August 21, 2012

this is why i should've used the self checkout lane at the grocery store

“Is your hair naturally…”

“Yes,” I answered before the cashier finished her sentence, expecting her to be asking if it was naturally curly since I get asked that a lot.


Did she just ask me if my hair was naturally GRAY? Are you fucking kidding me? Is there someone behind me?

I quickly toss my curls in a way that allows me to look behind me for a moment to make sure nobody’s there. Nope, nobody but me.

“It’s so pretty,” she continued.

Really? My GRAY hair is pretty? PRETTY? GRAY?

“Thanks,” I smiled and then admitted, “I thought you were asking if it was naturally curly, but, yes the gray is natural, too.”

I mean, do people color their hair gray ON PURPOSE (coolio celebs excluded, of course)?

“You’re very lucky. I’ve been coloring mine for 30 years now to cover the gray.”

I smiled. I am lucky but certainly not because of my GRAY hair.

“Yeah I stopped coloring mine when I got pregnant.”

“Oh are you pregnant now?” She looks down at my belly.


“Uh no. That was 3 years ago.”

“Oh well I love it. It almost looks frosted.”


I stuff my debit card back into my wallet.

“I want to stop coloring mine but I’ve asked the colorist if it will be full gray if I stop and she says yes. So I keep on coloring.”

I smile.

“But I cheat and take those touch up boxes and have my 18 year old just add it to any gray she sees every coupla weeks.”

“Oh that’s a great idea! I’ll have to keep that in mind for when my two and a half year old is able to do that. Then maybe I’ll start coloring my hair.” Take that mother to 18 year old! My kid’s only 2.5! See, I’m really not that old after all!

“No don’t start coloring it. It’s not solid gray and it really does look so nice.”

“Well, thanks. I’ve never had anyone tell me that they actually LIKE my gray hair so I’ll take it.”

“I actually don’t LIKE gray hair,” she says giving me my receipt. “But yours is so pretty because it’s not solid. If mine could look like that I wouldn’t color it. Don’t start!”

Two weeks away from turning 40, guess what’s on my mind?


Just kidding. I've grown to love my natural hair (until someone asks me if I'm Lovie's Grandmother).


  1. Oh goodness, I just love those kinds of conversations! Well, I agree with Miss Foot-in-her-Mouth, your hair is beautiful, so don't change it! Great story. You had me giggling.

  2. Hahaha!
    Another example of why self check outs are so damn great.
    This post was awesome. Funny and honest, and I really enjoyed reading it.
    P.S. Your hair really is great. I love the grey also, but didn't doubt for a minute that it was natural. That's hilarious.

  3. I just truly don't get where people learn their "manners" (or lack thereof) from! Some people! People always ask if my hair is permed (when I wear it natural) and I always sort of laugh because although I am far from stylish and fashionable, I didn't realize people still got perms! :) BUT with that out of the way ;) I LOVE your hair (color and curls! :))

  4. "Oh, I actually don't LIKE the thing I just complimented. It's just that yours is marginally acceptable." Ha. All shock and jokes aside, natural grey hair is the bomb. I know people don't say that very often, nor do they use the term "the bomb" anymore, but it's true. Great post!

  5. OMG conversation from hell. Well at least it was obvious she wasn't trying to be offensive, she must be naturally awkward...

    This post made me LOL. :D

  6. Great conversation and for the record I like your hair too. Great post. i love the way you related the conversation.Great piece. Erin

  7. Your hair is definitely pretty. Dark hair grays to a much nicer color than blonde does. At least you got a hilarious blog post out of it~

  8. Reminds me of the time my business partner congratulated one of our colleagues on her pregnancy. Problem? She wasn't pregnant... at all. Oopsie. The silver lining? She promptly went on a diet and lost 30 lbs.

  9. OMG I laughed out loud at this. Poor thing, digging herself deeper and deeper in a hole. Great capturing of dialogue and your internal hilarious thoughts.

  10. Bahahahh man. I guess she's just trying to say its a pretty gray?

  11. Oh, christ. Hey foot in mouth! Hilarious. She really just kept on going, didn't she?

  12. I laughed out loud each time that clerk stepped in it. But your gray does look pretty. Maybe I'll stop plucking mine. :) Ellen

  13. Your hair is really beautiful. Your story reminds me of a conversation my 18 year old sister had at the grocery store. She was not the one doing the asking, she was being asked about her gray hair, which at 18 looks very similar to yours.

    You should have definitely asked her to be your new BFF, who knows you could have used her to ward off future awkward situations ;)

  14. Loved this. I would say it was "Laugh out loud funny" but then I'd feel too much like a movie reviewer for USA Today. Seriously good post, though. And, hey, you've got a great salt and pepper thing going on so you might as well rock it, right?

  15. This was well-written, funny and something I can definitely relate to. Love the term frosted. I'm of a generation when as a young girl all the moms "frosted" their hair. I think today's highlights are the same thing just different word. I had this conversation with my dental hygienist recently. I don't use over all color but do add highlights. She went on and on how she loves my hair and the gray. She then proceeded to say her mother was always solid gray and that she never will be, but she's tempted. Ha. Some of us stay a bit conflicted on the hair coloring issue.

  16. My hair is almost completely gray now. I forget about that until I see my father in law, who is always quick to remind me of that fact. He has very little hair, I am quick to remind him, better gray hair than no hair.....

  17. um, wow. That's priceless.

    I do like your hair like it is! But sometimes it's better just to not say anything...

  18. Oh shit ha ha! I love the - I smile. Ha!

  19. Oh, jeez! What a conversation!

    I get asked all the time if I color my hair because it's red and has blonde highlights and no, I don't. I'm fat, have bad eyes, and bad skin. But my hair is awesome, so I guess it's OK to assume that awesome hair on a fat, zitty chick is fake, right? Grrr...

  20. Oh. Good. Lord. I can't believe this was an actual conversation! Where on earth did this person come from?

    I think your hair looks great, by the way. Love the gray AND the curls.

  21. All i have to say is HAHAHAHAHA! Thanks for a laugh. People are morons!

  22. You are so adorable. My hair is getting gray too. I'm 39. There's something I love about it-- a life well lived. Or I'm old enough not to give a crapola.

  23. Oh my gosh, so funny. Is your hair naturally gray? What a question. Great conversation, I enjoyed your thoughts through the ordeal. At least she sounded pleasant enough, if a bit naive about how she comes off.

  24. Wooooooow. Yes, this is indeed why I use the self-checkout lane religiously. Is your hair naturally grey?! What the ever loving WHAT?!

    This was hilarious. Thank you.

  25. Woah, what an odd conversation, lol. Although she meant well? Thanks for sharing!

  26. I will stand on a line for the self-checkout to avoid conversations with cashiers. Funny story!

  27. Holy crap!! Is that story for real??? The way you describe the conversation it almost sounds like she doesn't even realize how awkward and inappropriate she is! Well, made for a hilarious story!

  28. Oh, what a conversation. Some people are just oblivious...

  29. Her question was so off the wall. Does anyone know anyone with non-natural gray hair (beside an actor in a role)? So weird.

  30. Simply put: you can't fix stupid.

    Or as we say, bless her heart!

    You're gorgeous. ;)

  31. Well, what can I say? At least in the pic it does look great (you look awesome btw, too, and the glasses really do suit you).
    Actually it doesn´t look "grey", it lightens up.

    But what do I know, that conversation sure was weird ;-)


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