Virtual road trips!

Youtube is my go-to place for … well, just about everything.   Youtube is a wonder and one of its most wondrous gifts is the ability it gives you, the viewer, to travel anyplace in the world you would like to go, and you don’t need a dime.   The #1 thing on my bucket list is to travel the world.  But since I can’t afford to literally hop all over the world on a  whim, I can still get a pretty good facsimile of the real thing by taking a virtual road trip on Youtube.

You can take a virtual road trip almost anywhere in the world on Youtube.  Just type in “driving in” or “driving to” [fill in country, state or city].”   Chances are, there is a video taken from someone’s dashcam of the actual road trip.  Many of these are accompanied by music.   Obvously, some are much higher quality than others.  I prefer the ones where the driver isn’t talking, and just allows you, the viewer to enjoy the view from the car.

Here is an amazing video (it’s almost seven hours long) of the drive from Los Angeles to New York City.   It’s all here, speeded up (and deleting the parts where the driver had to stop).  Viewing it in full will take a long time, but you don’t have to worry about inconveniences like a full bladder, having to stop for gas, or the discomfort of sitting in a car for hours at a time.   While driving through Nebraska, he pulls over to watch the solar eclipse (this starts at about 3:29:12).   I do wish music had been added, but you can play your own driving music while you watch this, if that’s your preference.  I  also like to enlarge the video to full-screen, which makes the experience even more realistic.

I spent yesterday also “driving” through many parts of Europe.   I was surprised by the fact that driving in most European countries is identical to driving here in the states.   You will see the same green road signs and mile markers, road markings, and exit design.   The same road rules that apply here also apply in these countries.   The UK and China (there may be others) are exceptions, because people drive on the left hand side of the road instead of the right.   That seems very strange (and dangerous) to me.  But in mainland Europe, people drive on the right hand side, the way they do here.

Here is an incredible drive from the Austrian-Italian border through the Italian Alps to the town of Tolmezzo.   The drive covers about 258 km (160 miles).

I find watching these videos a great way to relax, have fun, and satisfy my curiosity about what it’s like driving in places I’ve never been.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Projection and Trump’s snake story.


When someone shows you who they are, believe them.
— Maya Angelou


Several times at his rallies, Donald Trump has done something out of character — he has delved into literature to make a point, specifically poetry.  Ironically, the poem Trump has chosen to recite to refer to the immigrants he dislikes so much was written by a black 1960s soul singer and social activist, Oscar Brown Jr.

The other day, in front of the White House lawn, a huge crowd of supporters gathered,  and once again, Trump recited the words of “The Snake:”

On her way to work one morning

Down the path alongside the lake

A tender-hearted woman saw a poor half-frozen snake

His pretty colored skin had been all frosted with the dew

“Oh well,” she cried, “I’ll take you in and I’ll take care of you”

“Take me in oh tender woman

Take me in, for heaven’s sake

Take me in oh tender woman,” sighed the snake

She wrapped him up all cozy in a curvature of silk

And then laid him by the fireside with some honey and some milk 

Now she hurried home from work that night as soon as she arrived 

She found that pretty snake she’d taken in had been revived

“Take me in, oh tender woman 

Take me in, for heaven’s sake

Take me in oh tender woman,” sighed the snake

Now she clutched him to her bosom, “You’re so beautiful,” she cried

“But if I hadn’t brought you in by now you might have died”

Now she stroked his pretty skin and then she kissed and held him tight 

But instead of saying thanks, that snake gave her a vicious bite

“Take me in, oh tender woman 

Take me in, for heaven’s sake

Take me in oh tender woman,” sighed the snake

“I saved you,” cried that woman

“And you’ve bit me even, why?

You know your bite is poisonous and now I’m going to die”

“Oh shut up, silly woman,” said the reptile with a grin 

“You knew damn well I was a snake before you took me in 

”Take me in, oh tender woman 

Take me in, for heaven’s sake

Take me in oh tender woman,“ sighed the snake 

To those of us who have a knowledge of malignant narcissism and have connected that to Donald Trump’s poisonous character, the snake he refers to here isn’t actually the immigrants he so despises — it’s himself.    The “tender-hearted woman” who took him in are his gullible supporters, who “took him in” and continue to support him, even though his policies will hurt them too.

Donald Trump is the snake, and he knows it.   In almost everything he says and does, he reveals who he is.   This is a psychological defense mechanism known as projection, which is really a form of gaslighting.   It’s also sometimes known as blame-shifting.

Pay attention not to who he demonizes and blames, for that is not the real message he is sending, but to what he is blaming them for.   His negative projections onto others are code (probably unconscious) for what he himself is doing or feeling.   In that sense, he is very transparent and doing us a huge service by warning us how dangerous he is.   There are so many examples of him doing this I won’t even list them all here.

All malignant narcissists project, and once you’re aware of it, you can’t miss it.   A narcissist always reveals himself or herself through the blame they try to shift onto others.  Whenever a narcissist starts pointing fingers, listen to the words they use and then put the narcissist in the place of the person or group they are projecting onto, and you will learn the truth about who they are.   It’s a very handy skill.


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Feeling sorry for inanimate objects.

Originally posted on April 3, 2017

I’m posting this again because today I felt sorry for an ironing board.

My neighbors moved last week and left their ironing board out for the trash. A few days ago I looked at it and saw that it was intact. I hoped someone would rescue it and take it home (I don’t iron so I have no use for it). It was never picked up. Instead, some mean person broke its legs. That made me much sadder than it should have.

Here is the original post.


Credit: Danielle Hamer Photography/Abandoned Objects

I saw someone’s tweet today that caught my attention because I could relate to its sentiment.

True story @ work tonite I completely crushed a paper cup out of stress at work & almost threw it away but felt bad for the cup so I used it. 

And a few minutes later:

This falls under the same category as me feeling sad after accidentally stepping on an ant, but worse.

I thought I was the only one who ever had these absurd feelings of remorse or pity for inanimate objects, but apparently I’m not.

I remember a couple of years ago, when I was painting my kitchen Kelly green, I accidentally flung some of the paint from my brush all over a small throw pillow that had somehow wound up on the kitchen floor and I’d neglected to pick up and bring to safety.  (Don’t ask me how it wound up on the kitchen floor).   A small fake-velvet tan pillow with floral embroidery was permanently ruined with Kelly green paint and it was all my fault.  I had to throw it away and I felt like weeping.

How absurd is that?  I was never attached to that pillow; it was worth nothing.  I probably found it for a buck at some yard sale, but I remember feeling like the worst person in the world because the thing looked so pathetic with lurid green paint splattered over its delicate tan velvet adorned with Chinese-factory made embroidery.

I remember when my daughter was four, she tossed a Pound Puppy out of our car window to see what would happen to it.   Of course I had to keep going, but in my rearview mirror,  I saw the car behind me run over the stuffed toy and flatten it like a pancake.  Its petroleum-based stuffing exploded all over the road like popcorn.   My daughter laughed.  I felt inexplicably sad.

There have been other times like that too.   Like the time that, in frustration, I threw a paperback book (one I’d never read and never intended to read) against the wall and split its binding.  Or  the other time I accidentally burned a cheap oven mitt that had a cute lattice-like pattern on it.     I actually liked that oven mitt, but it had cost me $3 at Dollar General.   There were a gazillion more just like it. Besides, it was intended to be stuck inside a hot oven.   Getting burned was one of the risks that came with its intended use.

None of these were valuable objects, or even objects that had any special meaning to me.  They were just part of the background — things I’d acquired and that were just there.   Things I never thought much about.    Of course I realized they had no feelings, and could feel neither emotional or physical pain.   I’m not an idiot.

And yet, when bad things happened to them — or worse, when I did bad things to them — I felt just terrible, as if I’d killed someone.   Would these inexplicable feelings of guilt had been less had I loved those objects or had they been valuable, either financially or in the sentimental sense?    Maybe I’d have grieved over their loss but have been spared that guilt.   After all, those poor objects were never loved, and then were destroyed through my own carelessness.  Maybe if I’d cared, I wouldn’t have done things like spill green paint all over them or thrown them hard against a wall in frustration.

Sometimes I also feel bad for abandoned or neglected objects.    There’s a website I visit sometimes called Terrible Real Estate Agent Photos.  The site owner has a bizarre obsession with those ubiquitous plastic outdoor chairs.   He or she calls them the “garden chairs of solitude” and positions them in poignant configurations that just rip your heart out, like in this photo:


“Garden chairs of solitude”

Whenever I rescue some forgotten or abandoned object from certain destruction by the trash compactor that barrels down the road every Monday, I feel like I’ve done a good thing for it, as if the thing actually cares.


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

The “red flag” you should never ignore.

Reblogging to test the reblog button’s functionality, and also because this article deserves to be seen again.

Lucky Otters Haven


When it comes to narcissism, there’s a lot of talk about red flags: behaviors that are associated with narcissistic abuse, such as lying, gaslighting, lack of empathy, grandiosity, and refusal to admit wrongdoing.

But there’s one red flag that’s underrated because it’s so subjective: your own intuition.

When you first meet a narcissist, they may seem like the nicest person you ever met. You might not see any of the usual “red flags” immediately. Before you know it, you’re involved with a person who only has ill will and will make you feel like you’re going insane. When you finally realize what you are dealing with, they may have already wreaked havoc in your life–stolen your time, your patience, your trust, your money, your self-esteem, your job, your spouse, your sanity, your identity, even your soul.

Pay attention to the way you feel around someone you just met. If you…

View original post 153 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Reblog button is back!

Thank God!

If yours was missing, it should be on your blogs now.    If you don’t see it, try clearing your cache/cookies, and then you should see it.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Reblog button: still no answers.


After I asked my question last night about why the reblog button disappeared, I checked the WordPress Forums, and found a thread near the top about it:

Apparently the disappearing reblog button is a systemwide issue that is affecting most or all blogs.

None of the “happiness engineers” seem to have any information or seem to know much about the problem other than that it exists.    Rather than apologize for the inconvenience (which they should be doing), we are being snarkily accused of “complaining” and treated in a condescending way — the insinuation being that we “don’t know how” to do a manual reblog or use the Press This or Share feature.

I’m pretty sure we all know how to do a manual reblog.   I’ve done it myself, when I want to “reblog” a post that isn’t on

But the reblog button provides a measure of security.   If someone reblogs your post using the “reblog” button, they cannot edit your content.  All they can do is add a comment of their own if they wish to do so.   Manually reblogging a post means it is possible to edit it.     The reblog button is/was a very convenient and popular feature.

It was also suggested by the happiness engineers to use the “Press This” button or share the post from the Reader, but I dislike both of those methods.

One of the replies in the forum thread explained the difference this way:

Reblog button procedure:
Click the reblog button twice and the story ends here

Press this button procedure:
1) You click the reblog button [I think they meant click “press this” button]
2) You wait for a/the window to appear.
3) You copy some content from the desired article
4) You paste the content from the desired article in the window that just appeared
5) You copy the title of the aforementioned article
6) You paste the title in the title form in the new window
7) You press “publish” TWICE
8) You press the “X” button for the window to disappear

As you can see, “Press This” is a lot more complicated, and the content may not be safe from someone else having the ability to edit it.

Another obvious advantage of the reblog button is it’s so simple to use that people are encouraged to reblog your posts, which helps more people see your blog/increases your hits.   I don’t think people will be doing much reblogging if they have to go through all the complicated steps of the Press This feature or do a manual reblog.   I think most bloggers enjoy the extra visibility that having their posts reblogged gives them, but without the reblog button,  people just won’t bother.

I’m wondering if there’s some kind of coverup going on.   It’s been almost a week now since the reblog button disappeared, which seems way too long for something that simple.  I really hope WordPress isn’t planning to make this a “paid feature” or do away with it altogether as another one of their “improvements” that are anything but.

I hope I’m wrong about this, but after a week, you’d think someone on the WordPress staff would know something more than just telling us to use some other method.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments

What happened to the reblog button?

Why did WordPress take it away?


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 19 Comments

Political ideology and the Overton Window.


I’ve realized over the past year that political ideology is not a straight line, but more of a circle.

If you move too far to either extreme, whether it’s the far left or the far right, you wind up in pretty much the same place:  an oppressive, centralized government, removal of individual freedoms and rights, and suppression of the free press and free speech.   Authoritarianism and totalitarianism is not limited to the far right (fascism).  It also occurs on the far left (communism, which is found in places like China and North Korea, and in the old Soviet Union).

The only difference between fascism and communism is that in fascism, the corporation, a religious organization, or a group of oligarchs become the government and set all the rules.  Dissent is not allowed.  There are signs of this happening in the United States today, and it has already happened in Russia (after a brief experiment with democracy once the Soviet Union fell).  Authoritarian Muslim countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran are also examples of fascist regimes, as was Hitler’s Germany.    Eventually, free enterprise is undermined or suppressed.  In communism, the government itself rules over everyone’s lives, all production is centralized, and free enterprise is not allowed.

Trump’s “food boxes” program reeks of communism to me.    It’s the kind of thing you used to find in the old Soviet Union.   Rather than encouraging personal responsibility by allowing the recipient the dignity and empowerment of making their own food choices (at the same time, boosting the economy and business because food manufacturers and stores make money through SNAP purchases), it gives the recipient no choice and puts that choice instead in the hands of government bureaucrats.

There’s an interesting concept called the Overton Window. This means that as a society moves farther to the right (or the left), what seems to be the “middle ground” also moves farther to that extreme.   The Overton window slides along the scale as public attitudes change.  This is why extremist policies at either end begin to seem normal over time.   A policy that once seemed “radical” or even “unthinkable” begins to seem more acceptable to more people. At the same time, attitudes at the other end of the scale that were once deemed “popular” or “sensible” to most begin to seem unthinkable.  But no matter what extreme a society winds up adopting, tyranny and authoritarianism ensues, and even this can become normalized.

Over the past four or five decades, America has moved farther and farther to the right, and this includes Democrats, who have moved to the right as well.  In fact, today’s Democrats are much more like Republicans of decades ago.    FDR-type Democrats (common during WWII and the early post-war years) are rare today, and are often accused of being socialists.

OvertonWindow (2)


A healthy society is always a balance between the right and the left, though it may tend to lean slightly one way or the other.  Extremes on either side only lead to tyranny and misery for most people who have to live under such extremist regimes.   Democracy requires bipartisanship and cooperation between parties.   In my own opinion, a European or Canadian style of democracy works best, but you can be a little farther to the right and still have a healthy, prosperous, and vibrant society, the way America used to be not that long ago.

Extremes of any ideology never lead to prosperity and happiness.  They always cause a nation to eventually fall into tyranny and finally, ruin.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

A new blog for people who are single and on disability.

My blogging friend, Ruby (“rubycommenting”), has started a new blog called Single and On Disability.  

In her first blog post, she writes:

I started this blog for myself and for others like me who may be single and on disability or even for older folks who are single and retired because I found out it amounts to pretty much the same thing, lots of free time and a low income. I used to be married and there was more to do, but, when I got divorced found myself in a no-mans land not knowing what to do or how best to survive. Ive learned a lot since and plan on talking about how I fill my days and live cheap to improve overall quality of living in this journal type blog.

Ruby has several other short but practical posts up on her blog, and I’m sure she will be adding many more in the near future!

It’s good to know there is a blog that addresses the challenges and issues facing disabled singles, a group that is too often neglected and ignored.

Please take some time and visit her blog!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

How I stopped worrying and learned to love my hair.



I rarely — or maybe never? — write posts about beauty and fashion.    There are plenty of bloggers — most of them much more glamorous and fashionable than I — who write about those things much better than I do, so I leave the stuff about hair, clothing, dieting, and makeup to people who are really into that sort of thing.

I’ve always been a geek and an introvert, and I like being comfortable more than being fashionable.  I have never owned a pair of high heels, for example.  Kitten or low heels, yes, but spike heels? Hell, no.  I hate them.  They’re torture.   I can’t wear them because of my wobbly, easily-sprained ankles (the result of a figure skating accident when I was 15 — yes, I used to figure skate, and I wasn’t half bad either.  I’ll write about that sometime soon, I promise, even though I have no photos of me skating).

I dress like I walked off a time machine from 1994 — worn old jeans, cargo pants (yes, I still love them because I like lots of pockets), sandals or slouchy ankle boots, plaid flannel men’s shirts (I have about 4), T-shirts (though as I get older, it’s getting harder finding T-shirts that are flattering).   If I wear a dress (rarely), they are almost always loose and high waisted floral numbers (flattering to my “comfortable” figure), worn over leggings, black tights, jeans, or black pants.   (I don’t do pantyhose — I hate them).   It’s all very ’90s, though “being ’90s” was never my intention.   You can still get away with looking ’90s, but looking ’70s/’80s will get you some weird looks (and ’70s/80s clothes are NOT comfy).

Unlike about 99.9% of other women, I have never owned a little black dress.   And I don’t care.  I will probably die without ever having owned one.  Is that sad?

Truth be told —  and I hope I don’t sound too snobby — but minds fascinate me more than bodies. That said, I’m still a girl and sometimes I like to indulge in…the pretty externals.   So here is a post about my hair.

Whew, this is going to be a lengthy hair story.   I have a complicated relationship with my hair.   It’s mostly been a hate relationship, but I think I might finally have found peace with my hair and am learning to love it, or at least like it.


Towheaded at age 5 (1964).

I was born nearly bald, but the hair that grew in during my first year was white platinum blonde — and it stayed that way for a long time, probably until I was at least 8 or 9.  My hair was also terribly fine and tangled easily.   It had no weight to it at all, and as it was never stick straight, it was prone to frizzing from the slightest bit of humidity.  People used to compliment me all the time on my “angel hair,” but I hated it.   I hated being the blondest person in my class, and I hated the fact I couldn’t grow my hair long like my friends — because it was so fine it would break off at the ends and become a stringy, knotted mess.  I remember crying when my mother impatiently tried to comb it out, and then she’d yell at me for allowing it to get so tangled and knotty, but I couldn’t help it!

As a result, my mother kept my hair cut in a pixie or other short style, or if it was allowed to grow out, it was worn in two thin ponytails on each side tied with yarn, but it never got beyond just below my shoulders.


Age 7.

I remember envying the girls in my class who had long, thick hair that fell like a curtain down their backs.   I envied their Clairol Long and Silky conditioner (or was it cream rinse?)   At about age 14, I demanded my mother buy me some Long and Silky, even though my hair only just touched my shoulders.  Using it made me feel more normal (and the stuff smelled good), but it did nothing for my thin, pale, easily broken hair.

Growing up in northern New Jersey and later New York, I felt odd with my blonde hair.   It had darkened only a shade or two since I was a baby — the color was no longer the platinum of my early childhood — by my early teens had developed a slight streakiness, with the underlayer being a slightly darker medium blonde.   If you had to give my color a name, you would probably call it champagne blonde or beige blonde with medium blonde lowlights, but I still hated it.   Most people thought my hair was beautiful, and they couldn’t understand why I hated it.    How could I explain at the tender age of 15 that I felt…too white?    Most of my friends in my New Jersey and New York neighborhoods and at my schools were of Italian, Jewish, Hispanic, or some other darker-haired, darker-skinned heritage,  and so I felt self conscious and so conspicuously white — and that was not cool!


Long and Silky ad from the 1970s.  I wanted hair like these girls!

Another problem I had with my blonde hair were the inevitable dumb blonde jokes that were always directed my way.   I was book smart and usually made high grades, but I was also very sensitive and the jokes hurt my weak sense of self-esteem and began to make me feel like maybe I really was dumb after all.   I felt like I had to make a big show of being smart all the time, in order to prove that I could be blonde and also be smart.  It was very stressful always having to prove myself.   I felt like, because of my hair color, people just didn’t take me seriously, and treated me like I was stupid, even though I wasn’t.  I hated feeling like I had to be on all the time, and couldn’t just be myself, because the real me might come off stupid and make those dumb blonde jokes true.

To this day, I don’t understand why blonde jokes aren’t considered racist or at least politically incorrect.  But people still tell them, and seem to like them;  even other blondes like them.  In fact, some blondies seem almost proud of being seen as “dumb blondes” but that was never me.   Maybe you have to have a healthier sense of self to be able to appreciate such jokes if you’re a blonde, but in my teens, I had dismally low self esteem and could not laugh at myself.    I cringed when I heard those jokes, and felt like running away in shame.

A third factor contributed to my hair-hatred.  I felt very rebellious toward my narcissistic parents, who seemed to love my hair color more than my talents, my intelligence, or my personality.   They always bragged about how “Lauren was the only blonde baby in the nursery” or “Lauren is the only blonde in her 5th grade class.”  God, how I hated those “compliments.”  They made me cringe.   I just wanted to be like the other kids, dammit.  Why couldn’t they understand this?


This isn’t a picture of me, but of my daughter at about age 9.  The color of her hair here is what my color was from mid- childhood up until my mid-teens, when I decided to start dying it.  (My daughter’s hair is dark blonde now, and she actually lightens hers).

When I turned 16, I found the solution to my problem.   I decided to dye my hair.  I had a sort of crush/obsession on a girl, Denise, who I thought was gorgeous — mostly for her long, shiny, silky curtain of light-chestnut brown hair with its gorgeous reddish-gold highlights.  It swung when she moved her head!  Mine never swung like that!   Compared to her hair, my hair looked so washed out and boring — it was mostly all one color: pale beige blonde on top with ashy medium blonde undertones.   I also didn’t like the way there was hardly any contrast with my pale skin.   I thought darker hair would make me look more dramatic and bring out my attractive facial features more.

So I decided Denise’s light chestnut brown hair was the color I wanted, and to my shock and delight, my mother reluctantly allowed me to dye my hair that color, although she insisted I use a temporary dye that would wash out in 6 shampoos.   She moaned pitifully and literally cried during the whole process.  “You’re going to ruin your hair!”  “It will never be the same again!”  “People would kill for hair the color yours is, what is wrong with you?” and “Why on God’s green earth would you want to have mousy brown hair?”

Well, as things turned out, I loved the results.  I liked them so much I decided I was never going back to being a blonde.   To my delight, the chestnut color had come out a little more reddish than it showed on the package, probably because it was several shades darker than my own hair (you’re not supposed to darken your hair more than one or two shades, but I had darkened it by about 3 or 4!)   It looked very natural, it actually fell better (because the dye thickened the hair shaft), I could actually grow it long for the first time in my life (due the the added weight), and my friends actually liked it!  They were puzzled about why I didn’t want to be a blonde (because just about everyone in those days was going lighter, not darker), but they had to admit the light auburn color flattered me and went well with my very light skin.   I only had to wear a bit more makeup than usual.  My self esteem improved, and I no longer felt like I had to prove to everyone that I was smart.  No one would ever again call me a dumb blonde!


Proud of my new long chestnut hair at age 18 (1977)

Over the years, I continued to dye my hair.   Eventually the permanent dyes were drying it out and making it frizzy, so I switched to safer temporary dyes.  An added bonus of the extra color in my hair was that it actually thickened the hair shaft, and made my hair heavier and fall in a more flattering way.    One reason I continued to use dye was for exactly this reason.   I needed the extra weight the dye added to my hair shaft, which made it look so much thicker and fuller.    I did not want to return to the flyaway, hard to manage fine hair of my youth. The leave-in conditioners that are supposed to add body to your hair had never worked for me, they just left my hair feeling greasy.

Eventually, I began to experiment with other colors: bright red, strawberry, auburn, dark brown, black!  The black looked horrific — I looked exactly like Morticia.   I hated it so much the next day,  I went to the hairdresser and begged them to fix it.  They had to spend 3 hours bleaching my hair, but it never got lighter than a medium reddish brown.   My hairdresser decided to enhance the color I wound up with — a color called Red Setter.   It was actually a dark auburn and looked quite pretty.  Although it was still too dark for my complexion, the stylist had done a good job making it look natural.  It wasn’t perfect, but I could live with it for awhile.


My hair in 1996 — way too dark here, but not as bad as the BLACK.  Sorry about the poor quality of the photo.

Once, in my thirties, I even decided to dye my hair platinum blonde just to see what it would look like.  I hated it, and ran back out to the store, my head covered with a bandanna, and selected a dark blonde color to fix it.   After that escapade, my delicate hair was a straw-like frizzy wreck from having been so damaged from all the bleaching and dying.   I went back to the hairdresser and got a short cut to get rid of all the split ends and dry frizz.   The result actually looked cute.

I went back to my tried and true light chestnut brown.   For a time during the early 2000s, I got the idea to dye the underlayer of my hair dark brown and leave the top layer lighter.  I rather enjoyed the two toned effect, but keeping up with it required a lot of maintenance, which requires patience which I don’t have.   A few years ago, I had a haircut and on a whim, told the hairdresser I wanted the strands framing my face to be blonde and a few other blonde highlights.  This decision surprised even me.  The hairdresser fingered through my roots and asked me why I was dying my hair darker since she thought the original color at my roots was much prettier.  “What’s the point of having blonde highlights when you already have a lovely blonde color and are covering it up?” I felt judged.  I decided not to go back to that hairdresser.  I didn’t like her attitude.  She didn’t understand.

I continued to experiment with different colors, even with pink streaks at one point.  But never once did I consider returning to my natural color.  It occurred to me I no longer even knew what my natural color was anymore.  When I reached my late 40s, I realized that I had been dying my hair for so long I really didn’t know what color it was, and not only that, I could have gone gray and didn’t even know it!


A selfie I took three years ago during my adventurous/experimental phase.  Dark brown underlayer, lighter on top, a few pink streaks.  I like this photo of me!

By my 50s, I stopped dying my whole head, because I had noticed that after awhile it always became way too dark at the bottom and lighter at the top, and acquired a muddy, uneven look, so I started dying only the roots.   Eventually the bottom and outer parts of my hair faded back to a sort of golden blonde, not all that different from my original color, just more yellowish.

Over the past year, something strange began to happen to my hair.  Although I was using the same temporary light golden brown color I had been for years, my hair began to take on a purplish cast that I’d never had a problem with before.   Was it the product?  Did they change the formula?  Was it because I was older and the composition of my hair had changed, making the dye take less well than it used to?   Had I gone…gray?

topofheadwet    topofhead1

Top of my head today after shampoo and lemon juice rinse (slightly damp, and dry).

I decided to find out, but the only way to do that was to let my hair grow out and see what my actual natural color was.  After more than 40 years of covering my natural color, I no longer knew what my hair color really was!   So as it began to grow out, I used a dark blonde rinse (Roux makes an excellent wash-out rinse in subtle colors) at first just to try to even out the color, cover any gray,  and make the roots less obvious.

But I needn’t have bothered.   I’ve been growing my hair out now for about 2 months, and using a lemon rinse to reduce the purple tinge of the dyed parts of my hair (which is itself fading).  The color that is coming in is a bit darker than it was when I first began dying my hair in my teens — it’s a medium honey blonde now with the underlayer a darker ashier blonde.   It’s a beautiful color, and I have decided to grow it out.   But the best part of all?  At age 59, I don’t have one gray hair!   I never would have known that unless I finally decided to let my natural color come out of hiding.


This is my hair combed forward over my face, and it’s very close to my actual natural color.  Where’s the gray? There isn’t any!

I feel like as we get older, we have less leeway in experimenting with various colors and probably shouldn’t do it.   Young women can get away with trying all sorts of crazy colors — lighter, darker, or even colors like pink, blue and green — and still look good or at least intriguing.  But I feel like for an older woman, straying too much darker than your natural color, especially if you’re naturally fair haired, ages you.

No longer will I worry about dumb blonde jokes.  Dumb blonde jokes are pretty much limited to the young anyway, and I have enough self confidence in my intelligence today that those jokes won’t bother me if someone does tell one.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 43 Comments