Woman gone gray asks: Why still dye?

Daily Southtown - - Comics - By Amy Dick­in­son askamy@amy­dick­in­son.com Twit­ter @ask­ingamy Dis­trib­uted by Tri­bune Con­tent Agency

DearAmy: Be­cause of salons be­ing closed dur­ing the pan­demic, Iwas able to see the true color ofmy hair for the first time in decades. I lovemy nat­u­ral salt-and-pep­per hair color and de­cided to growout my hair.

I’m very hap­py­withmy choice of not putting itchy chem­i­cals onmy head and sav­ing time and money.

I joined (on­line) groups with­women who are also go­ing through this trans­for­ma­tion. Ninety-eight per­cent of the­women look bet­ter in their real hair color, ver­sus dyed hair.

Luck­ily for me, my mate, fam­ily and friends are sup­port­ive. Un­for­tu­nately, the­women in these groups and I have all re­ceived neg­a­tive com­ments from the peo­ple in our lives, and even from­strangers. Peo­ple tell us: “You’re go­ing to look old; you’re let­ting your­self go; I’ll pay for you to have your hair dyed; no man will ever date you; no­body will hire you ...” and so forth.

Iwould never think to crit­i­cize some­one’s ap­pear­ance. I keep those opin­ions to­my­self. Don’t peo­ple re­al­ize howhurt­ful these com­ments are? Do they re­ally think their neg­a­tive com­ments are help­ful? Why can’twomen be sil­ver foxes like men are?

— MyHair, My Choice

DearMyHair: Yes, women can be sil­ver foxes— and sil­ver hair is def­i­nitely chic.

When it comes to un­so­licited com­ments about your looks, you have a le­git­i­mate beef. How­ever, un­der­stand that when you join an on­line group whose sole fo­cus is to com­mis­er­ate about hair color, you’re go­ing to spend a cer­tain amount of time dis­cussing how­peo­ple look.

You your­self have cho­sen to de­clare that “98% of women look bet­ter in their real hair color,” which is a sub­jec­tive and su­per­fi­cial value judg­ment. Aren’t you nowharshly judg­ing peo­ple who choose to dye their hair?

I’m go­ing to take a stab at guess­ing that many of these neg­a­tive com­ments are com­ing fro­mother women. In a per­fect­world, we­would all be free to make choices about our bod­ies and cloth­ing with­out run­ning the gaunt­let of un­so­licited com­ments, but we make these choices to please our­selves (and of­ten, oth­ers). And peo­ple in gen­eral are so­cial, com­mu­nal budin­skis.

You need only to de­cide howto re­spond. To a stranger: “Umm, do I know you? Why are you shar­ing your opin­ion with me?” To a friend/fam­ily mem­ber: “I think I look great, and hon­estly, that’s all that mat­ters to me.”

DearAmy: My hus­band and I be­lieve thatwe have lost a friend of 30-plus years be­cause of dif­fer­ing opin­ions about safety in this pan­demic.

We had been in­vited to a sur­prise birth­day party for “Barb” at a res­tau­rant, and be­fore send­ingmy RSVP, I checked with the venue to see how­many peo­ple might be there, and whether it­would be in­side or out­side. An­swer: “50 peo­ple, in­side.”

We are both over 73, and I have mul­ti­ple health is­sues. We have not eaten in­side a res­tau­rant since mid-March.

I asked Barb’s sis­ter, whowas or­ga­niz­ing the sur­prise party, and if there is any chance that they might switch to an out­door venue. Barb has health is­sues, and Iwon­dered if a crowded in­door party would be her pref­er­ence.

Aweek af­ter the party, I heard fro­man­other friend that Barb­was not speak­ing to me any­more. Barb texted me: “Good­bye.”

I’m not sure what comes next. Any ideas?

— Be­fud­dled

Dear Be­fud­dled: I sin­cerely hope that “Barb” didn’t send her cryp­tic text be­cause she be­came ill with this dis­ease that has taken so many lives.

As of this writ­ing, a “spreader event”— awed­ding in­Maine— has in­fected 147 peo­ple with COVID-19. Three peo­ple have died. Thiswed­ding was held in­doors, with 65 guests.

You made the right choice. You should re­spond to Barb: “Your mes­sage is very cryp­tic. Why are you say­ing ‘Good­bye?’ ”

DearAmy: “Blindsided” wrote about her re­la­tion­ship with a gen­tle­man who al­ways made her travel to visit him, even though he was re­tired, and she­was still­work­ing. I hope she runs, Amy. Thank you for telling her that she de­serves bet­ter.

— Been There

Dear Been There: When she re­ally be­lieves in her own­worth, “Blindsided” will exit.

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