Aleen Mean


Christmas tree branches with a glittery bulb ornament, the word "Silver" in the lower right.

When I was little, I loved putting icicles on my grandparents’ Christmas tree. I remember grabbing the long whispy strips of silver in my tiny hands and flinging clumps of the stuff on the branches.

“Don’t use so much,” Granny and Papa would say, “Just take a strip or two at a time.”

It was less fun to drape the icicles meticulously upon the tree, but the effect when everything was placed was beautiful. Their metallic surface would glitter and gleam next to the lights. When someone walked by, the icicles would even dance a little.

I’m going to throw all modesty aside for a moment to tell you that, if we haven’t met, you probably don’t realize how stunning my hair is. My dark brown locks are thick, shiny, and sleek.1 When the light hits it just right, you can even see glints of gold and red shine through.

It’s my point of vanity, and I’ve wondered how I’d handle going gray since I was in high school.

That time, it would seem, is nigh.2 I feel like I spot a new silver hair every time I look in the mirror, but my reaction has surprised me.

Perhaps I’ll feel differently in a few years, but I’m grateful for the opportunity to face a future with gray hair. Our culture reveres youth but age is a badge of honor, of experience, of wisdom. May I live long enough to have no natural trace of brown on my head.

There’s also a bonus to these silver streaks. You see, when I turn my head to and fro, these scattered highlights glitter and gleam just like Granny and Papa’s tree decorations.

  1. My hair also has a deep hunger for the accessories I place in it and a fondness for not doing what I ask, but that’s not the point right now.

  2. I am, after all, in my mid-30s now (lolsob).