The rael reet o the problem

By Diane Anderson

Wheesht! A hiv a secret. Gin A tell ye, ye winnae let oan, will ye? Aye, A’m shair A can trust ye…

A dye ma hair.

Fit div ye mean ye ken? A wifie o forty-some faa isnae grey maun hae a wee tate o help, ye say? Aye, bit iss is a new thing tae me – twa year syne iss colour wis aw ma ain. Iss is foo things fell oot…

A wis peyin fir ma hair-do a twa-three year syne faan the lassie speired at ma gin A’d nott a langer appyntment the neist time, for tae hae ma colour. Fair prood, A telt her iss wis ma natrul colour – aw ma ain, nae bottlies nor potions.

Bit, ye ken, it gaurt ma think. Awbodie A kent o aboot ma ain age did get colour pit oan, byse ae gallus quine faa hid gein natrul grey a filie syne. Wi a modren cut an her perjink claes, she looks fair braw an nae age at aw. Bit aw ither bodie yaised dye. Thon quine in the hairdresser widnae be her lane – awbodie maun jalouse thit ma hair colour wisnae ma ain! So fit did A dee bit tell awbodie ma story? Onybodie faa wid listen wis telt thit ma bonnie hair wis doon tae nature. A dinnae think A’m a blaw aw the time, bit A div like ma hair an A’m prood o’t. Sae A blawed lik naebodie’s business.

An then a wee filie syne Charlie, ma hairdresser, telt ma she thocht ma colour wis fadin. Gin wi didnae colour it seen, there wid be nae colour left. Did A wint tae gang grey? Weel, ma pal wis daen fine wi hers. Ma mither-in-law his hid fite hair, bonnie snawie fite hair, syne ivver A kent her. An she maun hae been aboot ma age faan A first met her (thon’s fit happens faan ye find yer man young an haud oan tae him). Bit A wis near shair ye dinnae inherit fae yer guid-mither. Richt eneuch, ma grannie hid fite hair tae: affa bonnie an saft. Bit fit if mine didnae gang like thon? An foo lang wid it tak? Saat an pepper’s a verra weel. Bit saat an ginger? Nae sae fine.

Charlie promised ma A wid hae nae fash wi growe-back an reets needin touchin up ilka five meenits. Her colourin-loon is a clivver-like chiel faa wid gie ma back fit A wis losin, wi nivver a sowl the wiser. A grittit ma teeth an gied fir it.

Faan a leukit in the mirror A saw masel fae ten year past leukin oot at ma. Fitin fine!

So fit’s ma problem? Thing is, A hinnae telt mony fowk aboot ma chynge o circumstances. So noo there’s fowk faa ken it’s dye – A’m ower auld fir onythin ither. There’s likely fowk faa suspect it’s dye – they didnae believe ma faan A telt them ither. Bit there’s fowk faa think A hinnae chynged an micht hae a pictur in the attic thit’s leukin a hunner, bit ma heid disnae leuk a day ower thirty!

Fit dis it matter? Aye noo yer speirin the thoosan-dollar speir. Faa cares wither ma hair is bonnie rich auburn or fite, blae or purpil? Naebodie, A dinnae suppose. There’s naebodie gies a docken byse me. An fit wye div A care? A’m nae really fashed wi ma leuks, as onybodie faa kens ma his nae doot jaloused. A files dinnae leuk in the gless fae morn til nicht. At wikkeynes A files dinnae dae onythin wi ma hair, nor brush nor gie it a thocht.

So fit’s ma tiravee aboot? Weel, A’m thinkin ma rael problem is growein auld. It disnae come its lane. A’m nae takkin tae aetin the same an growein broader in the beam. A’m nae chufft thit a nicht oot fooners ma fir a wikk. It’s nae fine tae ken thit ma een an ma beens are jist growein mair peely-wally.

Faan ye hear aboot the anniversary o some muckle event fae thirty year syne, A’ll can tell ye aw aboot it noo – A wis there an mine it fine. A aye think they’v makkit some mistak – thon cannae be thirty year – A wis a quine, an yet A mine. Ye see, in ma heid, A’m a quine yet. A lass o twinty his nae memory o events fae twinty or thirty year syne. An though A’m twice twinty (aye, an then some), A dinnae feel it, A dinnae wint it, A hiv tae stop it gin A can.

So, A micht be nae halflin or quinie ony mair. A’m a wifie be ony definition o the wird. Bit an auld wifie? A dinnae think it. Nae jist riddy fir thon ayenoo. Bit they say saxty’s the new forty. A hiv a filie afore thon, at least. Mebbie then’ll be time tae let the ‘shiny bitties’ as Lewis (ma colourist – wheesht) cries them, win throwe.

Or then, dinnae let oan aboot ma hair. Dinnae tell onybodie: A’m feelin ma age!