Kate Livingstone: Lost for words is a new experience

Kate Livingston
Kate Livingston

There’s not often I am lost for words – as you well know, dear reader. But this week, well what can I say, my daughter left me speechless.

I’d happily agreed to have my grandchildren for the morning while she had a well deserved visit to the hairdressers.

“Don’t worry about us,” I said, “just relax and enjoy being pampered for a wee while.”

The children were great. They wanted to bake cakes and when am I ever one to argue with a quick sugar fix.

They’re even getting the hang of this cleaning up afterward business, so the morning flew by in a whirl of flour, caster sugar and coloured sugar sprinkles.

Emma was meeting a friend for a coffee after her hairdresser visit so I was busy making the children’s lunch when she came back.

There I was pottering about the kitchen when I heard the front door.

“Did you have a good time? Hope you are feeling a bit more relaxed after seven weeks of school holidays!

“This pair want a fish finger sandwich, apparently they even serve them in posh restaurants now, so they have to be on the menu in Chez Kate.”

Then I turned round.

My jaw must have hit the floor as I couldn’t quite think what to say ... that wouldn’t upset her.

“Your hair ...” I spluttered.

“Do you like it?” she said, giving me a complete twirl.

“It’s .. it’s ... it’s grey,” was all I could say.

“Silver if you please. Apparently it’s all the rage on 
the catwalk. Lots of models and celebrities have this colour.

“I really like it – don’t you?”

The way her voice started to tail off I knew that she was now having doubts.

She’d gone from happy to now having doubts, all because of my reaction.

“No, it’s lovely. It just took me by surprise. I was expecting to see your usual blonde hair,” I valiantly backtracked, hoping to sound convincing.

She seemed reassured by this but I spent the rest of the day, trying to understand why my daughter wanted to be grey haired!

Recounting this to a friend later, she pointed out it could have been worse. Emma could have gone blue or pink as so many seem to be doing.

“Silver it distinguished,” she reassured me. “It’s classy.”

“Okay,” I said hesitantly. “But can you explain why I spend a fortune every month trying to hide my grey hairs and have done for years and now my daughter is spending an astronomical amount doing exactly the opposite?”

She gave me a one word reply.

“Vanity.”