By Felly Oyuga

I think I have managed growing older pretty well so far. I will be 42 at the end of this year. No one prepares you for growing old. They say you will be wiser, calmer – some even say happier. I must have missed the memo. I do not know if I am calm. I have always been smart, though.

Back to the managing, the first signs that you are getting ahead in years are usually the grey hair. Yes, some people grey much earlier, but when you are younger, the greys on your head are endearing. I always had grey strands, but once they started appearing on my hairline I knew this was it. I was beginning to be elderly. I have no problem with growing old. Wait, let me rephrase that. I have no problem with age, as in years. I want many years, and I am not shy to say how many years I have been on earth. What I am struggling with is body changes as the years go by.

I drink plenty of water on purpose. I need to help my skin and vital organs after all the years of neglect. My body has been kind to me. I could always eat anything without any physical effect, but now I am looking at the quality of what I put in. Since I want more years, they better be good years. I do not want to be 54 (did you see Halle Berry’s picture at 54!?) and not be able to stand up straight.

I’ve embraced the greys on my head and made a conscious decision not to dye them. I’m looking forward to being a silver-haired sexy mama. I have even made peace with my belly and stretch marks. Heck, I have housed five children in there (Four living), I owe no one a flat belly. The forehead lines took a little getting used to, and I am ok with those, the laughter lines, oh and the wrinkles around my eyes. Sunglasses have become my best friend, any sign of bright light and on they go. I do not want any more lines. I also stay away from the twenty-somethings Instagram pages, so I do not feel like a lump of potatoes. This is vital for self-care.

So you see, I pretty much have this growing older thing in check. Well almost. What has traumatised me though and literally just shaken me, what has made me question humanity and fairness, what has made me spend hours looking at myself in the mirror and on the phone consulting widely? Grey pubic hair. I just cannot. I do not even know where to begin. One day I looked down there, and there were long, straight grey hairs. It literally knocked the wind out of me. No one prepared me for this. I am considering celibacy. (Ok, that’s a bit sensational, but I have thought long and hard about it).

I feel everyone can see the grey hairs as I walk around and I have the need to explain (facepalm). You would think I would be more concerned about osteoporosis, arthritis, dementia even. Well no. I am but not in the same way as the snow cloured landscape down there. I am unprepared for grey pubes. They grow fast and straight. I think this is the ‘good’ hair they talk about the one we longed for as we tried in vain to straighten and accelerate growth, only I would prefer that it grew on my head, even in its white state.

My friend says the solution is to keep them shaved. I get it. Many a man will keep his head bald and beard clean to keep away the greys, but these greys grow fast. I have other things to do. Will I always remember to keep the nether regions bald? I cannot very well put it in my to-do list. Where would it go? Right after “pay for WiFi” or “call plumber.” I cannot have it done every two weeks because by then, I will have a white carpet. The parts of growing old no one talks about. I hope the worst is over. I am not sure I can manage any more surprises. If it is not, please send me an email or a smoke signal. Anything. Help a sister out!

P.S, I know there are more important things happening in the world right now, but grant me this opportunity to rant.