Her Bad Mother

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Beauty, Like A Dial-Hand

When I was growing up, I never thought that I was pretty. I was pretty certain, actually, that being a tall skinny girl with ruddy blond hair and what my mother always called a "distinctive" nose, I was anything but pretty. Nice-looking on a good day, maybe - and, later, "striking," which is just a fancy way of saying "you're kinda nice-looking, but in a weird way" - but not actually pretty. Which was discouraging, because I wanted to be pretty; not to stand out, but to blend in. I wanted to be like one of those characters in novels, the girl who doesn't give a thought to how she looks but whom the reader understands to be quietly, unassumingly lovely; the kind of girl who doesn't draw attention with her beauty, who doesn't attract second glances, who might even seem plain at first sight, but who, upon donning a pretty dress or standing before a lover, is suddenly and unsurprisingly revealed to be beautiful.

I did not believe that I was beautiful. Ah, youth. You never know what you have until it's gone.

I started getting over it sometime in my mid twenties. I settled into my looks, and came to accept them: every time I looked in the mirror I saw a matured version of my younger self - still tall, still skinny, nose still distinctive, blond hair turning prematurely platinum - but in my maturity I was able to look past what I perceived as my particular flaws and see myself as myself, my whole self, and what I saw wasn't all that bad. I could see why my husband found me beautiful; I could see why my mother had always said that I was beautiful. As I got older, I was better able to appreciate my quirks, the little details that made me different. I didn't worry about crow's feet and fine lines and my platinum hair: I could see beauty in the intelligence in my eyes and in the humor in my smile. Also, I got my teeth fixed.

And so I got a little older, and became a mother, and then got a little older still, and - oddly - it became even easier. I could look in the mirror and see a woman, and - assuming that I didn't spend too much time contemplating the rear view, or give too much thought to the muffin top - be pleased with the appearance of that woman. Age was serving me well.

And then yesterday happened.

I was shopping with Amy. I had Jasper strapped to my chest, and we were browsing and chatting and passing the time in idle contemplation of the random crap that fills store shelves during the holidays. We didn't see the saleswoman as she approached; she came at us from behind, exclaiming something about hello and isn't it cold and can I help you find something. I wasn't even listening - didn't even turn to see her - until she addressed me directly: is this your first grandchild?

Is this your first GRANDCHILD?

(I'll let that sink in. Take all the time that you need.)

I turned to face her full-on. No, I said, after some bajillion seconds. He's my second CHILD.

She crumpled. Oh! Of course... I mean, it was just... I didn't really see... your hair! Oh... dear... you do have very light hair! I thought... I didn't see you... I shouldn't have... of course he's not your grandchild!

Amy marched to the door and opened it for me. When we got outside, I said, that? Was AWESOME.

She said, erase it from your memory. ERASE IT. It means nothing.

I know, I know. I just can't decide whether it was disturbing or funny.

It was funny. But forget about it.

Funny, maybe. But also discomfiting. I know that the saleswoman didn't get a good look at me; I know that she saw the pale flash of hair and the glint of eyeglasses and a puffy winter coat and made an immediate association with age. I also know that age doesn't equal unattractiveness. But still: she saw me, and whatever of combination of features she saw were features that said old. And/or frumpy. And/or not young/not fresh/not attractive. Not pretty.

For all that I say that I no longer care so much about my looks, that I'm perfectly comfortable with getting older, that maturity is, that maternity is, beautiful - that hurt. I'm comfortable - even, some days, happy - with how I look, and I know that the little signs of age that begin to creep up on you in your thirties are part of that look, but I don't want to look old. I don't want to be frumpy. I do not - no offense to any grandmothers out there - want to be mistaken for a grandmother, not from any distance. I'm not interested in looking like a twenty-something, either - although, for the record, I wouldn't be writing this post if someone had asked me if I was Jasper's babysitter - I just want to look like who I am. Thirty-something, mother of two, only uses her straight-iron for special occasions, usually forgets to put on lipgloss, hasn't set foot in a gym in years. I don't need to be gorgeous, or even beautiful - I'm long past that - but I would like to look like me, the me of my mind's eye, the me that I've come to love so well.

So today, I'm coloring my hair.

(Or not. Am chickening out. I actually love my platinum hair - but maybe a bit blonder? Thoughts? OH LORD VANITY SHE IS A BITCH.)



Blogger Baby in the City said...

Dude, that's shitty. Although I can tell that you already know that the saleswoman didn't get a good look at you and that once she did, she immediately knew she was way off. And keep in mind that in smaller towns, mothers of infants are usually a lot younger and had you been sporting a slogan across the ass of your yoga pants, that prolly woulda turned the tides in your favour.

I myself love the platinum hair cause, for me too, that is you. Whom I love of course.

11:48 AM  
Blogger Amy Urquhart said...

Oh that was my least favourite shopping moment EVER. My heart leapt into my throat for you in that millisecond because that stupid saleswoman was oh so wrong and had no idea how hurtful her careless comment was.

You handled your beautiful yourself gracefully in a yucky situation.

For what it's worth, I love the platinum but it can be fun to try out a new colour...what shade are you thinking? Drastic or subtle?

12:00 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

you are one step ahead of me, because at least, you KNOW who YOU are. I lost myself four kids ago...and am still searching.

Color your hair, get a boob lift, go get some botox....whatever it takes to make you feel un grandma like. But for the record, I think you look pretty hot just the way you are. (cue Billy Joel's I want you just the way you are)

12:01 PM  
Blogger The Ex said...

I have to admit I've often wondered about your hair myself. Sorry!

12:01 PM  
Blogger Blooming said...

I vote for light purple hair, maybe a shade of lavender.

By the way...the age thing goes the other way too. When my daughter was first born, I was out shopping with my husband. He was on one side of the store grabbing something and I was on the other. Two nasty ladies came up behind me and started talking about how it was so sad that there are so many unwed teen mothers and that the poor baby would never have a real family. In a not post-partum mental state I would have torn them a new one. All I could do at the time was cry. Damn hormones.

12:01 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Oh...and pink. I think pink hair would be very cool and hip. Not even joking. Ok well, maybe a little joking.....

12:02 PM  
Blogger Ariel said...

I like your hair:( And I think you are beautiful.

12:02 PM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

Amy - I'd just dial up the blond a bit. Can't do maintenance.

Tho' maybe I just need a pair of Juicy yoga pants ;)

12:02 PM  
Blogger Araldia said...

My husband was asked that last year, and he has long bright red hair.
He was 37, it was our baby son.
I am glad that my Aspergers means that I do not ask questions that could be taken badly or contain assumptions!

12:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perspective is such a funny thing, and we are so much harder on ourselves, because just yesterday I was moving some BlogHerBoston photos over into the BlogHer header pool on Flickr, one of which was one of you and Jasper with the baby he was greeting in the other carrier. (Forgetting Mom's name...I'm sorry!) And all I could think was how striking you were and how sweet you looked together and how I wished for the love of God that I could look as nifty if I'd just let my hair go as gray as it's trying valiantly to be already!

Was in a store with my best friend a couple years back and a woman walked up to her and said, "OH! You're just GLOWING!" She was 52 at the time. She knew what she meant. We just kept walking, neither of us little girls. We can laugh about it now...but in the moment, just awkward.

Me: Well, at least you look happy.

Perhaps it would be a better world if people just didn't speak. ;) And what I said about your hair notwithstanding, I hope you have fun coloring it. I have to admit that I do, even though the maintenance, she's a bitch.

12:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

She obviously didn`t see your face . . . your hair might look old from the back, but you are obviously young when you see your face! I think coloring your hair is a great idea, but don`t let this get you too down!

12:06 PM  
Blogger Caroline said...

Awful. That was an AWFUL HORRIBLE moment for your self esteem. (Only thing I could relate it to was helping newly PG SIL shop for maternity stuff and was asked how far along *I* was.) I think your hair is simply beautiful as is. I really do. But if you feel drop dead, ungramma-y with a new color - HECK YEAH, DYE AWAY BABY! (What color? I think you'd make a hot blonde, from one blonde to another...)

12:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aw, I love your hair just as it is.

12:08 PM  
Blogger Fairly Odd Mother said...

I think people say things without really thinking far too often. I've seen you and you do NOT look like a grandmother. I also personally think you could rock pink, the one color I regret never doing.

I recently was asked when I was due. Saying this to someone who once had major body image issues is NOT cool. I wish there was a good retort to say to these careless remarks.

12:09 PM  
Blogger Don Mills Diva said...


Honestly, I would be hurt too, even if it was a meaningless comment for all the reasons you mentioned.

Maybe dying your hair will give you a lift and if that's the case I'm all for it, but I know you and I know that you ARE a striking woman who does NOT look anything like a grandmother!

12:09 PM  
Blogger Shelly- Mom Files said...

you are simply beautiful :)

12:11 PM  
Blogger AnnetteK said...

Well I color my hair all the time to cover the white fishing line sprouting from my 30 something year old scalp, so I can't judge, but I think your hair is gorgeous, and definitely not grandmotherly.

12:11 PM  
Blogger Julie Marsh said...


Don't you dare change your hair. I *love* your hair.

On second thought, do whatever makes *you* happy. But know that I think you look young and beautiful no matter what.

12:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh F the salesperson. Seriously, don't pay that any mind. Sometimes people aren't even thinking.

Evidence: I used to run a sandwich shop, and, being the clever idiot that I am, used to joke with the customers.

Until one day, being my normal "punchy" self, a woman walked in, ordered a sandwich and asked what kind of drinks we had.

Thinking I was Rico Sauve, and knowing it was a popular drink, I said "we have some delightful Diet Coke on tap today." Not even thinking. She is a woman.

She said "Thank you but I DO NOT NEED DIET COKE" and ran out the door. Yeah, I was insensitive a bit, but not even thinking. And she was TOO sensitive, and thinking too much.

Strike a balance. Then strike a pose. And forget about it. By the way, you are a MILF

12:12 PM  
Blogger Don Mills Diva said...

Oh, and to put it all in perspective, I weigh 138 pounds and was recently at an industry party feeling quite great about yourself when someone remarked to me how nice it was that a colleague (who actually IS pregnant) and I were experienceing pregnancy together.

I pretended not to hear her but...ouch.

12:12 PM  
Blogger April said...

awwwww. i'm sorry you feel like you need to color your hair. i think it's spectacular!

if you do end up taking the plunge, though, we will need pictures. and lots.

12:12 PM  
Blogger Velma said...

I've been coloring my hair to cover the gray since I was 26, but since my natural color is dark brown it was an easy choice to start that young!

Your natural hair is beautiful and distinctive, but part of what makes it so striking is that anyone who sees your face knows you are obviously still a younger woman... which doesn't help when the comments are coming from behind, right?

I bet it will look great. We could all use a little brightening up with winter on the way.

12:13 PM  
Blogger Mouse said...

Trillian started getting grays when she was a teen. She went a long time without coloring it, and I truthfully didn't care, until... Several people would ask her if Scooter was her grandson. Then one day, someone said this. While I was standing there too. And they obviously understood that I was his mother. The combined suggestion that she was his grandmother and old enough to be my mother convinced both of us it was time for her to make that appointment.

12:13 PM  
Blogger zchamu said...

I think you're beautiful. And that saleslady is obviously legally blind.

If you want to colour your hair because hey, new hair colour is fun once in a while, go for it, but if you are doing it because you feel you should, then don't do it.

12:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My poor ex was white haired from mid 30's, it used to KILL him when older people noticed 'how well he got along with his grandkids'!!!! People aren't mean, they just aren't taking that extra second needed to SEE each other. You are a gorgeous woman and I'd never mix you up with a grandma. A young, hot nanny, maybe, but not a grandma...:)

12:16 PM  
Blogger Neil said...

OK, a man here, with a man's POV. I remember the first time I saw your photo, it was a little surprising to see your hair because it was unexpected. But clearly you were NOT a senior citizen, so I immediately thought it was really cool... and sort of sexy, as if here was a woman who wasn't hiding her hair color, but was emphasizing it, showing confidence. That's right, SEXY! And then when I saw your CBGB logo and "Her Bad Mother" title, I figured this is EXACTLY what a true punk-rocker would do as she ages. "Screw coloring the hair. I'm a rebel!" Hey, just like the girls like the bad boys, some of us guys like the bad girls.

But I can sympathize with you. Recently I wrote a blog post about going into McDonald's and asking for a cup of coffee, and the high school student behind the counter asked, "Would you like the Senior Discount?" That was a low blow, considering that in my mind's eye, I still look the same as I did in college.

12:18 PM  
Blogger Colleen - Mommy Always Wins said...

I have the Billy Joel song in my head now, too...seriously, you look great. Forget the asshat of a salesperson - something will come around to bite her in the butt...

Color your hair if YOU want to. It could be fun!

12:20 PM  
Blogger kaila said...

I had something similar happen to me earlier this year. My solution was the same as yours - color the hair. I did go drastic though - from strawberry blond to rich auburn. Now I am addicted to coloring it.

12:20 PM  
Blogger Mama Smurf said...

Oh God...don't do it! Take it from a brunette. Premature greying runs in my family. I'm 36 now and I've been dying my hair since I was 25 years old. Without color on my hair I'm probably 75% grey. I now have to color my hair religiously every 5 weeks. If you go darker...the gray will stand out like a sore thumb. Seriously. Your light hair is a blessing!

A dear friend of mine just told me a similar story. He's in his 40s. He went into a Taco Bell 2 days ago and asked for 2 burritos and a coffee. When she gave him the total he said "that's not right". She responded by saying.."Yeah, it's right, seniors get free coffee." He said he didn't know whether to laugh or cry.

12:24 PM  
Blogger Cagey (Kelli Oliver George) said...

That sucks! Yikes.

As I put it, I will go gray when my grandmothers go gray. As neither of them have any intentions of ever doing so, it is unlikely I will, either.

Once, someone asked my husband what color my hair was. He answered "I don't know, it changes every month."

Damned straight, it does.

12:32 PM  
Blogger Karen Bodkin said...

Clearly you need to go shopping with me next time. *growl*
p.s. I was looking at you all sly-like in Boston and jealous over how awesome you are, inside and out.
p.p.s. I have eyes. Saleslady? Not so much.

12:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Know how you feel. People have occasionally asked me "How I'm feeling" or "When is your baby due?" Only problem is...I'm a man!

Besides that, I have had way more salt than pepper since I was about 28. I've gone natural and I have dyed it, usually blatantly artificial colors so my pride wouldn't suffer. Dying is fun, but keeping up with roots is SO LAME! Back to silver with some black flecks now (42).

12:33 PM  
Blogger Lawyer Mama said...

That sucks. It actually happened to a friend of mine about 6 months ago. Lauren met me for lunch at the mall and had her 2 year old in a stroller. She has short curly hair with blonde streaks in it & glasses. The woman at the make up counter asked her how old her grandson was. Oof. She then made it worse by saying she assumed I was Lauren's daughter & Caleb was my son. Double oof. No, I do NOT look that young & Lauren doesn't even look her age. And the make-up counter lady was at least 20 years older than us.
Some people are just blind idiots. Don't color your hair. It's a great natural color.

12:34 PM  
Blogger Jenny Grace said...

Oh dear.

If it makes you feel better (maybe?), when my mom went to the grocery store with her youngest son and her dad, the checkout girl assumed that her son was her grandson and her dad was her husband. Which I think was upsetting on many levels.

12:35 PM  
Blogger Chicky Chicky Baby said...

Coloring ones hair is a slippery slope. I haven't seen my real color in years except for the occasional grays that refuse to be colored. Damn them.

Your hair? Awesome. But it's fun to color too.

I'm no help, am I?

12:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just so that you know you aren't alone ... Lindaloohoo had something similar happen to her on the playground and she's not old either.

If you want to read her entry on the story check it out here:

I think you look fabulous and should just go back and duct tape that ladies mouth closed with her foot still in it :-D

12:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In regards to the pregnancy comments, haven't those people EVER learned the truism that you should NEVER ask a woman if she's pregnant (or comment that you think she is) unless you actually see a tiny head issuing from between her legs?? (credit, I think, Dave Barry :-) )

As for your hair, having never seen you in person, I can't really know, but you look lovely in your pics! and pink would go very nicely with your complexion, I think ;-)

12:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So sorry that happened to you. I spent my twenties - my young and cute twenties - being mistaken at least once a week for a man. I got called Sir a lot, by people looking right at me. Even with my generous curves.

People really don't look. All they saw was my short hair, and the purse didn't matter, the curves didn't matter, nothing else mattered.

You do not look like a grandmother.

12:38 PM  
Blogger Jaelithe said...

1.) Have seen you in person. Love your hair. You don't look old. Color it if it feels like fun.

2.) Am 28. Blonde hair definitely developing distinctive GREY streak. NOT the lovely platinum shade (your shade) I had hoped for. Not sure what to do about it. Thinking of possibly dyeing hair red to match son's to finally stop people ignorant of Mendelian genetics implying I've kidnapped him or something. Kill two birds with one stone, right? But then, I've never dyed my hair permanent colors before. It seems unnatural to me. Am on the fence.

Perhaps we could have a long-distance dithering about hair-dyeing party?

12:42 PM  
Blogger Shania said...

I'm feeling ya. I posted this same thing yesterday, but not nearly as eloquently. Mine involved profanity. And violence.

12:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Could have been worse. My friend was once asked if she was pregnant. She shook it off though. She told the salesperson it was a tumor.

12:51 PM  
Blogger idiot said...

I have been referred to as my kids grandma at least 3 times. While the person was staring directly into my face.

12:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Catherine, you are beautiful. Color your hair if you want, because YOU WANT to do it, not because you think it will prevent idiots from being idiots. How many times are we asked how old "he" is when we are out with our teeny girls dressed head to toe in pink? I've been called "Ma'am" because someone thought I was old and carded because someone thought I was young, all in the same week. People don't pay attention. Dyeing your hair won't change that. You're lovely no matter what.

12:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If it's any consolation, it's happened to me, too.

12:53 PM  
Blogger Ariel said...

I'd love you with Pink Hair.

12:53 PM  
Blogger Steph(anie) said...

I love your hair the way it is. But it can be fun to mix it up sometimes. I don't do maintenance either.

12:58 PM  
Blogger Burgh Baby said...

That salesperson was feeling like an ass for talking before her eyes could drink in the entire package, and for good reason--YOU DO NOT LOOK LIKE SOMEONE'S GRANDMA. Unless you popped a kid out at 8, that is. Cause if you did? Then maybe I can see it. Not really, but I'll say that just to make the salesperson feel like less of a douche.

If you want to dye your hair, do it, but do it because you WANT to, not because you feel like you NEED to. Cause you don't NEED to. Promise.

1:01 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

OMG. That is very nearly worse than the "When are you due?" and the "I'm not pregnant, actually."

Wow. I love the platinum personally. But my mother-in-law has that exact color and has for years, so I'm biased to thinking it's a "older color." I would do a warmer golder blonde.

And don't chicken out! It's hair color! You (or a pro) can put it right back the way it was if you can't adjust.

Post pictures!

1:06 PM  
Blogger Motherhood Uncensored said...

Dude, screw the hair color. Pull out the fish nets and go go boots.


1:15 PM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

MU - so that I can be hot, slutty grandma? ;)

1:20 PM  
Blogger clueless but hopeful mama said...

Oh my God. I didn't know where the post was going till it went to "grandmother" and I spent the whole first half staring at your picture and thinking how TOTALLY AWESOME your platinum hair is. Seriously.

I'm all for coloring it if you feel like it. But wow, your platinum is really, really cool.

1:21 PM  
Blogger jenB said...

I could die for you. I don't even know what to say, other than I am sorry, that would suck not matter how secure you are with the package of HBM. Honestly though? If I had your hair length and colour, I would so go blonde because I have always wanted to and it isn't an option for me. I would LOVE to see blonde with a kick ass pink streak like Rogue from X-men. I cannot believe I just made an X-men reference.

1:22 PM  
Blogger linda said...

See, I always thought your hair was blonde, not platinum-y grey! Further, you look great.

I've been going grey since I was 19, so I colour it -- not so much because I'm averse to aging or sensitive about my age, but because my hair is naturally golden brown and the grey was just a bad fit. I sometimes go reddish, sometimes more gold, or sometimes a deeper, darker brown than my natural colour.

I think of hair colour as an accessory anyway and don't ever refer to it as "hair dye" -- it's hair colour! A warmer blonde would suit you, I think, if you're keen to give yourself and your look a little boost. Or see about highlights and/or lowlights if you're leery about an all-over change. Have fun!

1:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh honey. Thank the heavens you were shopping with Amy and not me, because I would have so put that saleswoman into her place and you would have had to drag my snarling body out of there to avoid further embarrassment.

As your friend and someone who loves you dearly, I have never really noticed your hair other than to wish desperately that it looked as awesome and as grown up as your hair always looks.

Personally, I lean towards not colouring it, but that is because I'm so damned partial to it...to you, my lovely dear friend.

However, take that with a grain of salt and realize that I'm speaking as a woman who regularly gets purple streaks put in her hair, for the simple reason as it annoys my husband.

Whatever you do with your hair colour don't let one stupid and obviously blind woman's opinion damage your self esteem. You are a vibrant young woman and so very beautiful.

But if you are going to dye your hair, go bold. Go black. With a purple streak so we can be twinsies.


I love you.

1:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dammit. I meant to say I wished my hair looked as awesome as yours.

Fark it. I need caffeine. And a phone to call you. Damn crazy drivers knocking out my phone lines.

1:30 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Go color your hair if it makes you feel happy, but do it for yourself, not for some stupid saleswoman who needs to think before she speaks.

For the record, I think you're absolutely lovely and don't need the color boost. But I can understand the need to indulge in a little beauty therapy to soothe the self-image.

Whenever I color my hair, it's because I'm feeling down and need a little pick-me-up to prove to myself that I'm at least OK to look at. Nothing wrong with that.

1:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You blondes go gray so much more beautifully than we brunettes do. You know, I realized from some of your younger pictures that you once were a darker blonde, but I assumed you lightened it on purpose. I had no clue that it was nature's lightener. It looks wonderful.

Do what you want, but I wouldn't touch it. One poor tired confused salesperson should not set you off on coloring your hair. It's really hard to stop once started.

I've always been a brunette, but started coloring my hair in my cougar days. When I did become a grandmother, I decided to look like one and went through months of bi-colored hair, only to discover on the day the hairdresser finally cut the last of the colored hair off, that I didn't like it, and I stopped off for some Clairol on the way home.

I color and highlight it, it's easy enough with the new products, but still a hassle. First you put on the gloppy color, then sit for half an hour and take a shower. Then you put on the streaks of bleach and wait another 20 minutes or so and take another shower. It literally takes half a day. And you end up with fried, dried out, frizzy hair. Only to go through it all again in a month.

I'd dearly love to let my hair go gray. I suspect from the roots I see when I neglect the upkeep for a month or so that I am very close to a silvery white now. But everyone I mention it to says "NO NO" and I think they just can't deal with the idea of me suddenly being old and gray. Well, I'm old anyway, and I'm tired of coloring my hair.

I wouldn't do it if I were you. Or else I'd go for fire-engine red.

1:36 PM  
Blogger motherbumper said...

If you do a wacky colour I'll hold hands and finally use that tube of blue colour I have in the bathroom cupboard that I bought in retaliation for losing my girly boobs post-partum (don't ask).

But personally, I don't want you to change a thing because you are so easy to find in crowds and I covet your hair colour.

1:37 PM  
Blogger Backpacking Dad said...

I say just mousse it. Straight. Up.

Grandma that, yo.

1:37 PM  
Blogger Everydaytreats said...

Color it if that's what you want to do (changing your hair is fun) but when I saw you in Boston I was jealous of your platinum blond bob. So much edgier than my brown hippie hair ;)

Maybe add some lowlights for depth? Or just ignore the saleslady? I'm sure she wasn't even really looking at you.

1:42 PM  
Blogger Mariah said...

Wow, that's almost as bad as someone asking when you're due and you're not pregnant

1:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dude, that sucks...

If you really wanted to colour your hair, you would have already done it. So please don't change yourself because of the opinions of others.

Remember - there's a reason that she works in a department store.

1:50 PM  
Blogger Ariel said...

I LOVE your platinum hair! But PINK! How awesomely fun would that be?
If I didn't work in an accountants office- with my mother in law as my boss- I WOULD HAVE PINK HAIR!

1:51 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

Dude, it happened to me, too a couple of months ago. I was bringing my baby into work and one of the security guards asked if she was my grandchild. Geez, dude, way to ruin my year! I'm only 37 for God's sake.

1:57 PM  
Blogger Theresa said...

When I was in my 20's, I got a flat tyre and asked a random dude to help me change it. He then asked me why my 3-years-younger-brother couldn't help me. Only he said ''Why doesn't your SON change it for you''.

Some people just need glasses.

2:02 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

my really good friend Cheryl has early platinum hair as well. I think it is beautiful-as I think your hair is as well. She tried to color it a couple of years ago and was very disappointed in the results. It took to her hair a little "too" well and then it took forever for it to go away because her hair is just so light. (and this was a temp. color)

Just ignore her, I think it makes you who you are. Wonderful!

2:16 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

I think people just don't even see one another most of the time. It's similar to someone saying about your baby girl "oh! How cute! How old is HE?" when she's clearly wearing pink and flowers and who dresses a baby BOY like that?

She wasn't even really looking at you. You're beautiful.

My husband has been grey for for most of our 8-year marriage. He is going to be 37 in January. He's toyed with the idea of coloring, but hasn't yet. It doesn't matter to me what color his hair is. It does matter to me how HE feels about his hair.

2:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's crazy. You do not like old at all. Color your hair if it will make you feel better, but don't think for a moment you need to improve your looks. You are beautiful.

2:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I say colour it. If you don't like it, it'll grow out/fade/wash out. You have nothing to lose. And I'm betting it'll be a nice pick me up.

2:34 PM  
Blogger Leandra said...

Ooh, I've always wanted to be striking. Pretty often doesn't age well, but striking does. I think you have beautifully lovely features and I like your hair as is. But like someone else said, you can color it and if you don't like it just let it grow out.

I think a nice honey blonde color would look nice with your skin. Ooh, maybe you could get the Hair Thursday girl to tell you what color to go with!

2:49 PM  
Blogger Avonlea said...

I'm another reader who thinks your platinum hair is very awesome. A purple streak would be cool, though. ;)

My husband has been prematurely grey/silver for 10-15 years; with his beard and his very long hair, it's quite striking. Think Gandalf the White from LOTR, but cute. He regularly gets given the senior discount or people think he's our son's grandpa. He keeps thinking about cutting his hair short and maybe dyeing so that won't happen, but I love it the way it is.

Just as an additional thought, my cousin became a grandmother (a few years ago!!) at 32 years old! *ahem* Yep, they live way out in the boonies, and she and her daughter were teenage mommies.

3:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are not only pretty, you are beautiful. Your hair color is great! It is unfortunate that some people do not think before they open their mouths, but I must admit, I have been guilty of it as well. I am in my late 40's and have an eight year old, so I have had the grandma reference as well. I know, Ouch! My opinion, if you want it, is to leave your color alone - it's great. Maybe consider a closer cropped haircut? Not that you need to, but I used to be a professional hairstylist, so I'm always looking at haircuts. I think something wispy around your eyes would draw them out because they are so beautiful.

3:16 PM  
Blogger Mama V said...

Imagine how excited Emilia would be if you had pink hair!!!
I, personally, LOVE your hair the way it is - it's you! Don't go changing it just because someone made an insensitive comment. You don't see me running out for liposuction every time someone asks me when my 3rd is due....

3:22 PM  
Blogger Run ANC said...

Well, since I'm a diehard hair-dyer, I will always vote for colour. It's fun to change your hair colour, and you can always change it back, or let it grow out. It's just hair. Go for it.

You're only young once, right?? :-)

3:39 PM  
Blogger dogwooddiarist said...

Amy: I liked your post because I could relate to the bumpy road you've traveled in coming to terms with your self-image. I, too, would be upset if I were taken for a grandmother while out shopping with my kids. As you say, it wouldn't be because I'm not comfortable with aging (though at 43 I'm still working on it) or that I want to "look young"; rather, it would be because I FEEL young, and moving about the world as a grandmother is utterly alien to the way I believe myself to be perceived by others. What a rude shock that must have been.

Age is a very subjective, fluid concept. I know of old women, spinsters -- who've never had the ultimate aging experience -- and yet they seem to epitomize the idea of ancientness. And I know of grandmothers who are as agile, fleet, and beautiful as athletes. What is awful about being mistaken for a grandmother by someone you've never even met is that you know you've been noticed precisely on the basis of some stereotype -- posture hardened into form, gait slow, clothes unfashionable, hair like a helmet -- all that kind of stuff. But a stereotype is, by definition, SUPERFICIAL. You can change it, if you want to, of you can just say to yourself that that is the way you were seen at a certain moment in time, and move on.

So interesting that you grew up wanting to be the "natural beauty" -- the kind of girl who can easily become the princess, but doesn't need to advertise that power in a flaunting or distracting way. She is the ultimate transformer: she can fit in, or stand out. You wrote that first paragraph in your blog and I wondered how many girls have some variation of that same dream: it seems to describe the story/ability of every Hollywood heroine.

I grew up frequently being doted upon for my petite, princess-like looks (perfect little ski-jump nose). But I was a ballet dancer by training and profession (in the 80s), and fairy tale girls were not in vogue. So I, too, spent my youth dreaming of being a different kind of girl (or woman). I coveted the bodies of tall, skinny women and constantly tried to diet my curves out of existences. I couldn't stand my fresh, apple-cheeked complexion and instead went around sucking my cheeks in, wishing for an exotic, bony face, with an aquiline nose and large melancholic eyes.

As you said, we never know what we have until it's gone. But I wouldn't go back there. And you shouldn't want to either. You have a beautiful face with large, searching, and slightly haunted features (much like the baby on your blog header). It's also a face that looks like it will age very well (unlike mine). So, look on the bright side!

3:48 PM  
Blogger ewe are here said...

Vanity really IS a bith... I've started using semi-permanent conditioning color on my hair when I get a cut because all I see is the gray hairs on my part line when I look in the mirror. There aren't even that many... but it's all I see.


4:19 PM  
Blogger Badness Jones said...

Don't, DON'T colour your hair. You look amazing. And if you coloured your hair you wouldn't look like you!

4:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another possibility may stem from the saleslady's personal perspective on the age of motherhood. That springs to mind because earlier today the hubby read me something about a 35-year-old woman who's becoming a grandmother. Meanwhile, I'm two years older than that and expecting our first baby!

I thought at the time how Grandmother Woman and I live in absolutely separate worlds -- not sure either of us could *fully* comprehend the other's experience, no matter how hard we tried. So, anyway, maybe saleslady was from Grandmother Woman's camp? In which, you're not in your early twenties (or heaven forbid teens) so ergo must be the grandma??

4:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That EXACT thing happened to me when Scooter was a baby and I was all of 32....32, for crying out loud. I decided right then and there to get my hair colored and I've been doing it ever since. No one mistakes me for his grandmother anymore. God that was a mortifying moment, I feel your pain.

4:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would go with a light brown with blonde highlights, it would look great!
You should treat yourself :-)

5:11 PM  
Blogger Melanie said...

I haven't read all the comments here (80!! I've got papers to grade, people!), but I'll suggest maybe having your colorist just even out the tone of your hair, make it more uniform.

The problem with white-blond and platinum and gray hair is that it tends to yellow and age it a bit. So I'd do a bluing or maybe a strawberry/henna tinting just to even things out a bit.

5:16 PM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

Melanie - blue rinse? AAAAGGGGHHH!


5:24 PM  
Blogger BaltimoreGal said...

I'm 35 with no babies and that is a horrifying story.
My solution? Do what Amalah did with the whole breast cancer thing, if you can stand it. Buy some Manic Panic (in a pale shade) and rinse that sucka in. I tell you, as one natural blonde to another, if I worked at home I would be playing with all kinds of colors. We've got a great canvas. Once you've sufficiently and outwardly proven that your are not old and are in fact rockin', then you can figure out what to do next as a grownup. Why not?

DO NOT DO A BLUING on your head. You will look grandma-ish then!

5:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

although i only have a few silver hairs, my guess is that i will be fully white in the next 10 years. my dad has a gorgeous head of silver hair and the 100 or so that i have peeking out look just like his. i think it's stunning, just like yours. i, honestly, can't wait to have a full head of silver. it will be so striking, me thinks. and you are striking, me thinks.

5:56 PM  
Blogger worldmomma said...

I'm all for self-confidence and aging naturally. But of all the signs of aging, I do think early gray tends to make people look older than they are. It can be beautiful (and you are beautiful) but when I see someone with beautiful grey or white hair, but skin that doesn't look to be as old as I expect I find myself confused about their age. I hope to not buy into a lot of beauty treatments. But I do spend $10 every few months to cover my grey (which appeared in my 20s) at home.

6:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As another natural blond that is probably about 5 years away from going platinum, I agree with Ann. MANIC PANIC that shit. Pink, purple, electric blue, whatever. Or, you know, don't. I mostly want you to do it because I am too scared to dye my hair anymore (I had a trauma).

That saleswoman? Can eat a bag of dicks.

6:54 PM  
Blogger Mrs. G. said...

OK, I'm only sharing this to make you feel better. I would take "grandmother" over the day one of my students who asked me if I had a baby growing in my stomach? I didn't.

You're welcome.

I suggest highlights (less maintenance), cool earrings and jaunty scarves.

7:42 PM  
Blogger Mommer said...

I love your hair -- I wish my hair would just make up its mind if was going to go silver or not, so you're a step ahead of me in that category.

I view your hair as a delightful blank slate -- keep it platinum, play with it, whatever makes you happy! Try some temporary dyes, have fun with it.

And I have to say, the other end of it isn't always that delightful. I have been asked three times in the last two months when MY senior recital was, after playing piano for college juniors' musical recitals. (I am 35.) So that was nice. But it was not so nice when people were glaring at the "teen mom" who was actually 25.

Oh he**, what am I saying ... I'm delighted to be mistaken for a college senior. But if I wasn't doing VERY regular touch-ups to the silver, nobody'd make that mistake. ;)


8:10 PM  
Blogger daniloth said...

I also love your plat hair, HBM. Unfortunately, light hair is just one of those age signifiers, and for people who are not bright enough to look past the signifier. I say, colour your hair. You can always change it back, and new hair can be a great pick me up.

8:14 PM  
Blogger jodifur said...

I'm going gray at 33, 33. And then I got really sick. Lupus and arthritis and felt like an old lady died my hair red. I feel better now.

9:26 PM  
Blogger GIRL'S GONE CHILD said...

If you look like a grandma then I think we should all just kill ourselves, now. Catherine? You are beautiful beyond belief and your hair? We would all KILL for it. I say rock your hair with pride. Because it's YOU and YOU fucking rule.

9:29 PM  
Blogger Overflowing Brain said...

I love love love your hair.

I'm 25 and have now been mistaken on 3 occasions for a parent, rather than a teacher at the school I work at. A school for 14-18 year old girls. Meaning I had a child when I was, at best, 11.

It stings. It really does.

9:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Personally, I love your platinum hair. And I'm on the Manic Panic train so the fact that I'm NOT telling you to dye it crazy colors should tell you that your hair SO WORKS!

I'm going to get all bossy here so bear with me... go into your closet, pull out all the clothes that make you feel vibrant and excited, and put them in your regular rotation! (Barring super dress up clothes.) Don't save them for "special occasions." Wear them! You'll feel better. Kid stains wash out. And if you don't have any clothes that make you feel vibrant and excited GO GET SOME! You're worth it. A colored tee with cute detailing is just as easy to put on than a white one. And you don't have to break the bank either... I know the rule, none of us are supposed to shop in juniors anymore. But here's the deal, don't grab the top covered in cherries and bows or the jeans with the rhinestone unicorn on the ass; the colored jersey tops with nice draping, however, are just fine. And they're comfortable, wearable, cheap, and damn cute!

Because if you're wearing clothes that make you feel vibrant and excited you'll never look (or feel) "your age."

I'll stop ranting now.

9:49 PM  
Blogger Mimi said...

So, if you do color your hair you're going to show us, right? I have to tell you that some people are just that dumb and say dumb things like that without it being a reflection on you! I'm 47 and have a 3 yr old that I've been asked MANY times if she's my grandbaby. It especially happens when my almost 21 yr old daughter is with us! I've been told for years that I don't look ___ age (that I am at the time). I never asked for that! I'm good with my age, and yes I do color my hair! I have done that since I was 20, so why stop now?! Having my youngest at 43 did feel like I aged quickly, but I'm still good with that. Those people that want to open their mouths and insert their foot or feet, well that's their problem!

10:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bad Mother-
That stinks. I'd kill to have your platinum hair. Mine's gone mousy and silver, ick. Maintenance is a bitch, as I'm sitting here with almost inch long roots and the appointment is in three weeks. Gack!! If it happens again, just tell the fool that it's your little brother. That should shut them up.

10:28 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

You do NOT look like a grandmother. I love your hair colour, I think it's fabulous. But if you feel you need a change, I'd go for a funky cut instead. Maintenance on coloured hair is a bitch.

11:14 PM  
Blogger MarĂ­a said...

NO! I love your hair color! NO!! Leave it alone!

11:15 PM  
Blogger Lin said...

I think your hair color is exquisite, but if YOU want to change it and you're not changing it because some stranger made some thoughtless, idiotic comment, then how about putting in some dark blond highlights.

11:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw you speak about mommyblogging in the Spring. When I got home, I told my husband how stimulating the talk was, and how spectacular your hair was. I like the hair.

12:00 AM  
Blogger S said...

do not change it! it's striking, it's you.

12:29 AM  
Blogger Sam said...

Did no one tell you that today was national Ask Stupid Questions and Make Even Stupider Comments Day? I got it too. A fast food worker made my fucking day. Asshats. Keep the hair the way it is, okay?

12:30 AM  
Blogger The Coffee Lady said...

oh this happened to my friend, and she looks FANTASTIC. Not frumpy. Not old. She has amazing coloured hair.

Ignore the daft bat

4:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I personally think that your hair is an awesome platinum color and I would have never taken you for a grandmother. Take that for what it's worth.

4:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have always thought that your hair was already dyed platinum blonde- it looks very glam.

Once I was flicking through the rails in a boutique, and pulled out a dress. The manager said "oh that kind of thing is made for women like her (nodding towards a tall, skinny model type girl also in the shop), not for women built like us".

I was flabbergasted a) that she'd make such a personal comment b) that she'd throw away a customer like that and c) that she was pulling me in to her own body image issues.

Anyway, I was *totally* thinner than her. Sniff.

7:08 AM  
Blogger Shannon said...

I love the platinum! Same boat, 30's with 70% platinum, but mixed with brown, so vanity dictates I dye until 100%. Can't wait for that day to come though. I think it will be fab!

8:01 AM  
Blogger josetteplank.com said...

Well, think of it this way - maybe the stereotype of the frumpy, housecoat granny is being eroded. Maybe "grandmother" is the new sexy? I think Helen Mirren is doing wonders for my eventual image.

As I get older, I am getting more comfortable with my "looks" - although I wish I would have appreciated more that there was something there to appreciate when I was younger.

Now, that said, I just bought a highlighting kit. Being 42 with a 2 year old when my 44 year old neighbor has two grandchildren my kid's age is...weird.

Anyway...my dear, you're gorgeous with any color hair. But can't wait to see the results!

9:06 AM  
Blogger Amelia Sprout said...

Don't color! I need inspiration for my own black, getting more silver by the day, hair.

We'll soo how long I hold up, but I'm sticking to my, "leave it the color it is (so I don't get skunk like roots) and moisturize more" for now.

I love your hair, seriously, it is inspiring.

9:20 AM  
Blogger Becky said...

The platinum is lovely, but I sympathize. Do like my mother in law and just get blonder and blonder with age!

9:22 AM  
Blogger litanyofbritt said...

i say if you want a change, go dark. but don't want a change because mall-lady is half blind. probably inhaled too much perfume.

plus-- maybe she has a really hot grandma?
not helping. sorry.

9:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Personally, I think your hair is awesome just the way it is. And just because she thought you were older than you are doesn't mean she thought you were not attractive/stylish/whatever. Youth and beauty are not synonymous.

9:34 AM  
Blogger Mimi said...

I love your platinum hair! If you colour it, how am I going to pick you out of the crowd when it's, ummmm, *crowded*?

Dude. I'm so sorry.

FWIW, my mom always called me 'striking'--for exactly the same reasons. She also said I looked like Marlene Dietrich, which in my stupidity and youth I imagined to be an insult. Marlene Dietrich has a DISTINCTIVE NOSE just like me, isn't pert and cute. Oh well. I grew out of my self-loathing, too.

I wish my hair had gone lighter rather than darker as I got older, btw.

9:49 AM  
Blogger mamatulip said...

Personally, I have always really loved your hair, and I don't think you *need* to colour it, but do what YOU want to do. Do it for you, not for that saleslady who should have known better.

9:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I started going grey at 19. Which was cool, then. I had little shots of silver running through my otherwise very dark hair.

And then, at 33, it became a sign of age. Which was thoughtfully pointed out to me by someone else.

I've been using the bottle (of dye) ever since.

It happens to us all.

10:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about some streaks of pink?
Just kidding, but maybe something out of the ordinary?

10:26 AM  
Blogger BabyonBored said...

Okay, since we don't really know each other, I will say that I think you should definitely go stronger with the hair color. Only because I think it can easily be mistaken for gray and in today's world there are so many options!!! You will feel a hundred times better and look so much younger. And it's a lot cheaper and less invasive than the Botox I most certainly need since my laugh lines turned into deep deep creases. I'm saving up. But, yes, do your hair! If I were you I'd even go dark and be striking even though you hate that (but I know you don't want to do the maintenance - so how about honey blonde - not platinum cause it will look too fake -do a warm blonde. YOu will love it.

11:27 AM  
Blogger Sukhaloka said...

I made a similar faux pas once. Asked a gentleman holding a schoolbag with my school's logo "Do you have a daughter or granddaughter in X school?"
Would have been forgettable... had i not been Head Girl and had that man not later turned out to be my professor in Uni!

12:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's a warm spot in your hair in these photos. I think if you colored it all that color- warmer- you'd look even hotter. ;)

12:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I totally feel where you're coming from! I got my first gray hair two years ago at 35 and almost cried. I've started to notice all the wrinkles and especially the change in my skin around my neck and it makes me kind-of sad. I will say that there was a woman at the hair salon the other day who had premature gray hair and she had it lighten a bit and cut short and she looked stunning - she was totally working it and she looked great!

I think you look fantastic from your pictures and definitely do NOT look like a grandmother!

12:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I use the semi-permanent dyes that wash out after 28 shampoos. For me, I use a dark blonde and they never actually last 28 washes, and I have strawberry-honey-blonde hair to start with. You could go that route and see if you like it before committing to the permanent kind. I think a warmer blonde would be terrific, but then again, I'm not naturally blessed with platinum locks!

12:43 PM  
Blogger Stephanie Wilson she/her @babysteph said...

I love your hair. I love your look. I am so sorry that she made you second guess your fabulousness.


12:46 PM  
Blogger Stephanie Wilson she/her @babysteph said...

Well, obviously nothing could probably make you second guess your fabulousness, but just the whole faux pas of the situation. Bums me out.


12:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

catherine your hair is a stunning colour!...i can not tell you how many times i have been asked if i am grandmama to my 2 youngest...i have in the past dyed my blonde metallic gray hair pink & fire engine red...i suppose i am unlike a lot of women and have no problems with getting older in fact i have a friend in her 30's and told her i am going to start buying dove pro age because then salesgirls will think wow doesn't she look great for someone in her 50's.lol..

1:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been lightening or dying my hair since my teens. I'm a color junkie. Mostly I stuck to blonde hues. It wasn't until I decided to go red in my mid-30s that I finally felt comfortable in my skin. Not that I was ever uncomfortable, but there was just a sense of "this is what I'm suppose to look like." During my recent pregnancy I colored back to my natural to minimize maintenance. DD is 6mo old and am once again back to red. I've decided the maintenance is totally worth it.

An ex-boyfriend's mum had stunning natural platinum. I had asked him what color her hair was before it turned. He said he didn't know. She had been platinum his whole life. I thought she was the coolest thing on earth at that moment. She just owned it.

Getting to my point...do as you like with your hair. If you are comfortable with your natural platinum then keep it. If you feel it needs to be enhanced, then do it. Own your look.

and for what it's worth...I think you look fabulous!

1:24 PM  
Blogger zipbagofbones said...

I was just telling someone today that a distant cousin of mine went silver - totally silver - at 23 or 24, some really young age - and I always secretly hoped I would get that gene somehow. I LOVE the platinum silver hair! You're gorgeous :)

2:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You clearly have a beautiful, youthful look - not for a minute should you let someone's erroneous assumption make you uncomfortable.

Now, with that said, it's a data point. So, if you're beginning to detect changes in how you're perceived by others, and you don't like the misperception. By all means - do something about it!

2:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First time commenter just popping in to say that your platinum hair is beautiful; you are beautiful - don't change a thing, especially because of an obviously blind sales clerk.

5:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your hair is beautiful and that salesgirl is a dolt. But that said, do whatever makes you feel good. Hair grows out! (I had to stop coloring mine when I got pregnant and sadly it's all its natural color again).

8:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

C -- that would be disconcerting and upsetting. When I was 17 I tipped the scales at 297lbs and, as a result, it was difficult to discern what gender I belonged to -- as adipose tissue renders one sexless. I could have been a man or a woman -- judging me from the posterior view and, as a result, was addressed by a myriad of names some not fit to print.

I have always thought that you are one of the most beautiful women I have ever known. I am surprised by your musings on your physical appearance as I have never seen the imperfections that you see.
What I see is a beautiful and brilliant woman who celebrates life and the moments that count.

8:04 PM  
Blogger Kim @ Ponytaildiaries.com said...

Catherine, I'm not even going to try to tell you how beautiful you are. My guess is you already "know" that. And I'm sure, even though I didn't read, you have a myriad of comments about that, too. Most telling you how beautiful you are and probably one or two taking this opportunity to make themselves feel better by kicking you when you feel bad. Because that's the nature of humans. We feel better if we make someone else feel horrible. And just for the record? THOSE people we should totally point at laugh at if you have the opportunity. Maybe we can get together later and schedule that.

But what I will say? I so get it. I was in a store recently and at 34 years old had a girl who looked to be maybe 20 tell me how this product would help with the "wrinkles around my eyes" and I literally wanted to throttle her. Ahh...but I think today I'll change my view. I'll pity both of these sales people for being the ignorant ones who just cost them self commission.

8:35 AM  
Blogger Maggie, Dammit said...


Oh baby. You poor, sweet, beautiful, young-looking thing.

Fuck, that saleswoman must feel SO AWFUL.

Oh, I'm so sorry this happened. You are beautiful. You are. Look at you.

3:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Long time reader, first time commenter here :)

I'm 24 and have more wrinkles than you, seriously, not kidding. I'm telling you it's just the hair. She saw the hair and made an assumption. The first time I saw a picture of you (somewhere on this blog, or maybe from a BlogHer photo thing somewhere) I too thought you were older, not because of your face or clothes but just because of the color of your hair.

Dye it if you want, it will definitely and absolutely make you look younger, if that's what you want, which sounds pretty good to most of us I bet. But just know you're not a frumpy-looking wrinkly old lady :)

5:16 PM  
Blogger SM said...

In the restaurant at lunch with some lady friends of mine (who, I grant you, are actually grandmothers and great grandmothers - none of them are under 55 and a couple are over 80), I'm with my 3 yo and 5 yo!!! and the waitress says, "Your grandchildren are so adorable!" I am 40, overweight, frumpy, but still. Ouch. It sucked.

9:45 PM  
Blogger SM said...

Oh yeah - and I have only one grey hair (neatly tucked under so it's invisible) and don't wear glasses. It sucked, I tell ya.

10:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm 32 and my partner is 38. I've lost count of the number of times when a salesperson/waiter/stranger has made a comment indicating they thought she was my mother. That's not fun. Her hair is a really light blond, too. I've always chalked it up to people trying to figure out the relationship - obviously we are closer than friends. They go for sisters a lot but the mom comments have been pretty painful for her. Having our son out with us now puts the grandmother comment on the table. Ouch. It's an unexpected hit to the ego for sure.

8:14 AM  
Blogger Momily said...

at the library where i work, I made the mistake ONCE of telling a little boy with a man who certainly looked to be in his 50s that he had "such a nice grandpa!" When the man snorted at me, "it's daddy, thank you" i felt like the world's biggest asshole. This was years ago and since then i always err on the side of caution - better to call grandma "mom" and make her day than the other day around. if it's any consolation, i'm sure the salesperson who said that to you feels awful and will never mis-step in the same way! i'm so cowed that i never even comment on a very pregnant looking woman's pregnancy on the off-chance that she is not pregnant!

11:34 AM  
Blogger Momily said...

PS don't dye your hair because of this! i have kids that are pretty much the same age as yours (3yo and 7mo)an i don't know about you, but i can barely keep up with my existing "beauty" regime (toothbrushing counts, right?) . . . i couldn't imagine having to worry about roots showing on top of it. your hair looks fabulous to me . . .

11:42 AM  
Blogger Shonda Little said...

My good friend's mother's hair turned prematurely platinum, as you called it. I've always looked for the white way to describe her hair because it's not white, nor is it silver. But, what it is is beautiful. People always commented on it. She says it turned that way when she was 23, before she even had children. While her daughter's hair hasn't turned, both her sons had silver hair by the time they were 25.
Don't color your hair. DON'T. I envy it.

12:39 PM  
Blogger OHmommy said...

perfect post.

10:35 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Late to the party, but that totally happened to me this summer... and I freaked the hell out on the dude... like bunny-boiler nutso.

He totally deserved it.

1:16 PM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

Commenting on your comment-free post:

I love you just the way you are.

Now tell me to shut up and get off your lawn.

2:49 PM  
Blogger clara said...

1. the new hair looks great!
2. not because of the colour, necessarily, but because the you under the hair looks happier
3. IME - and I used to dye a lot - it's the act of dying the hair that improves the mood, not the result
4. controlling your life not vice versa
5. which is why spending big $$ at a salon is rarely as good as shutting yourself in the loo with toxic chemicals
6. and wine, too, sometimes

4:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Get thee some Manic Panic and add a pink streak! Or two! You have the perfect hair for it, and it would look great.

(Wouldn't recommend blue streaks, however: it fades to green on blonde hair.)

9:13 PM  
Blogger k_sra said...

everyone in the world has weighed in, and the issue is already moot since your dyed your hair, but i am expecting my first and am discovering where the silvers have been quietly growing in my cinammon hair. i love them. they are like genius and brightness and light. i also realize they will make me look old, but age just means i'm doing something right. i say, skip color and go for cut. experiment with face shape and fresh ways to frame your gorgeous open eyes. i also have a distinguished nose and have learned to embrace it. not literally of course, that would be awkward...

11:46 AM  
Blogger Surprised Suburban Wife said...

The new hair is great. Similar to the original but great. And believe me, there is nothing, NOTHING, great about being mistaken for your child's babysitter when you are in your 30s.

12:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you're gorgeous; not frumpy or old looking at all! And I love the new hair too, it looks awesome!

7:50 PM  
Blogger SM said...

Did you just say you were pregnant? Did I catch that?

12:59 AM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

Shannon - ha - no (hell no) but you're not the only one who thought that!

9:15 AM  

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