Sharon Randall is life
What is the chore you dread with passion? The one you keep pushing away for as long as you can until that voice in the back of your head (mine sounds like my mother’s) says, “You might as well get it over with, because I don’t. am not about to. for you.”
In fact, I can think of a number of not-so-simple tasks that fit into the “dreaded” category. Some days life seems full of them.
The preparation of declarations, for example. Yes, it’s that time of year. Our dining room table is buried in papers that my husband and I will spend hours on, then pay an accountant to figure out.
Or dental exams. I just had my teeth cleaned a few days ago. It was completely painless, but I still lose sleep over it.
Or clean the oven. Hmm. I must dread this very much. I can’t remember the last time I did it.
Anyway. Here’s the ridiculous thing about drudgery I’m dreading today: I don’t have to. I could pay someone to do it for me (and get better results) or I could just give up and never bother doing it again.
Why the hell do I keep doing something I don’t need or want to do? You might call it vanity. It’s a fancy word for caring a bit too much about your looks. Or as my mother would say, “She thinks the sun comes up every morning just so people can marvel at her face.”
(I’m not sure my mom ever said that. I’m just saying she would have, if she had thought of it.)
So what chore am I dreading today? Dye my gray hair.
I’ve been coloring my roots for longer than I can remember and it never gets easier. First I have to mix the porridge, being careful not to spill it, otherwise I’ll have to clean up the mess, then run to the store to buy more porridge.
Then I have to part my hair into tiny rows, one row at a time, and apply the goop, just like that, making sure to cover every square inch or I’ll end up speckled with gray patches like an old mangy dog we call Speckles.
Then I have to wait half an hour with a plastic cap on my head, hoping I don’t have to answer the door and scare the poor FedEx guy to death.
Finally, I wash it, dry it, curl it, then start counting the days until I start again.
Yes, I could go to a salon, and I will on occasion, but it’s faster and cheaper to do it myself. In my defense, I will say this: it is not entirely a question of vanity.
Years ago I was driving my 4 year old son and his buddy Eric to preschool when we passed a parked car covered with a tarp.
“Look at this,” I heard Eric say to Josh. “Adults are so dumb. Everyone knows there’s a car under there.
Dyeing my roots is not fooling anyone. Everyone knows there’s gray hair down there. It’s not just about how others see me. It’s about how I see myself and how I feel.
Two years ago, at the start of the pandemic shutdown, when I was not seen by anyone but my husband, who probably wouldn’t notice, I decided to go gray. So I did. For two months.
Then one day I looked in the mirror and saw a white stripe in the middle of my head and said, “I look like a skunk.”
I can’t speak for you. But for me? It’s hard to feel good about yourself if I look like a skunk.
So I colored my roots that day, and I’ve kept them more or less colored ever since. Especially on days like we all have from time to time, when for some reason we want to feel better.
I have friends who have gone gray and they look great. I don’t plan on coloring my hair forever. But I will today. I have a root canal tomorrow and I need all the help I can get.
Root canals definitely fall into the “dreaded” category. I can almost hear my mom say, “Don’t worry, honey, you’ll be fine.” Just try to be your best and lean on the Lord. And remember, a little lipstick never hurts.
Sharon Randall is the author of “The World and Then Some”. She can be reached at PO Box 922, Carmel Valley CA 93924 or www.sharonrandall.com.