Published on February 24th, 2014 | by Ann Rickard0
Ash Blonde at the End
If you have a 95-year-old mother – as I do – you’ll think a lot about your own old age vulnerability each time you visit her.
Watching the elderly totter shakily about the house with a walking frame, struggling to lift a kettle to fill it let alone getting a saucepan on the stove, makes you sad and angry about old age.
“I have been dying my hair since I was 21 having obviously inherited that nasty grey gene.”
During my last visit (to Melbourne where she lives), I stacked her freezer with 35 home-cooked (by me) meals, all made with quality ingredients, all full of nourishing produce in one container each so she can totter to the freezer, remove a container, pop it in the microwave.
As I put the last container in the fridge after the marathon cooking session, she peered in, admired the neat rows of good food, and said: “I have Meals on Wheels coming tomorrow.”
It was a joke. And it made me laugh. But what has this to do with anything?
Nothing. Apart from the fact that I’d like you to think I am a caring and devoted daughter. I hope my daughters will be caring and devoted to me when I am 95.
I have vowed not to be a burden on them – and not just because I hope to still be a burden to my husband – but because nobody wants to saddle themselves onto younger people. My daughters have been given strict instructions to ship me off somewhere safe and caring.
However, the one promise I have extracted from them, and they have sworn to keep no matter how dotty I am, is for them to visit me every three weeks to dye my roots.
I don’t mind being a dribbly old woman sitting dozingA open-mouthed in a corner chair, but I must be a blonde dribbly old woman.
I have been dying my hair since I was 21 having obviously inherited that nasty grey gene.
I do it myself as I am too impatient to sit in a hair salon for several hours.
In the past, every time someone has asked me what three things I couldn’t live without if Iwas stranded on a desert island, I would say without a hint of deliberation: “Hair dye, hair dye, hair dye.”
Imagine if I was a castaway for four years – a la Tom Hanks – and my rescuers arrived to find a weathered old woman with a full head of snow atop drooping blonde rat tails.
I’d rather wave them on and be left on the island.
I will go to the grave with a packet of hair dye. Or rather the crematorium.