To dye or not to dye. That is the question I posed to my wife as I brushed what is left of my hair the other morning. She was quick with her answer.
   "Do it," she callously said. "It might look good."
   I was shocked. She clearly was no longer enamored with my grayness. You'd think that she would be used to it, since I went gray about 30 years ago.
   "Maybe I'm a little tired of you calling yourself 'The Silver Fox' all the time," she added. "A little touch of color would make you look younger."
   "Why don't I just go all out and get a facelift, too?" I said. "Would that make you happy?"
   "Men don't look good with facelifts," she replied, nonchalantly. "Just go with the hair coloring and you'll be all set."
   This was serious stuff. Apparently, I was no longer good enough or young enough for my wife's tastes. I was appalled. But she pressed on, reminding me of the story a few years ago involving a friend of mine who is two years younger than me, but who dyes his hair.
   We were playing in a golf tournament with two strangers, a father and son. On the third hole, the father turned to me and pointed at my friend. "So, you're playing with your son, too?"
   That hurt. But I had to admit, it did show the advantages of hair coloring. I didn't even know my friend dyed his hair, since he'd been doing it before I even knew him. I found out about a year ago, when he appeared with grey hair just as old-looking as mine. He had tired of going through the hair coloring process every five weeks and decided to go au naturel.
   "Remember what you said to him?" asked my wife after she reminded me of the story.
   "I told him he looked like he'd aged 20 years," I answered, proud how men could tell men whatever they want. "And." I added, "he didn't care."
   We were both looking in the mirror at this point, and my grayness popped out against her shiny brunette locks. "Maybe I'll start letting my hair go grey," she threatened. "I'm kind of tired of dealing with coloring it every five weeks, too."
   "YOU DYE YOUR HAIR????" I shouted. "YOU PHONY!!!"
   I was kidding, of course, but I was making a point. And not a very convincing one. I like brunettes.
   I knew she dyed her hair. I had spent plenty of evenings before we went out touching up her grey roots with a brown hair coloring pen. My suggestion that she just avoid taller people fell on deaf ears.
   "Why are men so different?" she continued. "A lot of older women dye their hair, and very few men do. Your grandmother was 100 years old when she died and no one ever saw her with a grey hair."
   "The only guy I remember dyeing his hair was Ronald Reagan," I countered. "And everyone said he was prematurely orange. And now there's another guy in the White House trying to emulate him. That's reason enough not to do it."
   "Bill Maher's doing it," she said, referring to the HBO talk-show host. "It's pretty obvious, even though he's doing it slowly."
   "EXACTLY!" I cried. "Everyone will know what I'm doing. Fans of The Silver Fox will be devastated."
   "The Silver Fox has no fans."
   She had a point. But I still couldn't believe that she wanted me to dye my hair. Next thing you know, she'd be begging me to get a tummy tuck. I decided to put it to a test.
   "OK, I'll do it," I said as I ran my fingers through my hair while studying myself in the mirror. "I'll ask my stylist to add a touch of brown to my hair when I see her this week."
   My wife looked at me and burst out laughing. "First of all, you don't have a stylist. You have a barber, and as you've said many times, she's the worst barber in the world. And secondly, I was just kidding. I like you looking old."
   I think she meant it as a compliment. I'm going with it.




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