I was thinking, though, about another change of color. One I find far more ominous and frightening.
I have blond hair. It is true. I have white eyebrows and a red beard. It is sort of like my genotype just couldn't make up its mind about what sort of phenotype it wanted to produce. Yeah, even my genes are wishy-washy. However, because of the red beard (and the, ehm, "fair" complexion) people in the operating room just assume I have red hair as well (since they always see me with an OR cap on). And while the reports are that I had red hair when I was born, I have never seen photographic evidence of this. Mom, I'll just have to take your word for it.
Be that as it may, my hair is blond. Not almost-white-blond, but not really red or strawberry-blond either. It hides things well. Things like gray/white hairs. I consider this as something that works in my favor.
Something else that works in my favor is that, for about 8 years or so, I kept my hair mostly buzzed. Not Gillette smooth, but very short. You know, no attachment on the clippers short. Earlier this year I decided I would try the whole hair thing again. Interestingly, quite a few people told me I actually looked younger with hair. Bonus. Right?
I'm not so sure.
A few weeks ago, my dear wife was standing close by and looking at my head. Not sure why, but there you go. Suddenly she asked, innocently enough, "Is that a gray hair?"
I was taken aback. I was speechless. I was horrified. I was irrational. For reasons I still cannot explain, that simple question was so offensive to me. The very notion that I was starting to go gray was anathema. My wife looked at me as if I had lost my mind. She tried to assuage my grief, ensuring that it was "dignified". Hogwash. It isn't dignified. It is OLD.
In an effort to rally the troops to my side, I mentioned this experience to some fellow residents. To my horror, they agreed that I was overreacting! What is their problem? I am too freaking young to have white hairs!
To the bathroom. Tweazers in hand, I gazed into the mirror. I saw an errant sideburn hair. Grabbed, pulled, out. I looked closely. Crap. It was white. A few minutes later, a few more hairs, all white. But I think I got them all.
Fast forward to this week. Again, while looking at my sideburns, my wife sees another couple of white hairs. And POINTS THEM OUT TO ME!!! As if my reaction the first time wasn't enough, she tempted fate and went down that dark path again. My reaction was, well, irrational. Again.
Reflecting on my reaction, I just don't know why this is bothering me so much. My hair color hides the white hairs quite well. You only notice if you are looking closely. Nevertheless, I am really bothered by this. I mean, I am only 33. Going gray/white already? And yet, it has never phased me when I see those younger than me with much more gray adorning their crowns.
Some times it frightens me just how crazy I am.