Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Silver Sister Strut

I often talk about the Cafe Gray forum (see link on the side) and for good reason. It's full of lovely, supportive women who help you through the rough times of tri-tone hair grow out. So if we're just talking hair here, why would it be necessary to ever meet in person?

This is an underlying point that growing out your grey is sooo much more than hair color. When you decide to defy social norms, you expose a lot of vulnerabilities you didn't know you had. You become aware more than ever what people think about you, how they look at you, how they react to your words- all this awareness is overwhelming and, quite frankly, a bit exhausting. You find yourself on this forum, dabbling into the pool of vulnerability, dipping your toe ever just so, and acclimating to this world of openness and honesty. You admit your insecurities, help others through theirs, and never really think about the fact that these women are virtual (pun intended!) strangers. You see, you have at some point dove head-first into this pool and openness and honesty are now your go-to tools.

Then you realise one of these lovely sisters is in your area. You decide to meet up for lunch. Now anyone with the common sense of a fruit fly can see that a girl who blogs about grey hair will have no trouble filling an hour-long lunch with talk of... hmm... hair, but meeting a sister on Cafe Gray is really like, well, meeting a sister.

The first Silver Sister (SS) I met was Penny and we hit it off straight away. It was like we knew each other for years. We went on a couple of shopping trips and had Sheltie play dates. Yes, it's probably an American thing but anyone who has Shelties knows how much they love a dog that looks just like them and even have a special yip just for other Shelties.

Later, we found that there were several of us in NC and we met up for a Saturday lunch. I had a date that night but that wasn't nearly as high on my agenda as meeting my silver sisters. After all, we hit it off right away and all talked like old friends. I think we spent two hours chatting and having a great time. There are real friendships that are formed on this site and it's a constant support.

Now every year in the September-October range there is the grand poo-bah of events: the big Silver Sister meetup. This year it was in Chicago and it always has a fantastic turn-out. Due to my federali status it just happened to occur at a time when my furlough status was unknown and I couldn't book an expensive trip, but I have every intention of attending future events. However, our Cafe Gray founder and the author of Going Gray, Looking Great - Diana Jewell (also a Carolinian) joined us for lunch in Charlotte a couple weeks later. You can see the pic of our Silver Sister's strut and what a great time we were having.

Looking back I'm sure passers-by were wondering what sorority we used to belong to and how could they get the bartender to make a cocktail as strong as ours must have been, but at the time we were oblivious to our surroundings and just having a great time. So I encourage you if you are a silver sister, a potential newbie, or if you see a silver muse, encourage them (and yourself) to go to Cafe Gray and meet up with a local silver sister. It's a great forum for support and a launching ground for great friendships.

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