Joy And Anguish In A Canadian Village: The Grey Gang

in Community/Storytelling/Writing by

My husband retired.

Don’t ask me how THAT came about, because he’s so YOUNG.   But I too am pretty young and, except for some holes in my retinas and lumps here and there, I’m still full of beans.

What seemed like A FEW MINUTES after my husband’s retirement party, we sold our home in Calgary and moved to a seaside town next to the forest. We love our house in the village.

One day, a friend said we should join the Newcomers Club.

We’d been away from the Wet Coast for twenty years, but we remembered the winter.  It would be VERY dark after the rains began, so we thought new friends might be a good idea.

When I arrived at a luncheon meeting of the Newcomers Club a week later, I was shocked. Everywhere I looked, there were people talking and smiling, but most of them HAD GREY HAIR. Where were all the people MY age?

Odd things have happened lately.

Most people are friendly in this tiny town, but cashiers in the stores keep offering DISCOUNTS for no reason.

Even the Mainland bus drivers have asked me if I would like ‘The Seniors Rate’. Why the heck would they ask me that? I’m ONLY SIXTY-TWO !

One day I hopped on a bus with my suitcase. I was fully prepared to ride standing up, but an ENTIRE FOURSOME leapt to their feet , each offering their seat. I turned to look behind me for the elderly or disabled person they were trying to help — and there was no one there.

One of the Good Samaritans looked straight into my eyes and asked if I wanted his seat. I was wearing my Mary Jane shoes, capris and what I thought was a youthful expression, but there was no doubt these people THOUGHT I WAS OLD. Weird !

My hair was very dark for years. Streaks of grey appeared when my first daughter entered puberty. The hairdresser mixed in some blonde streaks, and after a few years with three teenagers I had NO IDEA what colour my hair was.

Now my hair is a new shade I can’t identify. I do enjoy champagne, so THAT must be the colour on my head.

I made the startling discovery after a couple more Newcomers Club events that MANY of the members were the SAME AGE AS ME.

One day, I noticed a reflection in a restaurant window and saw a pair of GREY HAIRED WOMEN, seemingly sitting at our table !

I now realize… that pale-haired reflection is here to stay.

I’m getting used to it, though, and I know I’m lucky to be able to go out paddling, to snowshoe in the winter, and take our dog for walks.

After all, except for some holes in my retinas and lumps here and there, I’m a fortunate woman, and still full of beans.

 

1 Comment

  1. Hmmmmmmmmm, were you talking about me??? Yes, I started with the grays at age 20 and have never regretted doing nothing about it. I unknowingly got my first senior’s discount at 48! Then it became a bit of a challenge to see where I could get the discounts without ever having to lie. The gray hair is just appearance, it’s how young or old you feel inside. Happy to have met you Deborah! Glad we share the same little town.

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