Should I, shouldn’t I?’ I thought to myself, as I reached out to read a packet sitting comfortably on the shelf at my local chemist while loading up my basket for; Angus’ essential items for my weeklong hotel stay for a big trade show in Germany.
‘Dad why don’t you die your hair dark again… pleeeaaase?’ I remembered my daughter saying to me last Christmas. Fuelled by this somewhat haunting memory and additional pressure to look like a young dad again, I picked up the box and made sure that absolutely no one was looking at my intended purchase! I must say I was feeling not unlike a teenager buying durex for the first time or worse still, asking out loud to a growing audience for the tube of Anusol for piles at the chemist counter.
‘Gradually eradicate grey hairs with every wash’, I read with optimism and a dangerous mix of naivety. A shampoo even; almost acceptable too, not even called hair dye. Hair dye is for women isn’t it?” I thought.
Hey, I can put it in the shopping trolley and just pretend it’s shampoo, and yes the real beauty of it, yes the best thing of all right is that I can keep it a secret, my secret! No one will know. I can even lie to my closest allies and pretend that I thought it was shampoo (honest) when I am discovered for my inescapable dormant vanity. Yes at a time when yours truly seemed to go grey much faster this year than all the last 3 years put together.
I took a look around me to check no one was looking, then grabbed the box from the shelf and swiftly put it in my basket (but hid it immediately under the heat-pack in case) now feeling suitably excited with ‘my’ secret. How many dads actually have any secrets at all I thought? Yes I felt almost dizzy with my anarchic approach to regular mundane self inflicted rules and was jubilant with my victorious impulse purchase.
Yes I am going away, miles away to Germany too, so I can hide it from the family and apply it to my scalp in my hotel where absolutely NO ONE will know. Gosh this was more exciting even than my first knee shaking dates when I would head for the cinema and wait outside the front door of the cinema in my best shirt to meet my date. I couldn’t wait to drive the 8 hours across some of Europe’s most used and truly ghastly roads to get to my hotel room and try it.
I got through the first day of the show and had almost forgotten about it all and arrived at my hotel room to unpack my case and there it was. My secret agent, a bottle of ready-made youth and my passport to great enhanced dark looks. A secret agent to take out the ‘Greys’, yes indeed this is what the whole world needs.
‘You can’t do that!’ I thought to myself. ‘You’re an utter phoney and fake, you can’t die your hair Angus! Remember it’s no return, what if you go back to being grey you idiot, then what? You’re stuck with it.
But I’m not ‘dying ‘ my hair, I reasoned, it’s a tint thingy; it’s just shampoo, and anyway my hair needs a wash. Ok it’s a bit on the permanent side but….’
I managed to resist but had placed the box in the shower room next to the shower on the impossibly clean loo seat of my hotel bathroom. It was so clean, oh my God, something that we could only dream of at home with toddlers ‘missing the target’. Anyway I duly decided to get in to the shower and delay the ‘decision’.
Imagine though, what would you look like, what would it feel to look like that and take out and rid myself of the grey hairs. What would people think? Would they notice? Angus you like new experiences too, go on.
I refused to listen to myself, but then, like we finally give in to the pristine and unopened-for-a-few days-box-of-chocolates sitting on our coffee tables, I gave in. It was too late, a grabbed the box and ripped it open with the bottle flying out, while discarding the READ THIS NOW skin warnings and tests that I had to do.
I immediately applied lavish amounts without a further thought or care. I gorged, I feasted, I wallowed and I devoured and collapsed in my self-imposed gluttony. I satisfied my inescapable urges. The box was devoured and lay discarded. Dad is going home darker than when he left, amen.
I leaped out the shower enthusiastically, examining carefully every single hair on my head, and, well…. well nothing! Nothing at all.
That won’t do at all.
So I went for another wash and put at least half the bottle on now in earnest. Again, I looked in the mirror and well, nothing at all? It doesn’t work.
What a waste, and now just like we do with the empty chocolate box and an extra 500 calories, I lay defeated on the hotel bed like a common subarctic walrus; empty, a looser and waster; a looser because I couldn’t say no and looser because it didn’t even flippin’ work!
I persevered and continued for a few treatments during the week and threw it away. I came home from my trip and no one noticed anything. But above all, I was satisfied as it was still my secret, (well not now anyway).
I tried to look less grey for his kids. Dads can do anything we are told but this was a prize blunder. Perhaps I should have just asked my wife and kids to do it? Perhaps I should have read the instructions.
I returned fro Dusseldorf feeling the good old worn-out fading, but keeping for life anyway, teddy bear.
I didn’t die my hair, at least no one noticed, even if I did, surely it meant I didn’t look grey before. Yes, I am not grey then! It’s amazing what positive thought can do to rescue an idiot like me. So let’s leave it at that – and the dye for that matter. All that matters is that we face up to the Greys!
Stay focused- stay Light
PS. There is another meaning to ’Grey’. I’ll just leave it at that too!