going to St Augustine now to the Fountain of Youth attraction is awesome hilarious.

    Like

  42. I like that silver-grey color, it’s mature and commands respect (is that why I take the bowing position every time one walks by?). Whatever you decide, hope you enjoy it!

    Like

    • javaj240 says:

      No one told me about the bowing! If there will be bowing or, better yet, curtsying, as I walk by then I am DOWN with going gray!

      Thanks for reading … And for th inside info!

      Like

  43. Keeping up with salon color does add up — but it’s a cost I’m willing to bear. I went red in Dec. 2012 (just before hip [!] replacement) and love it, despite the $$$ of upkeep. I’m 55 and work in a field (journalism) dominated by 20-somethings. Looking frumpy or dowdy is not an option!
    A bold, bright color is worth the pleasure it gives.

    Like

    • javaj240 says:

      It is crazy expensive.

      I totally understand being one of the older folks in the workplace!

      Thanks so much for reading… And commiserating with me.

      Like

  44. Going grey is sheik! People, especially my kids, tell me how ‘distinguished’ it all looks. The fountain of youth resides within . . . just think young.

    Like

  45. ottomandandy says:

    better than going bald , belive me !

    Like

  46. A hairdresser advised my mother in law that your skin tone alters as your hair greys with age so if you dye you should gradually get lighter or the darker colours look too harsh.
    I have decided not to dye, not yet, I’m going to see how bad it gets.
    Why not try the getting lighter gradually before surrendering to the grey?

    Like

  47. beingserbian says:

    You’ve missed one category of women who do not cover their grays. It’s the powerful politician/businesswomen who, I think, have stylists that tell them gray hair makes them more believable. These are usually women who run banks and other financial institutions.

    Like

  48. bernasvibe says:

    Excellent write! And you’re right 47 is NOT old..I’m the most youthful 49 yr old I know..and going to have the party of all PARTIES on my 50th this coming July. We’re truly only as old as we feel; and keeping fit, healthy, and being blessed with good genes helps also. I’m a perfect combination of all 3..and I work hard/consistently to maintain it. People are shocked when I tell them how old I actually am. Which brings me to the ‘to dye or not to dye” issue. I’ve been coloring my hair since I was 20 yrs old. Just never cared for my natural hair color. So once I began graying it was quite natural(no pun intended , lol!) for me to continue to dye my hair. I’ve been known to say I’ll dye my hair till they stop making hair dye(but I only use semi-perm color and I condition, condition, and condition some more) And when the infamous they stops making hair dye..I’ll make my own. Or least that is how I feel about it now. IF and when I tire of it..Thankfully we’ve got choices. 2 thumbs UP on your write.

    Like

    • javaj240 says:

      You sound like my kind of woman — confident! And, really that’s what it’s about, regardless of what color hair you choose to have!

      Wonderful comment. Thank you.

      Like

  49. sheenmeem says:

    Hi, you have nice thick hair. Have a good haircut which suits your face and keep on dyeing.

    Like

    • javaj240 says:

      I definitely am in dire need of a good hair cut — it’s on my list of things to do!

      Thanks so much for stopping by!

      Like

  50. shalilah2002 says:

    Reblogged this on shalilah2002 and commented:
    Really comical.

    Like

  51. shalilah2002 says:

    L. This is hilarious. yes I battle with hair dyes and lately hair foams. My husband likes gray hair on me but I think it may be because he can be insecure if I look too good. I wouldn’t tell him that. I think I’ll follow you. We may have something in common.

    Like

  52. Oh and yes salon color is expensive, and shoes are a much better investment

    Like

  53. You don’t have to be either of the gray haired types you describe. You can be that third type of lady who is just confident with they way she is and flaunting her gray hair in an edgy sexy style! 😉 I

    Like

  54. marymtf says:

    Forty seven is definitely not old. My friend has been dyeing her hair since she was in her thirties and is still doing it three decades later. Still, I’ve got to tell you that there are worse things than greying hair. How about if your knee caps snap crackle and pop every time you climb the stairs? Or what about not being able to leap up off the ground where you’ve been sitting playing with your grandchildren? And of course, there’ s nothing like grandchildren to make a person feel old (actually I don’t mind that one.) 🙂

    Like

  55. betunada says:

    ah, yer complaining about gray hair. wait ’til it’s white!
    and, like the “more cowbell” implicit in practically everything (like baykin), we could use more rosanna danna!

    Like

  56. Rachel says:

    I say dye it gray! I’m not graying, but dyed my hair once a certain shade of blonde and it looked gray! I was scared at first but later loved it! If it wasn’t so much maintenance I would do it again.

    Like

  57. I’m in my thirties and just noticed my first gray hairs. I come from a long family line of ‘salt and pepper’ hair and in my case, I’m staying true and letting nature take its course. Remember the companies that manufacture all the hair dye – want you to have this debate…they want your money. They always want to us hide our ages but in reality we do age – we can’t stop that no matter what we do. We should embrace it! Have fun with it! Yet, in the long run, only you can make the decision 🙂

    Like

  58. I think your gray is lovely, and dramatic.

    Like

  59. […] read this blog post on Amblin and Ramblin and thought here’s a woman who has real beauty where it counts on the inside with her glowing […]

    Like

  60. pamkelso says:

    Reblogged this on pam kelso + Nature Photography and commented:
    Actually, I’d go for the altitude.

    Like

  61. pezcita says:

    Ah hair. Don’t you ever just wish you could just take it off? Mine will either start going grey in a few years or stay this color until I’m 52. By then, head shaving will be mainstream anyway. http://pezcita.wordpress.com/2012/12/29/musings-from-a-job-starved-city-the-fiscal-cliff/

    Like

  62. cissyblue says:

    Hi. I loved this post! Have you seen some of the “steampunk” hair styles? Seriously, you have an amazing energy and intellect, and I see changing the roots only to (your choice, of course :)) a shiny beautiful burgundy or a “bright on purpose” red section right up front. Keep your long dark locks, you are beautiful! The little bit of color would go with your glasses so well!

    Like

    • javaj240 says:

      I am definitely going to look up “steam punk” hairstyles! I will take your advice into consideration!

      Thanks so much or reading and for commenting!

      Like

      • cissyblue says:

        I think a lot of kids started this gothic/Victorian hybrid, up around Vancouver, but lately I’ve noticed how lovely it is when older girls so cute as you dare to be brave and try something new! I hope to see follow-up pics!

        Like

  63. Huffygirl says:

    My hair stylist tells me that when I’m ready to stop using the miracle of hair color that she can remove the remaining color with a magic solution so there won’t be a growing out line of half gray and half colored hair. My husband has a delightful mane of all white hair which looks terrific on him – like Anderson Cooper’s older brother. By keeping my hair colored, it give the illusion that he has a trophy wife, so it’s a win-win situation for both of us.

    Congratulations for being Freshly Pressed (again). Enjoy it!

    Like

  64. Miss Keene says:

    p.s. A friend had a chin implant last year, age 75. She feels much better about herself but bitches about the cost (she had a facelift.) I never noticed her chin but it mattered to her.

    Like

  65. Miss Keene says:

    Actually there are more than “two categories. The self-confident women who love their hair and looks at any color or age. Those who are allergic to hair dyes. Those who don’t have time to dye hair, or would rather spend the few hours they have on earth doing something else. Those who can’t afford it. Those who live on a farm in the middle of nowhere. Classical musicians or rockers or other artists creative types who know how to wear it.

    I lived in Miami last summer and my long gray hair totally rocked there. I fit in. I’ve never seen so many long beautiful manes on both men and women. I’ve since donated my 12 inches to Locks of Love and enjoy the short gray thang. Yeah I’d look “younger” supposedly if I dyed my hair, and my eyes would pop more; but ya know, I how I spend my time is how I spend my life. and my gray is who I am. The more of us wear it the more “youthful” (whatever that means) it’ll be.

    Last thought: I look tons younger now I do yoga and lost weight and smile from happiness. I see ladies with gorgeous locks whose health doesn’t look all that “young” whatever that means. I wish us all well in actualizing our inner looks to the outer.

    Like

    • javaj240 says:

      Agreed — there are many, many categories, but in the interests of both humor and brevity I chose to focus on just the two.

      Smiling makes everyone look and feel younger!

      Thanks for your input!

      Like

  66. Juliette says:

    Love this post! Thank goodness I wasn’t drinking coffee or I’d be cleaning up my computer screen. My 13 year old daughter told me that I can’t stop coloring my hair until she graduates from high school because she doesn’t want anyone to mistake me for her grandma. Sigh. She is a natural blonde with a blonde grandfather who turned a lovely blonde/white in his old age so I don’t think she’ll have the same issues as her dark haired mom (with an odd mismatched asphalt, old barn brown and tarnished silver mix under all that color).

    Like

    • javaj240 says:

      I tell folks all the time that I cannot be held responsible for damage to clothing, furniture, or mechanical equipment IF they insist on ingesting beverages while reading my blog.

      “Old barn brown and tarnished silver” — love it!

      Why do we listen to teenagers? Just why? We know they don’t know anything, and yet we persist.

      Like

  67. Loved your post! I’m a Floridian and I’ve been grey since the tender age of 19. I refuse to stop coloring my hair since my husband doesn’t have a single strand of grey. It is a dream of mine, though…maybe one day!

    Like

  68. mindy says:

    I did not start getting grays until my forties. And even now, It’s spotty, but spotty enough to be horribly annoying. So, every 5 to 6 weeks, the deed is done. Lots of wasted time IMHO, but waddya gonna do? BTW, having lived in “dry heat” Cali for many years, I know that gray hair shows up much quicker on straight hair. The curly-headed ladies can hide it better. Better stick with the humidity.

    Like

  69. Kate says:

    My first gray hair made its appearance when I was in my 20’s. Early grayness does NOT run in my family. Quite a surprise! Started dying my hair in my 30’s (always with my natural color in mind: auburn). I am very fair w/freckles and auburn suits me perfectly. Gray? Not so much. So the thought of being all gray makes me gag; I’d look like a ghost for sure. I wouldn’t look like either Jamie Lee or Emmy Lou. Somedays I’d love to free myself from my every-4-week dye job, but it wouldn’t be a nice thing to do to myself or to those who are subject to regular interaction with me.

    Like

    • javaj240 says:

      LOL! I’m sure you wouldn’t look like a ghost. My problem is that the every 4 weeks is turning into every 2 weeks… and even the permanent dyes from the boxes aren’t working… so, I really need to go to a salon, which is big bucks… big bucks that I would rather not spend on my hair. I’d just as soon buy a few pair of cute shoes!

      Like

  70. beverlydiehl says:

    Prematurely silver hair runs in my family – my maternal grandfather, my mother, my cousin, all gray/silver in their early 30’s, but they all looked beautiful, IMO. My hair’s blonde, so it doesn’t turn like a brunette’s, but I do admit to new adventures in hair color – I had a big accent patch dyed wine red. (I t was supposed to be burnt copper, but that’s another story.) I think silver hair combined with dark eyebrows (don’t go all Andy Rooney with bushy gray ones) is incredibly striking, and I say, go for whatever makes YOU feel good.

    Like

    • javaj240 says:

      Thanks!

      And thanks for the input on the appearance of my blog through GenFab. I am going to see what I can do about that! I guess I’m so used to it that I didn’t notice it, but now that you’ve mentioned the problem I wholeheartedly agree with you.

      Like

  71. Cathy says:

    I started getting grays in my twenties. I started coloring my hair in my thirties. Honestly, I don’t even think about it. With my thick, wild and curly hair, my locks would not – I repeat NOT – look good in gray.

    Point two: When I first met you, I never even noticed the color of your hair. I noticed your smile, your effervescence and your radiance. That’s all.

    Point three: Hubby and I want to move to Florida in the worst way. I would miss NYC – terribly – but we are sick of the winter weather. It’s not going to happen so fast, but when we do, could you put in a good word to the Grim Reaper not to visit us for at least 40 years?:-)

    Great post, fab pic. Conclusion? I have none. Do what you – and only you – think is best.

    Like

    • javaj240 says:

      Thanks, Cathy!

      Do you really want to move to Florida? With YOUR hair? Arizona might be better, my friend — it is, from what I understand, a “dry” heat. LOL!

      Actually, I LOVE your hair! And the style in which you choose to wear it? Very becoming!

      I will take that “smile, effervescence, and radiance” comment as a high compliment coming from you — because those are the very words I would use to describe you!

      Like

  72. What??? We finally get to see a picture of you!!! Wow! You have really great, thick hair! I don’t think it will matter if you dye or not! I am becoming increasingly more gray every day as my mother likes to point out! She gets real close and scrutinizes saying, “Hmmm….I see you’re really getting gray now!” Thanks Mom!

    Like

    • javaj240 says:

      Mothers are great, aren’t they? Mine once told me, in what she thought was an extremely helpful tone, that I just did “not have a body for jeans”. I didn’t wear jeans for years.

      I am lucky that my hair has not thinned with age, although I do lose chunks of it in the shower sometimes, LOL! Luckily there is enough of it to withstand a bit of thinning.

      I’ve not noticed any significant difference in your hair color — at least not in the pics you post. You look great!

      Like

  73. Tara says:

    I just studied good ole Ponce with my daughter. I think your hair is pretty with the grey. Although, if you want to try dying it you could try a semi-permanent dye and then if you like it do it for real.

    Like

    • javaj240 says:

      Thanks, Tara…

      Good suggestion! Thanks for reading and for commenting!

      Those Conquistadores were something else, weren’t they?

      Like

  74. ksbeth says:

    when in doubt, dye. it’s only hair, one of our accessories, and can always be changed again at will. thanks for the likes, i enjoy reading your work too – beth

    Like

  75. Rick says:

    I started getting gray hair in high school. Now, it’s gray and mostly gone. I think you should write more about the adventures of Mr. Reaper.

    Like

    • javaj240 says:

      Oh, I don’t know if I have the stomach for “Mr. Reaper” tales, LOL!

      You poor thing, you got the double whammy — bald and gray! (men can pull off that look, though — women? not so much)

      Like

  76. Amanda Fox says:

    This is definitely a decision. I don’t typically colour my hair – yet. I can just start to see the greys coming in though. And while I admit to being a bit of the “granola” type, I won’t say that I would never use the stuff. Time will tell I guess, and I think that time is coming sooner rather than later.

    BTW, I think your chin and Jamie Lee’s chin look pretty much the same.

    Like

    • javaj240 says:

      I took 17 “selfies” (who says I’m not “hip? LOL) before I FINALLY got one that made my chin look slightly better than it does in real life! It is my “problem” area, for sure! I’m happy it was worth all the time and energy that was expended.

      To paraphrase Shakespeare, “Vanity, thy name is Jackie.” (I know it’s really “Frailty, thy name is woman”, but I don’t think The Bard would mind folks taking a liberty or two with his words!)

      Like

  77. peachyteachy says:

    First, lovely to see a gorgeous picture of you! I found my first “silver” hair when I was fifteen–like you, I come from a line of early grey-ers. It grew in streaky, and lots of people asked me if I had it “done.” “God is my colorist,” I would reply. I liked it for a long time. People commented about how I had inspired them to go natural because mine was so cool. The variations have decreased, though, and I have been having lowlights put in for a little while now. Not sure; not totally happy with it, but I like having more of the streakiness that was always my thing. It’s a weird thing.

    Like

    • javaj240 says:

      It’s a very personal decision. It’s so wrapped up in self-image. IDK, I’m a pretty confident gal and if I worked in an office (or a school) the decision (to let it go gray) would, I think, be easier. Because I work in such a youth-driven field, the decision is harder. It is weird.

      And thank you for using the word “gorgeous”. You have my undying gratitude today!

      Like

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