Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Grey Matter: Bill, Barack & Me

I have a tragedy to announce: The other day I discovered not one, not two, but, like, seventy-billion grey hairs lurking within my uncolored roots. You may recall that I recently turned 26 years old, & in case you're not sure, yes, 26 is too young to go grey.

I blame the District of Columbia.

At least I'm in good company. In 1993, fewer than 100 days into his tenure as Commander-in-Chief, the LA Times described President Bill Clinton as "a premature and unabashed silver fox." Observe the change:

Dramatic, no? "But Kate!" you're countering. "That's just the regular aging process! Dudes go grey!" And I concede that point. After all, Old Bill was in office for eight (wonderful, blessed) years, giving him plenty of time to get his grey on.

But how about this the new guy? In 2008, Senator Barack Obama was a young whippersnapper on the verge of greatness - &, as it turns out, on the verge of greyness. At an Indiana campaign stop that spring, the pre-Pres told a group of old folks, "Seniors, listen up. I'm getting grey hair myself." And how!

So what gives, D.C.? President Clinton blamed his grey on nature. President Obama has blamed it on having teenage daughters. I, of course, am neither aged nor parental - & OK, OK, I'm not running a country, either (guess they call it the White House for a reason!). But I still blame the capital - with its early mornings & late nights & fast-paced jobs & all of the checking email in bed & taking conference calls on the go - for the loss of my locks' lustre.

Taking all of this into careful consideration, I wonder whether I should consider myself folically fortunate to be on my way out of the District. I've been here for three years now, & the grey is slowly creeping in, especially around my right temple. Who knows what I'd look like in another three years if I stuck around?

"Silver fox" my behind. I shudder to think.
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