Transitioning into the next coming of age

A good friend of mine recently gave me devastating news.

“Have you seen Jon Bon Jovi in a while?” Kerri asked, as she prepared to level me with her information.

“No, I haven’t,” I casually responded.

The last time I saw my long-distance and long-standing love was at a concert in Omaha where we smiled at each other. He gazed across the audience, into the blazing spotlights and somehow picked me out . . . as if he had been looking for me the whole time. Our eyes met. I yelled that I couldn’t get any closer to the stage and he shrugged with a smile.

It was quite the moment. One I’m sure he’ll never forget, nor will I.

The first time we physically met, we held hands. It was at my very first Bon Jovi concert. As he ran down a ramp from the main stage to my side of the arena, I bolted like a 17-year-old (although I was well into my 30s) through the crowd into a throng of security officers to hold out my hand and say, “Jon! Jon! Do you mind?”

He responded by flashing that Bon Jovi smile, telling the guards to back off . . . and then he reached out, smashing my hand in his until my ring was nearly imbedded into a nearby finger. And did I mention the provocative wink as he walked away? Or that I fell down and cut a deep gash into my knee?

It was magical.

“No, I haven’t seen him since the last concert in Omaha,” I responded to Kerri.

“I don’t mean in person, I mean in general,” she said, chuckling. “Have you seen him in a magazine or on television or anything?”

Again, I said I hadn’t.

And then, she handed me a reality as harsh as the wind from an arctic front.

“Well, I was watching the red carpet portion before the Saturday Night Live anniversary special, and he and his wife came walking down the red carpet,” she explained.

And then, maybe realizing the pain she was about to inflict, her voice changed a bit, she took a deep breath and punched me straight in the face with her words.

“Melanie,” she said. “His hair is completely gray . . . no, actually, it is completely silver.”

“What did you say?” I exclaimed in horror. “What?”

She gently repeated the horrible words, but softly applied pressure to the wound by saying, “It looks really good, though.”

Instantly, I googled a bunch of quick phrases . . . “Bon Jovi gray,” “Bon Jovi hair” and “Silver Fox.”

Unbelievably, “Silver Fox” sent me instant references to photographs of the newly evolving look of my beloved Jon.

Yes, indeed, there he was. The internet machine was reveling in the new and “mature” look sported by the rock star.

Yes, the style was the same as the last time I saw him.

But, oh my gosh, that hair was silver . . . silver all over.

It was also noted that his 53rd birthday was quickly approaching.

“I feel like someone just punched me in the gut,” I moaned.

Yes, we are all getting older. I realize that. I know that I am older today than yesterday. I realize that it’s been 30 years since I first fell in love with Jon. I see that my hair is different and my body sags in ways it didn’t back then.

But I think I relied on Jon’s never-changing looks and style to somehow keep the rest of us young.

Now, he says it’s time to “start transitioning to the next coming of age.”

I cannot bear it.

The last “transition to the coming of age” was three decades ago when we were young, Jon was hot, the music was our mantra, we had hope in our eyes and we didn’t have any wrinkled anything or aching something, and our will to live was strong.

This “transition to the next coming of age” hurts a lot more, doesn’t look nearly as good, isn’t as loud because I can’t hear as well, and comes with a myriad of daily surprises that just aren’t necessarily any fun.

And it all comes with the admission in my own mind that if I don’t get to the beauty salon soon, I will probably end up all-over-gray – and no one will be calling me a silver fox.

Jon, please, just dump some dye on those beautiful locks and take us back to when Tommy used to work on the docks, she was a little runaway and you were a cowboy riding on a steel horse!

I implore you!

It’s not time to transition to the next phase of life! Look into the light, Jon! You swore that if I took your hand, we’d make it . . . you swore! But now all you are doing is leading me into the second part of my life’s century!

Silver hair and all.

I need to take a deep breath. I need to relax.

After all, I guess things could be worse.

I could have grown up with a crush on Bruce Jenner.







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