Lisa Ricard Claro – Author

Romance is good for your heart!

Growing Out the Gray: Warning! Comes With Extreme Attitude!

Posted on Jan 6, 2016 by Lisa Ricard Claro   22 Comments | Posted in The Naked Truth

photo_1565_20060515 by Chance Agrella

Image courtesy of Chance Agrella via


Update on the gray grow out: We’re almost there, Buttercup! By March, the salt & pepper transition (mostly salt) should be complete. But it must be noted that it comes with a price, and I don’t mean looking old, although, yeah, that’s a real side effect. But no, I’m talking about the fact that the more the gray grows out, the less tolerance I have for bullshit. It’s as though my BS meter is on high alert, and my mouth stands at the ready with full servings of sass.

GAK! Did I just say all that? ME? On my G-rated blog?

Why, yes. Yes, I did.

Though my external editor works just fine, my internal editor has trouble filtering these days. The weird thing is that it appears to be in direct conjunction with the ever expanding gray on the top of my head.

My son was the first to note, “Looks like that gray hair comes with a feisty attitude.”

The hubster nodded, looking resigned and more than a little terrified. “You have no idea.”

I did some thinking about that theory—that my gray hair is affecting my tolerant and sunny disposition. 🙂

Here’s the thing. The gray reminds me that life is short—maybe a little too short to spend it biting my tongue—and that I’m closer to the end than the beginning. After a lifetime of being the diplomat, rubbing bellies, and dispensing warm fuzzies, I’m finally ready to just…not…once in a while. It really does feel good, even if it means popping off with the occasional F-bomb, a circumstance that arouses in my grown children a weird combination of horror and pride. Also, the hero in my second book, Love to Believe, has a potty mouth he’s trying to clean up…maybe I’m channeling him.

Of course, every time something less than sweet flows from my mouth I can hear my mother’s voice telling me, “People who swear do so because they possess a poor vocabulary.” This is one of the only things about which Mama was wrong, and her own occasionally colorful vernacular was solid proof.

Don’t misunderstand. The fine tuning of my BS meter doesn’t mean that I’m walking around swearing like a sailor. (Do sailors swear more than anyone else, really, or is that just a saying? Anyone? Rob, you ought to be able to answer that one. 😉 ) It’s less about calling people out on their BS and more about empowerment. I can’t say why. There’s just something about embracing the gray, about saying, “Hey, this is who I am, for real,” that frees the spirit and boosts confidence. Rather ironic, since I spent years coloring to achieve those same results.

Growing out the gray isn’t for everyone. My aunt, who is in her 80s, still colors her hair. She told me I’m brave to grow out the gray, and that is the comment I hear from women the most. I would argue that bravery doesn’t play into it. It was just a choice. I was tired of spending so much time dyeing my roots when there are a million other things I’d rather be doing, and it’s easier not to color. Call me lazy, not brave.

The hubster has started calling me his silver fox, and I get a kick out of that. This whole thing is a change for him, too, because aside from the aforementioned increased feistiness factor, he’s watching—over the course of only a few months rather than years—the fading away of my ostensible youth to reveal the true middle-aged me. A mere six months ago he had a dark-haired wife people often mistook for a decade younger than her actual age. Today? Not so much. With the brown fading to reveal an abundance of silvery salt & pepper, I look all of my 55 years, and probably quite a bit older. Kudos to him for being okay with that and making me feel good about it.

So now you know the Naked Truth: I’m a feisty old broad with a deep well of sass and a low tolerance for bullshit.

And also a silver fox. My husband says so. 🙂

Have you ever done something that manifested itself in ways you didn’t expect? And tell me the Naked Truth: What’s the status of your internal BS meter these days?

See you Friday for Observations from the Tub!


Romance is good for your heart! To purchase your copy of Love Built to Last in eBook or Print, go to AmazonBarnes & NobleBlack Opal BooksKobo, or AllRomance. Book #2, Love to Believe, will be available for purchase January 30, 2016!

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22 Responses to "Growing Out the Gray: Warning! Comes With Extreme Attitude!"

  1. Comment by Terry Lynn Thomas
    January 6, 2016 at 9:21 am  

    The gray does lower the tolerance for madness, plus there’s something lovely about channeling my inner Miss Marple.

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      January 6, 2016 at 11:37 am  

      Also, you rock the gray. 🙂

  2. Comment by Claudia
    January 6, 2016 at 9:22 am  

    What a fantastic post to find this morning! Thrilling and inspirational…it deals with a lot of what I am feeling and I am ten years older, a late bloomer. Still color my hair, but the attitude is creeping out anyway. I am just very tired of putting up with people…don’t want to confront anyone so stay to myself more and more…and hey, Myself isn’t bad company! Language…I try hard to keep it clean but I fail often. I hate it but sometime a dirty word is a release value to life!!! Keep on truck’n down South…you are on the right road.

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      January 6, 2016 at 11:38 am  

      You summed it up in fewer words than I used, Claudia. I’d say you’re on the right road, too!

  3. Comment by Cathy C. Hall
    January 6, 2016 at 9:33 am  

    I’m used to you being the nice one…now what am I supposed to do??? 🙂

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      January 6, 2016 at 11:38 am  


  4. Comment by Linda O'Connell
    January 6, 2016 at 9:52 am  

    I got tired of being the nice one, and when I hit the big 60, I quit pretending. I hold my slippery tongue less and less. I think it comes with age, not necessarily hair color. I am still coloring but its getting costly. You are an inspiration. Release valve…Claudia is right about that. I can’t wait for your next book.

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      January 6, 2016 at 11:42 am  

      I worry sometimes that my expression looks like Clint Eastwood’s in Gran Torino when he growls, “Get off my lawn.” lol Still, it does feel good to just say what I think, and the comments here prove I’m not alone! And I’m so happy you’re looking forward to the next book! 🙂 I’m excited for the release date. Just received word that it was sent to formatting, so I’ll have the galley soon. Yay!

  5. Comment by Rob
    January 6, 2016 at 10:18 am  

    Yes, Virginia, sailors do curse. I learned from my father who was a sailor, and a truck driver. He had boundaries, though. He never used the “F” word in front of my mother, and he never used goddamn. By the time I got out of boot camp, I spoke profanity fluently, and it has remained my first language since. Fanfuckintastic, farfuckinout, whothefuckcares are examples of proper sailor usage. There’s more, but it’s tofuckinmuch to go into right fuckinnow.

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      January 6, 2016 at 11:43 am  

      LMAO. I knew your comment would be worth the wait. 🙂

      • Comment by Rob
        January 6, 2016 at 1:13 pm  

        As far as hair color, I’m of the opinion that as long as the final product is not blue, you’re good to go. I have a friend who hangs out at the senior center to “scam bluehairs.” I didn’t get into what exactly he meant, but I knew who he was talking about.

        • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
          January 7, 2016 at 9:54 pm  

          No worries. I’ll go out of my way to avoid the blue, especially now that I know there are scammers out there categorizing by shades of azure.

  6. Comment by Patricia Fredericksen
    January 6, 2016 at 11:01 am  

    My hair started turning white when I was a teenager. Now it’s almost completely white. Every once in a while I think about coloring it, and all my friends yell, “But it’s so pretty!”

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      January 6, 2016 at 11:44 am  

      That’s awesome! Beautiful color and you’ve never hidden it under chemical shades. I hope I receive the same reaction after mine is completely au naturel.

  7. Comment by Sioux
    January 6, 2016 at 12:38 pm  

    Lisa–They had to create a new meter for my intolerance of BS.

    I cannot wait to see a photo, once the transformation is complete.

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      January 7, 2016 at 9:56 pm  

      Our meters maybe came from the same engineering firm. 🙂 I promise to post a pic of my old bagger self the second the last of the brown is snipped off.

  8. Comment by Donna Volkenannt
    January 6, 2016 at 5:32 pm  

    Hi Lisa,
    Good for you!
    I was always known as the diplomat and peacemaker, but several years ago I decided I didn’t have the time or temperament to be everyone else’s cheerleader. I’ve also noticed that words sometimes hop off my tongue without checking in with my brain.
    Letting your hair show its natural color is liberating. And it’s wonderful that your husband calls you the silver fox.
    Hope you have a peaceful and prosperous new year!

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      January 7, 2016 at 9:57 pm  

      Thank you, Donna! Same to you. 🙂

  9. Comment by ButtonsMom2003
    January 6, 2016 at 6:40 pm  

    I’ve never colored my hair (except for a few experiments with frosting in my 20’s) but I do applaud your bravery for going natural. I think my tolerance for BS changed after retirement; I no longer had to be diplomatic with supervisors or co-workers.

    Unfortunately I’ve had a potty mouth for quite a while but I try to keep it under control when I’m around people who would be offended. I guess that just goes to show that I could stop it if I really wanted to. 🙂

    I’m eagerly awaiting the new book and I can’t wait to see the new you! And yes, Rob’s comment was worth the wait. lol

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      January 7, 2016 at 10:00 pm  

      What I’m discovering is that there are few grownups out there who don’t have a potty mouth to some degree. It just kind of…pops out! Especially without little ears around to repeat everything. lol Poor Rob—he had to leave several comments because my website filter (at least there’s a filter somewhere!) kept depositing them in the trash folder. hahaha…fortunately, they came through to my email notification so I was able to share his wit with everyone.

  10. Comment by Karen Lange
    January 7, 2016 at 9:15 am  

    Growing out the grey – good for you! It really is a costly and time consuming practice, isn’t it? Not quite ready to take the plunge here, but you’ll be one of my inspiring models when it’s time. Thanks for sharing with us! 🙂

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      January 7, 2016 at 10:01 pm  

      Let me know when you’re ready, Karen, and I’ll be your cheerleader. 🙂

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