The First Grey Hair

Joan Stephens

"Catherine?" Vincentís plaintive voice floated out of the bathroom. "Can you come here?"

"Sure, just give me a sec," she called back.

Quickly setting the teapot on the counter, she zipped to the bathroom. The woebegone look on his face was almost comical. "What is it? Are you hurt?"

He shoved an extended forefinger and thumb in front of her face, causing her to rear back and bump her head on the doorjamb. "I found a grey hair."

Sure enough when she could focus her eyes, she saw a long silver strand of hair dangling from his fingers. "A what?" she asked, choking on her laughter as she rubbed the back of her head.

"I found a grey hair this morning."

"A grey hair?" she echoed. All this fuss over a single grey hair. The chuckle she was valiantly trying to contain defeated her and broke forth.

"Itís not funny, Catherine," an annoyed leonine being complained.

"Of course not," she agreed, having to look away to hide her amusement.

"This is serious," he stated flatly.

Trying to soothe him, she said, "Itís only a grey hair, Vincent." That was a big mistake.

"Only a . . . !" he sputtered. "Catherine, Iím getting old."

With an offhand shrug, she agreed, "So am I." This was getting a little ridiculous. She had never even entertained the idea that Vincent could be so vain about his mane.

Waving the offending piece of evidence in her face, he demanded, "What can I do?"

"Well, Iíd tell you to pull it out," she answered facetiously, "but youíve already done that. Besides, I think itís kind of sexy."

"You do?" he asked in pleased amazement.

"Sure." Now was the chance to take the sting out of suddenly realizing that the years were catching up with him. She had gone through the same feelings of distress and disbelief when she first noticed the new wrinkles around her eyes. Looking up at him, she took the fluttering hand in hers and gently kissed it. "It means youíve been around long enough to know how to treat a woman. A little grey at the temples gives you an air of distinction and a bit of savoir-faire."

"Hmmm," he said as he considered her words. "I suppose you could be right."

"Of course, I am. Youíre not just getting older; youíre getting better. Some men grow old; others age gracefully. Youíve seen pictures of Sean Connery, Clark Gable, and . . . um . . . let me see . . . oh yes, Ron Perlman." He nodded. "They became better looking and sexier as they grew older."

He perked up considerably at that. "Really?"

Her arms wound around his neck. "And you, my dearest man, will outshine them by far."

"Really," he said again with astonished pride.

She smiled at his change of attitude. "Really!" she affirmed,

Lowering his head until their foreheads rested together, he said, "Thank you, my heart. You always know how to take the sting out of my pain." Then he brushed her lips with his.

"Youíre welcome," she whispered, loving him deeply, frailties and all.

Straightening up, he tilted his head to the side and, with a mischievous gleam in his eyes, said, "Will you do something for me?"

"Anything," she replied.

"Would you see if there are any more grey hairs?"