….on the wall. Who is the fairest of them all?
Snow White aka porcelain skin with ruby red lips NOT Snow White the pruney broad with white wirey hair.
Or so I thought….
Yes folks, this is a very accurate depiction of me (with more tears) on the momentous day of September 25, 2007. A day which will go down in infamy. The day when I discovered my first gray hair. Age 26. RIP brunette bombshell.
(p.s. That made-up date was totally pinpointed for dramatic effect)
Oh, that fateful day. That day when I thought: “This is it, Shelly. The beginning of the end. My youthful flame, beauty, vibrance – it’s all shattered. I must accept the inevitable downfall.”
I also thought: “Thanks ALOT for the premature graying genes, dad.” See below:
“White hair don’t care.” Speak for yourself daddio. Seriously though, the man was fully gray by age 30. Lucky for him he actually rocked it, and still does.
You might be thinking, “why would gray hairs bring her to tears if she loves seniors and all that is old?” Well, in that moment, I was a total hypocrite. Today, I see seniors with their gray hair and think “amazing; wisdom; experience”, but when it came to myself, I couldn’t handle the first sign that I was truly aging. I thought this meant my beauty was starting to fade *WAH*. Fast forward 10 years, I only have a few more rebellious gray hairs (thank you organic lifestyle) and I have realized so much about myself and Mr. Gray. Although things change in color and texture, aging can have it’s own type of beauty. And yes I do mean “on the outside.”
For a moment, I’m going to focus on my ladies here since men have this magical way of looking better and better as they age *EYE ROLL*. I see you Sean Connery.
While searching for “seniorspiration” (yep, made that word up) at a local shopping market, I looked up and saw this adonis before me.
Move over Golden Girls, this lady is the real deal. I mean, I literally had a mouth drop situation (my apologies for not getting a better pic, but clearly, she was onto my stalking). Her perfectly twisted hair (p.s. you should see the back with her fancy hair clips!), her posh yet weather appropriate outfit, her just right make-up. I was in awe. Besides that, she had such a grace about her which completed the package. Royalty. Senior Royalty she was.
THEN, yesterday, I arrive at a resort with my hubby and I nearly drop my tea & coffee cake when I spot this Mr. Gray all gussied up in black & gold (as a Steelers fan this was serious bonus points):
Pretty sure I put the I LOVE SENIORS vibes out so HARD that it was like the power of attraction and she finally came up next to me (or it could have been that I was next to the food- but that’s neither here nor there). I thought: “This is your chance.” Like a lion spotting a gazelle that separated from the pack, I pounced: “HI! I LOVE YOUR OUTFIT!” Augh, Mr. Gray (also known as Jane) was a gem and her eyes lit up and there was no shame in her game. She was happy to take a photo with me and full of zest. Her granddaughter was also with her and told me that Jane is the talk of the town and always dresses like this. As in, every single day. Small world, turns out she lives, literally, 1 block from me. I felt robbed of all the outfits I could have seen.
Beyond showing that Mr. Gray can be a breathtaking species worthy of a Gawk’nStalk (wow I’m making up lots of fun terms today!), I want to note that it clearly took these ladies effort to look so put together– and maybe this effort was well spent!
I mean, Mr. Gray didn’t roll out of bed in these cases and head out for the day. No no. There was time and energy invested: outfit selection, hair twisting, accessorizing, make-up application. Heck, I mean Mr. Gray #1 should get bonus points ALONE for putting on stockings. You know what I mean ladies: stockings add at least 5 precious minutes into a dressing routine — the stretching them out, rolling them down, clipping your hang nail so it doesn’t snag them, pulling them up like at a slug’s pace, and then you inevitably have to pee. It’s an ordeal for anyone of any age. Mr. Gray #2- I mean dammmmnnn. She accessorized like Lady Gaga at the Grammy’s…or should I say “Grammies.” ;o)
Now the question, is, WHY would a senior spend so much time foofing? Isn’t it this Mr. Gray’s “golden years,” where he/she’s finally earned the right to roll out in those ripped up jeans, eat sweets for breakfast, and tell it like it is?! So why dress up?
Well, one might be inclined to think, wow *she’s so vaaaain, bet she thinks this blog is about herrrr*. Is it vain to put effort into looking your best? I think not! This reminds me of that TLC TVshow a from a few years ago: “What Not to Wear.”
Oh, the magical designer duo, Stacy & Clinton! They were always doing unbelievable makeovers. And they did seem at times a bit “judgey”, BUT if you noticed the huge smiles and the end of the makeovers, you knew they were onto something! They would always say that when you look your best, you feel your best — that it can affect the way you relate to the world and yourself. Essentially, that presenting yourself well on the outside can make you feel good on the inside. And you would definitely feel this truth from the formerly fashion faux-pas folks on the show (p.s. I dub myself the queen of alliteration.)
Why can’t this look good/feel good formula apply to seniors? Well, it can and it does. Perhaps it makes Mr. Gray feel a little better about his arthritis if he puts his favorite cap on to get coffee or her gold bow belt going to dinner?
My personal proof of this formula: Even when she was ill in the hospital, my nanny (aka wife of the original Mr. Gray/my Grandpa/blog inspiration in my “About Me”) loved to have her hair brushed and nails done. A few days before she died in 1997, I painted her nails pink with purple and yellow flowers. I was 15 and that’s all I knew I could do to help her. She died with that nail polish I painted on her fingers. I couldn’t make her well and I know a nice manicure is such a small thing, but I like to believe it helped. Actually, I know it did because it made her feel a bit more put together. She was beautiful and those things made her feel beautiful.
So, back to Stacy & Clinton who would always say, no matter where you go, if you are in public, be put together. Well, my nanny ROCKED that hospital bed, Queen Gray ROCKED that grocery store aisle, and Jane ROCKED that lobby.
Someone should tell that fairytale mirror that youthful beauty is so last year.