Okay, okay...I admit it: I dyed my hair, well, if using, "Just for Men, Light Brown" to cover some of the gray, anyway. I am not sure why I did it and I will probably not do so again, but early one Saturday morning, after looking in the mirror and seeing how gray I was becoming (way more 'salt' than 'pepper' these days), I dyed my hair. Anybody who knows me will tell you that I am not a vain person. I get most of my clothes from COSTCO. I don't iron anything (except for my uniforms, of course), and I don't shave most days. Okay, I do admit to having 3 good features: my hair (I still have a bunch of it, while many guys my age do not); my eyes (a mix of green and hazel which I am told make them quite beautiful); and, well, you'd have to know me pretty well to see have access to that (or have a user ID on one or more of the more 'adult' oriented sites of which I am a member).
Still, for some reason, I had a 'vain' moment and dyed my hair. The good news, nobody noticed. It wasn't until I mentioned it to a close friend or two that people noticed. My young man didn't even notice the difference. I guess I picked a color which looked natural enough and since some of the gray still shown through, it was a pretty subtle change. The bad news, I felt completely ridiculous doing it. I've commented before that we should all be accepting of who we are and how we look. And, as you know if you read my writings, I find it completely antithetical for us to try and look older than we do, if we are young, or younger than we do, if we are older. I mean, part of the attraction between older guys and younger ones is the physical appeal each has for the other. Still...
Back when I was a young buck, I was one of those guys who looked/seemed older than his years. When I was a student at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, for example, at 18, I had a regular bar. I'd show up, nod at the bartender, walk past the bar, and as I started up the stairs to have dinner, my drink of choice would (a Tequila Sunrise at the time) appear at the corner of the bar. I never got carded and nobody ever believed me when I'd give my age. I am not sure it if was the way I dressed (I was quite the preppy back then), or how I carried myself. People just always thought I was older.
In my mid-30's, that started to change. An actor, I started getting cast as 'young fathers', instead of middle-aged executives. While my friends started getting thick in the middle and loosing their hair, I sort of continued to look the same. I remember, at age 36, when I got my first gray hair. Sure, I also got wrinkles around my eyes, etc. but in general, instead of folks thinking I was 10 years older than my age, people started thinking I was 10 years younger. Approaching 50 at full speed (I turn 49 in October), people have often commented that I look much closer to 40 than 50.
So, what made me have a 'vain' moment. I am not sure. Perhaps I am finally starting to look my age. Perhaps it is because I have been dating someone young enough to be my son (he leaves for graduate school across the country soon. My feelings on that will be the subject of an upcoming blog entitled, "Turn out the lights, the party is over). Who knows? The moment did, however, make me start to think. How vain is it okay to be? Or perhaps the question is, how vain am I comfortable being?
I believe we should all have a strong sense of ourselves, including how we look. Such a sense is hard to have. I don't know about you, casual reader, but I am far more critical of myself then are others. Still, I think it is a bad idea for anybody to start believing their own press. At my age, a sense of comfort in who I am seems like a good attribute. I am happier now, or more content, anyway, than I have ever been. I think it is okay to be vain enough to care about your health and well being. Perhaps even having a certain amount of vanity about our looks, as looking is often a sign of good health. As to how vain I am comfortable being, well, that remains to be seen. If you asked me today, I'd say, "nope, not dying my hair again". I think it was an interesting experiment. I am glad I did it. Perhaps, I'll feel different another day, but I think it will remain just an interesting experiment. Something I did, perhaps out of vanity, but something I am not likely to do again.
At least, that is what THIS DADDY thinks.