It started in the early morning as Crabby Old Lady was brushing her hair. Although she has been trying to ignore it, there is no denying that the top of her head is looking remarkably like a balding man's bad comb over. More about that later.
Crabby's minor morning chore was to clean the microwave which had become shmutzy enough to cause some guilt. No big deal, right? When she was washing the revolving glass platter, it slipped and crashed, broken pieces clattering in the sink. At least it wasn't the floor.
Okay, shit happens. But where to buy a replacement? Fifteen minutes on the internet turned up a bunch of them for (would you believe?) $35 or $40! Then Crabby found some at a local store – well, local if 20-odd miles counts.
She was halfway there before she realized she'd probably spend as much or more in gas as on shipping charges if she'd purchased it online. Oh, well. Too late.
Home again, Crabby cleaned the microwave, washed the new platter – very carefully - and was, two hours after she had begun, pleased with her spotless microwave.
But now the glass cooktop, in comparison, needed work. Might as well clean the whole damned kitchen.
This trendy kitchen stuff isn't all its cracked up to be. A glass stove top is amazingly difficult to keep clean. They are always, always streaked unless you use a special cleaner and buff with paper towels – cloth towels just don't do it.
Once that was finished, Crabby decided the granite countertop (not her choice; it came with the place) could use a thorough wipedown. Take a look at the pattern on this counter:
It's attractive enough, but the colors mean spills are invisible so if Crabby misses a spot when she's cleaning up after a meal, a few hours later or the next day, her hand lands in a sticky spot. Ew.
And, like the cooktop, it's nearly impossible to keep from streaking. It is a mystery to Crabby how streaks are visible but not a spot of spilled jam or salad dressing. She deeply misses her New York City butcher block counter.
Once the kitchen was tidied, Crabby got back to what she'd been thinking about all morning as she cleaned - her creeping baldness. Another look in the mirror was alarming. It's not just the top of her head; the crown is equally thin and it has been getting worse.
Apparently, Crabby comes by this baldness genetically. Her mother's hair was down to baby-fine wisps by the time she died at 75 and her grandmother was completely bald long before she died at age 92.
A few years ago, Crabby spent a couple of days educating herself about female baldness. No matter what anyone tells you, unless your baldness is due to illness or medical treatment such as chemotherapy, there is no cure. Nothing regrows hair.
A shorter haircut will only make the baldness more evident and doesn't allow Crabby to pin up her hair which covers her crown if not the front of her head.
Embracing baldness is not an option. Crabby is not Grace Jones or Sinead O'Connor or Demi Moore in G.I. Jane. Plus, shaving her head makes a statement that does not align with who Crabby thinks she is and the thought of the reactions it would cause for the rest of her life is both tiresome and boring.
The only other solution Crabby can find is a wig or hats or scarves which could be mixed as the mood strikes so Crabby spent more than two hours yesterday checking out hundreds of photos of wigs online. Almost all of them look like wigs. More acceptable ones are styled for much younger women intent on looking sexy. And there are few choices - suitable or not - in gray.
Now if Crabby Old Lady had the courage of her convictions about aging, she would take her cue from Gloria Steinem (who said seven years ago, "This is what 70 looks like") and go about her life with her thin spots hanging out. Crabby, to her chagrin, is not yet that free of vanity.
So here she sits on Thursday evening, thoroughly annoyed with herself writing a blog post she doesn't like but, at least, with a clean kitchen - the last being the best she can say for her day.
There is no new story at The Elder Storytelling Place today. Publication will resume on Monday