It was a week of deja vu.  Met two different college kids sporting blue hair; one at Starbucks and one at my front door.  Well, it sure beats the nose rings.  Of course, back in the 60’s, a “blue hair” was any older woman who put a blue rinse on her white hair.  Most of my grandmother’s friends had blue hair, so I was pretty convinced that mine would turn that color when I got old.*   

     Tie-dyed shirts are back.  We used to wrap our old t-shirts with rubber bands, pour in a ten-cent box of Ritz dye, and ruin the family washing machine to do the trick.  I just bought one for $9.99 at Target.  My teens straighten their locks with expensive gizmos from salons.  I used Granny’s iron.

     But the best part?  My husband takes me to a specialty “back” store filled with chairs to do this and that for your spinal alignment.  The sales gal has me sit in one, fusses with a bunch of weird pedals that look like mini stick shifts, almost breaks my neck, and says, “There.  Isn’t that wonderful?”  The top half of me feels like I’m in the dentist’s chair.  The bottom half of me feels like I’m at the gynecologist’s.  She’s GOT to be kidding. 

     “How much does this thing cost?” I ask with a voice as pinched as the rest of me feels.  “Just $3,000,” she says with a lovely lilt to her voice.  “Get me off,” I yowl.  But she isn’t done with me yet.  She wants me to try the ‘tip-you-upside down, anti-gravity device.’  I lay down on a skinny, black board.  She squeezes my ankles under a footpiece, pushes more levers and tips me upside down.  While I lie there with the blood rushing to my head, she sweetly informs my husband, “This is wonderful for reducing wrinkles in the face.”

     “What wrinkles?” I ask, as if entirely sincere.  She suddenly goes mute.  Turns out that thingamajig is ‘only $900.’   As we leave, I am remembering a fold-up green board that Granny kept in our hall closet.  She bought it, (for about $5.99),  when she first took up yoga in the 60’s.  The two of us spent many an evening lying upside down.  Would say that I miss those days but apparently, they’re still with us—just at a higher price tag.  (*Excerpt from, “Kissing Tomatoes,” Hudson’s memoir of her Granny’s Alzheimer’s.   http://www.helen-hudson.com




  1. Hi, Helen! I’m the old guy you insulted at NSAI last night while we were waiting to get in. But then you made my decade when you told me I look 65. I love your blog and left my e-mail to receive notices of updates. Wow are you a talented jailbird! I’d say that blog is worth at least what’s under your jar. You’re a one-of-a-kind great gal. Let’s keep in touch.



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