Going Gray: Conversations

Please do not talk to S.J. Culver about having gray hairs at age 26.

Illustration by Hallie Bateman

Friend: Oh, there’s something in your hair.
Me: What?
Friend: It’s shiny. Right up there, at the top. What is it?

Hair Stylist #1: Isn’t it weird being in your thirties, when your hair starts going crazy?
Me: Crazy? What do you mean?
Hair Stylist #1: Grays, you know. They’re so crazy! Getting older is crazy. Everything changes.
Me: I’m 26.

Mother: You come by it honestly. Your father went gray very early. Very, very early. You both worry too much!

Hair Stylist #2: If you ever start dyeing your hair, it will help with these texture issues.
Me: Texture issues?
Hair Stylist #2: These wiry grays.
Me: Wiry?
Hair Stylist #2: See how this one’s just sticking up like an exclamation point? It’s excited!

Neighbor (19 years old): Oh, hi, do you live here?
Me: Yes, I do.
Neighbor: Can you let me in? I forgot my key, and I don’t think my boyfriend is home.
Me: Sure!
Neighbor: Thanks, Mrs….?

Mother: I mean, my whole head is probably gray now. I don’t even really know anymore. Do you need money to go to a salon?

Colleague: So, what did you do in your time off between undergrad and grad school?
Me: I didn’t take any time off.
Colleague: Oh, but… aren’t you…
Me: I’m 26.

Mother: I was very old when I had you, you know. I was an old mommy!
Me: You were 26.
Mother: So old!

Hair Stylist #3: So what about feather extensions?
Me: Feathers? Like… a Stevie Nicks kind of thing?
Hair Stylist: #3: Like Ke$ha!
Me: How old are you?
Stylist: I’ll be twenty in August! You would look great with these! They’re so popular. Everyone’s going to have them this summer.
Me: How old do you think I am?

Bouncer (winking facetiously): Young lady, it’s my job to ask you for your ID.

Illustration by Hallie Bateman

S.J. Culver has some degrees in writing and maintains a tenuous web presence.