Goldilocks and the 3 White Hairs

by Sage K. Penn
Originally Published: 

I separated one from my mane, trying to convince myself it was a platinum hair. There is no way it could be white. Shouldn’t I have plenty of years to go before my hair betrays me?

I was wrong. It was not platinum. I haven’t had platinum hair since childhood. Two pregnancies had changed my once bright blond to an unnamed color that floats between brown and honey. I hesitated before pulling it out, hearing my mother say, “If you pull out one, two will grow back in.”

I ignored her voice in my head. Instead, I furrowed my brow, took a determined breath and pulled that traitor out by its roots. Ha! Emboldened by success, I snatched the second aging strand and ripped it out too. Yes! I am still in charge here, and I will be victorious!

I wrapped the twin hairs around my index finger. They weren’t so bad. They were snow white, not dirty gray. Not coarse, but smooth. Not dull, but reflecting the sunlight streaming through my bathroom window. They represented life.

They were evidence that I made it to adulthood and perhaps gained some wisdom to dispense. They were dignified. Yes. I am fierce! I am a woman who has lived! I can give advice to new moms! I have made it through babies and medical traumas and potty training and kindergarten, all while maintaining a career!

I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. Cheeks flushed, chest heaving, eyes bright, lips parted. I was triumphant. I was a woman in charge. My eyes narrowed as I tried on a sexy face. Yes! A captivating force!

Toss the hair into a wild mess, pucker up the lips just a little more, raise the right eyebrow just a smidge, tilt the smile into an ironic half twist. Ah. There. The woman in the mirror? She is a woman who knows things. Intriguing things. Provocative things. She can break a man with her eyes.

I blinked. Why does the mirror lady have a shiny eyebrow? I leaned toward the mirror making eye contact with the temptress. She had something on her eyebrow. No, it wasn’t on her eyebrow. It was in her eyebrow. Hell.

In a flash the woman oozing sex and mystery disappeared, leaving me deflated in the bathroom. Me, with a stick straight white hair poking angrily out of my cocky eyebrow. The one that was raised in a sardonic invitation to come find out what I know. That eyebrow looked silly now, dancing above an eye that radiated doubt where fearlessness lived only a moment before. I dropped my head into my hands and indulged in a moment of mourning. Poor me. Getting old.

I angled my head back up to the mirror and peeked through my fingers at the third rogue. Images of my grandfather’s bushy, white caterpillar eyebrows haunted me. Old eyebrows with hairs as long as Kim Kardashian’s fake eyelashes. I cannot let that be my legacy.

Sayonara, bitch. My tweezers and I are bringin’ sexy back.

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