My goatee has an impressive gray streak dissecting it like the white stripe on a skunk’s back. Gray hairs have overrun the part of my scalp just in front of my ears and have made a bee-line for my temples. My 5 o’clock shadow has patches of gray so when I don’t shave (which is damn near every day) it looks like there are parts of my face that just don’t grow hair.
Science would tell you that gray hair is the result of pigment cells in our hair follicles dying, depriving our hair of melanin. While I do not disagree with science’s conclusion, science has yet to explain what causes these pigment cells (keratinocytes (that’s a mouthful (<-that’s what she said))) to die. The best explanation science has to offer is that keratinocytes die based on genetic predisposition.
I call bullshit.
I think our keratinocytes are losing the will to live due to all of the stupid shit our children do. There, I said it.
For instance, this morning at 7:15 I went upstairs to tell the twins it was time to leave. When I walked into their room, Baby A was sitting on his bed with no shoes or socks on even though he finished eating his breakfast a half an hour prior, and that was the only thing he had left to do to get ready besides brush his teeth.
“What have you been doing for the last 30 minutes?” I asked, completely exasperated.
My question seemed to confound him. “Um, nothing?”
“Yes, I can see that. Get your shoes and socks on! It’s time to go!”
Baby A got up to get a pair of socks, and that’s when I noticed his attire. The twins have a football game tonight, so they both had on their jerseys, but something wasn’t right with the way A’s looked.
“Is your shirt on backwards?” I asked, incredulous that my nearly 15-year-old son could still make such a mistake without realizing it. I could feel my keratinocytes jumping ship as this scene played out. Some of them even wished me luck.
A pulled his collar out to check. “Oh yeah, it is.”
“Oh my God,” Baby B sighed.
Making this fashion faux pas even worse was the fact that these jerseys have v-necked collars, making it infinitely more difficult not to notice such a mistake.
This is the kind of asshattery I deal with almost every morning. I rolled my eyes and left to brush my teeth. When I returned, A had already flipped his shirt around and was getting his phone and some writing utensils out of the pair of pants he wore yesterday. When he had everything transferred from his dirty pants to his clean pants, he tossed the dirty pants on the floor.
“Try again,” I commanded in a tone that left no illusions about my level of annoyance with him.
He picked up the pants and tossed them towards his laundry basket. They landed on the floor. More keratinocytes died from the onslaught of stress. And stupidity.
“Try again,” I commanded. Again.
He walked across the room, picked them up, and placed them in the basket.
From that moment on the morning proceeded as it should. We made it to school in time even though we left 5 minutes later than we should have because of A’s tomfoolery. Before they got out of the car I told them both I love them and to have a good day, despite the fact that they drive me crazy and rob me of my hair color.
So as you can see, I have solved a mystery science has yet to explain. Gray hairs are caused by our children’s imbecilic actions.
You’re welcome, science.