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Purple hair and jigsaws |


Purple hair and jigsaws

FROM MY HEART - Barbara Gonzalez-Ventura - The Philippine Star
Purple hair and jigsaws

One of those days when I have no idea what to write about. Have written about almost everything.  Last week it was about aging and growing old. Of course I forgot to include that I love to dye my streaks of white hair purple. Not lavender. That’s when all my hair turns white, when I am around 105 and wrinkled as — not a prune — but a whole box of prunes. I found a blue-violet easy dye on Lazada.  That’s the shade I like. It is easy to apply but I have to keep it on more than two hours for it to cling to my hair. So I put it on and forget about it. By the time I remember my hair is thoroughly purple. One of the benefits of being old.

I also have emergency bottles and spray cans. Violet spray cans for cosplay that I can quickly spray on, but they also quickly fade. A jar of purple cream and what looks like violet mascara. Those are to retouch your fading color when you’ve forgotten that you must dye every three weeks. You can use a comb to apply to your white roots so they don’t show. They don’t last long but they will see you through lunch with friends.

I love coloring my hair. Once upon a time when I had a salary to spend on coloring, I colored it a flattering green. A lady in an elevator said, “I love the color of your hair.” I encouraged her to get it. She said she didn’t have the guts. Another time I colored it burgundy — that looked good when the sun shone on it. But now that I’m old I love to dye my hair purple.

People at the weekend markets have said, “I love the color of your hair.” They are young. I wonder which of the LGBTQ+ they belong to. But why should I bother? All of those letters including the plus sign are acceptable to me since I don’t think I can genuinely sort them out.

Life has become so complicated! Once,when the word “gay” simply meant happy, my husband Loy and I used to sing a duet called But Beautiful. The words were:  Love is tearful or it’s gay… That “translates” to love is either sad or happy. Now I’m grateful we don’t sing anymore.  Because some G guys may get up and leave. I remember how insulted I felt when I received a letter accusing me of being an L. I definitely am not an L. I am just a middle-of-the-road woman who once upon a time a long time ago was attracted to totally straight men. Now even I wonder if they were totally straight. But I am too old for any of those things. I am just happy with purple hair.

As life goes on it gets so much simpler. I never thought I would enjoy jigsaw puzzles so much. But since I rediscovered them in my computer, it seems I love them. I wake up at 4 a.m,, take my dose of StemEnhance Ultra that keeps my energy up all day, just so I can start my day with one jigsaw puzzle. I carefully sort out all the pieces according to its role in the picture. First the sides, then the rest I sort out according to color – light blue for the sky, darker blue for the water, dark green for the trees, light green for the other leaves. Then the animals – the puzzle pieces that are shaped like a rabbit, a bear, a turtle, dogs, a cat, a bat; all manner of ridiculous things.

I love it now that I can tell when the sound it makes is the fitting of two pieces or the louder click when you put a piece in its proper place in the picture. Who can think about other problems when you’re working on a jigsaw puzzle? I cannot wait until I make it to a puzzle with a thousand pieces.  All through this my husband and his caregiver are asleep. I have the apartment all to myself at four in the morning. It’s the most wonderful time of day.

Can I spend my life making jigsaw puzzles? Actually I have spent many days that way in the past.  They were not bad. They made life quietly complicated and engrossing. When you’re working on a puzzle that’s a thousand pieces it takes so much time. You need so many props. Around the middle of the puzzle I would get saucers and sort out the pieces according to shape so I would know where to look to fill up a space.

Purple hair, jigsaw puzzles, rosaries. These are the stuff of my life today. As I review them I realize they are all things I do myself.  Maybe that’s one of life’s secrets.  We all must have a lot of things to do ourselves to keep us happy.

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