Guest blogger Claudette Sutherland: For years I had red hair -- artificial all the way. In my 60s I remembered an auntie who had this beautiful head of silver white hair. A NY transplant recently moved to LA and, ready for change, I had my hair trimmed down to a buzz and waited to see what would happen. Shortly, I found I had my own classy crop of silver white hair. Friends were thrilled. I looked good in blue. An attractive stranger in the check-out line at Trader's winked at me.
Around about this time my son and his wife announced their first pregnancy and I was willing, but wary, of how I might play it. Some of my younger friends with children thought because I was an actress, dressed in gay colors and hung out with jazz musicians that I would wield some kind of special influence for their children. "I can just see you and little Stephen/Leslie/Veronica in Italy when they are twelve. What a memory you will have given them." Dear God, keep me from being Auntie Mame. Yes, I enjoy having great dinner parties with semi-celebrities, literary conversation, word games with wine, but spare me from large hats, impossibly high heels, cigarette holders, mixed drinks with fruit, gay men who want to talk about musicals. That's not for me.
Still mulling it over, Brendan and Sara arrived for a visit. Brendan said "Love your hair, Mom. You look just like Aunt Betty." And Sara said, with delight, "Oh how nice, I see you must be getting ready to be a grandmother."
Like seeing my life flash before my eyes, I saw laced up oxfords, long-sleeved shifts, cardigan sweaters, no more cleavage, no more eating cold pizza for breakfast in my underpants by myself in front of the open fridge. I smelled brownies and cookie dough -- no garlic clam sauce, no more jasmine scented candles, no anchovies in the red sauce. In fact, it won't even be called pasta anymore. It will be called "noodles."
We are now four boys into it. I still look like Aunt Betty. In fact, I've arrived at my own personal definition of the difference between the coasts. In NY they think I might be Judy Dench, but here in LA they think I'm just an old lady.