August 29, 2007

Why I Don't Color My Hair

Miss Vencie visited us frequently when I was a teenager. She and Mama were cousins.

A widow, Vencie had married late in life and had no children. Her two unmarried brothers, Coot and Toad, lived in the old family home which was still as it had been at the turn of the century: unpainted, no electricity or running water. Vencie would escape their hospitality to stay with us.

She took a job as a sitter, staying with a woman whose primary ailment appeared to be boredom. One weekend Vencie came to spend her days off with us. The woman had talked Vencie into letting her cut and dye her gray hair.

Mama took one look at her and said, "Vencie, no human ever had hair that color."

Ever since that day, when thoughts of hair color enter my mind, I can hear Mama saying, "No human ever had hair that color," and I squelch the thought.

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