Life Notes: The Silver Fox vs. the Gray Hound
by Missy Goodwin

Sometime during the first two years of our marriage, my husband and I were on our way back from a trip to the grocery store when I commented on how much I really loved his black hair. I proceeded to tell him how distinguished and sexy I thought he would look someday when he started getting gray hair. I said something like, “You’ll really be a silver fox!” Without missing a beat, his reply was “Yes, and you’ll be a gray hound … ” He, of course, just cracked himself up with that one (Don’t worry, Babe, you’re still a real hoot). When he was able to finally compose himself, he did some MAJOR explaining about how he was only teasing me, and if he really thought any such thing he would have never, EVER said it, etc., etc.

Two children and almost 19 years later, he does indeed have those distinguished looking gray hairs mixed in with the coal black ones – and he looks handsome, just as I thought he would. And I may actually be the gray hound he jokingly predicted, but unless all the hair color manufacturers in the world stop producing their products – we’ll never know.

I MAY not know what color my hair really is, but luckily I do know that a good relationship cannot be sustained just because you think someone looks good. Chances are the day may come when he or she does not. No matter how much we get nipped, tucked, lifted, or injected with Botox or collagen, it’s likely that the day may come when we reach the “gray hound” stage-that stage where NO amount of “enhancement” will matter. It is then when you realize that what your mother always told you IS true: It really IS what’s on the inside that matters. It sounds so trite, but it’s true. Whether you like to operate a treadmill or a remote control, the chances are pretty good that you won’t look 20 when you’re 60, so you better have a little more going for you than just the looks.

I realize right away the accusations of hypocrisy I risk by making the above references to “inner beauty.” Anyone who really knows me is fully aware of my, somewhat lengthy, morning hair-and-make-up ritual. My husband hears me fuss and gripe about my hair every morning; and running out of hair spray at my house sparks the beginning of a full-scale emergency of catastrophic proportions. So why do I bother with coloring and fixing my hair or wearing make-up-not to mention wanting to buy cute clothes, shoes, and nice perfume? Hmmm? Other than, “just because I’m female”, I’m not really sure I have a good answer to that question, but I’ll try.

I think there’s a difference between trying to look our best, and being obsessed with our looks, or just as important, the way others look. Remember that certain girl or guy in high school who never dated anyone but the best-looking girl or guy, regardless of what kind of person they were? I sure do – many married each other and divorced. I wonder if they regret not getting to know a few more of those classmates who weren’t quite as nice looking on the outside. You know the ones – they were always described as having “a great personality.”

It is ironic how time fades “outer beauty,” but turns good personalities into “great personalities.” It makes the wise even wiser, and the witty even wittier. Time can make your body lose its shape, but it shapes who you are inside-the part that really matters.

P.S. Randy, my Future Silver Fox, I’m so glad you’re handsome on the inside, too!

The Life Notes articles are written by staff of Louisiana Methodist Children’s Home and are published in The Ruston Daily Leader.

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