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In defense of my gray hair

“You're insecure, that's why. Do you know what you'd look like as a redhead? You'd be a knockout!” my third therapist (the behaviorist) told me, trying to get me to lose the gray. She said it was all about my insecurities, that I didn't want to be competitive with other women, and that my salt and pepper hair announced to the world that I wasn't in the game. I considered her counsel in the intervening two weeks.

What game, I wondered? The love game? The sex game? The youth game? I really did like the part about knockout. She thought I was pretty!

Curious that she had selected red for me, when my native color had been dark brown. I was 40 then, having sprouted my first grays in my late 20s. The Freudian’s name, unbelievable but true, was Dr. Love. “What should we call you?” my husband and I asked, at our first session, where we’d come to save our marriage. “Dr. Love,” Dr. Love said. All my other therapists/marriage counselors, before or since, have been on a first-name basis: Doris, Ina, Florence, Richard, Elaine, etc.

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