It's getting harder and harder to hide my age and as each day goes by I begin to notice more and more things that I should be trying to hide, but am unsuccessful at. The wrinkles around my eyes are becoming more pronounced, my skin is beginning to sag (in a lot of places including my face), and I've lost my youthful glow. All of that, of course is expected and I've been dealing with it. Even though Husband very generously tells me that I look the same as the day we first met, I know that he's just being very very kind.
However, I always assumed my hair would be dark brown until I got very old. While many of my friends around me showed me their grey hairs, I sympathetically clucked my tongue but inwardly felt relief that I was not greying. I was happy with my dark lustrous locks and imagined that even if I had wrinkles on my face, my hair color would not betray my age. I would have those dark brown tresses until I was at least 50.
But it became clear in the past six months that all was not well on the hair front. Where I would casually see one or two errant white hairs, it suddenly became 10 or 20. Husband, while he was sitting behind me one day, FREAKED OUT and said, "OH Honey! Don't move, don't move don't move!" and I thought perhaps there was a bug or a spider nearby so I did not move. He then proceeded to lean over and yank out 7 white hairs and said, "Baby, you got a white patch of hair right there." I knew right there and then, that my dream, hope, and smugness over having dark dark tresses for the duration was over.
I now notice white hairs all the time. I'll walk by a mirror and the first thing I'll see is white hair. They don't even do me the honor of hiding in the underside of my hair. Mine like to grow right in front and in further audaciousness, they grow straight up. They are not tamed by my comb or any sort of minimal grooming; the only way to eliminate them is to pluck them.
In the midst of all my personal white hair angst, one day, while sitting next to husband in the car, I turned and noticed a tiny bit of a grey hair sticking out of HIS jet black tresses. And I said," HONEY! You have a grey hair!" Unlike me who has been having hints of grey for a while, Husband's hair has stubbornly remained pitch black, as if to spite my own head of hair. However, this single grey almost lifted my spirits because at least this way, I would not be going grey alone. We could do it together, this aging thing, his hair and mine. And although it was only ONE single grey, hair, I looked upon it with confidence that there would be more to follow. Quickly follow. I offered to pull it out for husband, and he declined saying, "It's okay. I'll get the grey and I'll dye my hair."
"What?" I asked incredulously. "Why would you dye your hair?"
"Men do it all the time. If I get too grey, I'll just die it back."
"Oh honey, if you feel like you have to dye your hair, I don't know if I can handle that," I said with a bit of dismay. "Real men, just go grey and they don't worry about dying their hair. Women might do it and I don't intend to dye mine."
"If I get to grey I'm dying it." And with that, Husband closed the subject.
Later that day, while at church, I began asking some of the wives about their husbands and dying hair, there were more than a few cases where the men were dying their hair...ALREADY. And I was shocked and stunned. In my head, these men were just blessed with great genes and had kept their hair black for an extended period of time and it turned out to not be the case and that instead they were coloring their hair. In talking to one friend who regularly dyes her husband's hair, she said, "He thinks he looks too old if he doesn't do it so I help him keep it up so that he looks younger." I never even KNEW that he was dying his hair and it stunned me.
And it made me think...should I be dying my own hair? How important is it to me to have my age hidden in my hair? I had always planned on greying and aging gracefully, much in the same way as my mom who has never dyed her hair, but if Husband does it, and so many other people are doing it, am I being left out of some virtual fountain of youth by my mere stubborness?
Do I dye my hair before I die?
To take my mind off of this serious quandary and deep intellectual problem, I decided to use my brain for something else - cookie making. I had planned on making snickerdoodles, but was a bit uninterested in it as a cookie and then while trying to avoid thinking about my grey hair, it came to me - what if I could make a cookie that had the TEXTURE of a snickerdoodle but the taste of lemon. Nothing in the world brightens up the brain as the thought of lemon and I began to ponder and realized that YES, I could make it, and YES it would be yummy. And suddenly the remembrance of all grey hair left my head and I began thinking like the true cookie monster that I am.
The cookie is exactly that...snickerdoodle texture, but lemon flavor...and rather than a strange breed of dog, it is a delicious cookie. I love the light lemony flavor against the not so sweet cookie. It is light and it is realy easy to eat too many of these. (a downfall.)
adapted from Tish Boyle's The Good Cookie (changed up her Snickerdoodle recipe)
Makes 4 dozen
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon honey
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons lemon zest
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon lemon zest (finely grated)
Preheat oven to 350. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, or lightly grease baking sheets.
In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
Using either a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or a hand mixer, beat the butter, sugar and honey at medium high speed until light, about 1 1/2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time beating well after addition. Beat in vanilla extract and lemon zest. Scrape down sides of the bowl and beat 30 seconds more. At low speed, add the flour mixture and beat until just blended.
In a bowl, make topping by mixing lemon zest and sugar together.
Shape the cookie into 1 inch balls (about 1 tablespoon of dough.) Roll each ball into lemon sugar mixture to coat completely and arrange balls on the baking sheets, spacing them 2 inches apart. Flatten each cookie into a 2 inch disk. Bake cookies one sheet at time, 14- 18 minutes until tops are crinkly and they are puffed and lightly browned around the edges. Transfer cookies to a wire rack and cool completely.
Tish Boyle recommends using a glass to smoosh the cookies...I tried it and found my fingertips more effective.Printable recipe
Eating a few of these may help me forget my greys.
The zester you want if you want fine lemon zest. (Microplane has several lines out - this one is the least expensive.)