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Ask Ellie: Incredulous friends are just jealous of 72-year-old's lack of grey

Know your truth and don’t let other people’s envy bother you

Dear Lisi:  I am a 72-year-old whose hair colour hasn’t changed to grey or white. I dyed my hair in my 20s and, after 30, I only highlighted it occasionally.

After chemo, my hair came in really dark so I used rinses to lighten it up a bit. Since then, I have left it alone.

My question is, how can I get people to stop accusing me of lying about this? I have one friend who has seen me at my best and worst, and who often tries to trick me to confess what isn’t true.

I’ve thought to ask her if she knows a lab that can prove my stance or send me to a deserted island for a few months. There is little you can do to prove a negative. With all the colours out there, why would I choose mousey brown?

It hurts my feelings to have people think I would deceive them over such a silly thing as hair colour. I’m just not that vain.

How would you respond?

Truly NOT Grey

Know your truth and don’t let other people’s envy bother you. They’re just jealous. Let’s face it — grey hair is associated with age. You don’t see anyone under the age of 18 with naturally grey hair.

I don’t want to get into a whole discussion about it because look what was alleged to have happened to Lisa LaFlamme simply because of her grey hair. But yes, it is uncommon for women in their 70s to not have any grey hair. That’s why people will have a hard time believing you.

Be honest; tell them your truth. And let it go. They’ll either believe you or they won’t. Don’t take it personally.

Dear Lisi: I recently went to a big box store where customer service is a necessity. The store is impossibly large and not everything is listed on the hanging signs. I looked for an employee to help me. After walking up and down several aisles, I finally found one junior person in training who didn’t have a clue about any of my queries. He just looked at me vacantly and didn’t even offer to find someone else to help.

I finally found a senior employee, but he was rude, dismissive and gave me the wrong information, sending me to the other side of the massive building incorrectly.

I’d been in the store over half an hour and still hadn’t found one item on my list. I found another employee, same as the last, who simply stated he had no idea where anything was and walked away without attempting to help.

At this point, I left, frustrated and empty-handed. What’s the deal with these people and should I say something to the store manager?


I empathize with you completely. I’ve been there. We all lead such busy lives and book our errands into our schedule, allotting a certain amount of time.

I can’t tell you what was going on with these particular employees, but I can tell you that since COVID it is very difficult for employers to find staff. I have seen and heard about it all spring and summer, from the city to the country, and even overseas. Why exactly, I don’t know. I’m not an expert in the field.

My suggestion is three-fold: 1) give yourself more time to get stuff done than you normally would; 2) research exactly what you need online, including product SKU, etc. When you get to the store, go straight to the customer service desk and ask them to look up the products you want; and 3) if all else fails, shop online.

FEEDBACK Regarding the mom who can’t seem to get organized for school (Sept. 6):

Reader – “Learn from this year’s anxiety and start preparing much earlier next year.

“I agree, make complete list of everything that needs to be done. Then separate lists into groupings, e.g., things to get, schedules to follow, etc. Then reorganize sub-lists based on priorities.

“Now take one item at a time and work down the list.

“As one who has anxiety, I have learned to not look at everything at once, as it can get extremely overwhelming, but to break down into manageable chunks. And just take one item at a time and one day at a time.”

Lisi – I love a good list! Though I’ve also learned that if you don’t schedule the things on your to-do list, they may never get done.

Ellie Tesher and Lisi Tesher are advice columnists for the Star and based in Toronto. Send your relationship questions via email: [email protected].