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Posts Tagged ‘hair’

Several weeks ago, I was asked if my kids could participate in a photo shoot for Krispy Kreme donuts.  I of course said yes, because my kids are cute.  The pay was also good, we received 8 coupons for a free dozen donuts.  That’s a lot of donuts!  As we were preparing for the shoot, the photographer informed me that I needed to be there by a certain time.  She insinuated that “I” needed to be there.  Of course I needed to be there, I can’t just leave my minors alone with photographers.  No, meaning that I was going to be in the pictures as well.  Well, that just seemed crazy to me.  My kids are cute, me, not so much, at least not national photo shoot cute.  It turns out the shoot was meant for Father’s Day, hence the request for my presence.  I just assumed they had fake dads for that, but I digress.  I don’t know if Krispy Kreme will actually use the photos taken, but if they do, I will provide a link.

(I began this blog long ago, but never finished it. Since that time, I have discovered that Krispy Kreme did post a pix from that shoot. It was for Father’s Day. They did not post a pix with my daughter, which is ridiculous, as she is the cutest of us.)

Well, if I am going to have my picture taken, and those photos may end up nationally available, I needed to get my head right.  I needed a hair cut, more importantly, I needed a barber shop (roll credits), specifically, a black barber shop.

Now, you may or not be aware, but black folks have different type of hair compared to other races.  Of course, there are races with similar hair challenges, but if we just stick with the ever popular black/white dichotomy, black folks have different hair from white folks.

One day while driving to the grocery store, I thought I saw a black person leave a barber shop.  I thought, cool, a barber near my house.  So, before the photo shoot I stepped into the shop.  It was a very hot day and the blinds of the barber shop were closed.  I could not see into the place, even though I tried really hard.  The last thing I wanted was to enter into an unknown situation and embarrass myself.  (Can you guess what happens next?)

I took a deep breath, open the door and walked in.  A wave of cold air hits my face, both literally and metaphorically.  The white barber and the white customers stopped what they were doing and stared at me for what seemed like an eternity.  This type of event has happened to me before.  I always envision the old Wild West and band players playing their Wild West tunes.  A stranger walks into the bar, and the music stops and everyone in the tavern looks at the incoming man, as if to say, telepathically, in unison, “You don’t belong here.”  The closest I have ever come to this in real life, was at a pizza parlor in the Sierra Nevada mountains.  A bunch of bikers were eating and drinking and I felt so out of place, I ended up leaving.  A friend who was their and stayed, later told me that the group of bikers ended up ordering sodas and laughing a lot.  Never judge a book …

So, the white barber asks me, “Can I help you?”  Luckily for me, I think very quickly.  “Um, I thought you guys would be black.  My bad.”  This story would probably be funnier if I actually said that, but I was having a clever day.  What I actually said was, “I’m sorry.  I think I am in the wrong place.  A friend of mine said he was going to meet me at the barber shop, but I think I have the wrong one.  Because he’s obviously not here.”  The barber than asked a very appropriate question, “What’s the name of the barber shop?” I replied, “That is a very good question.”  No, not really, I said, “I can’t remember.”  The barber preceded to give me directions to a barber just down the road.  And said maybe I’d find my friend there.

I turned on my heels as quickly as I could and headed to the next barber shop.  I don’t THINK I turn red when I blush, but if I do, I was a strawberry in that place.  Once again, the inside of the next barber shop could not be seen, so I took a deep breath and entered.  The cool black breeze wafted over me like Lando Calrissian (come on! that’s funny).  I had found my barber shop.

Now, here is the real punch line to this blog.  White folks were getting their hair cut there.  What!?!  When did this happen?  I remember going to the barber as a kid.  It was like a secret society.  A place where black folks could let their hair down (insert rimshot).  Music in the background.  Barbers asking after your family.  People being loud.  Someone telling a story that someone else thinks is hilarious.  And always the one barber that had nothing to do, because everyone knew he was going to mess your fade up!

Is the opposite true?  Outside of Super Cuts, or Sport Clips (and no matter what they tell you, they do not know how to cut a black person’s hair) are black people going to white barbers?  I think not!  The stealing of black culture stops here!  White folks, you don’t need to be going to black barbers.  You just don’t need it!  You know what?  I blame Trump for this.  That’s right, I said it.

Maybe this is good, maybe it’s not, but it was one of the last places of segregation that I thought everyone was still amazingly OK with, but I guess I was wrong.  Yeah, I know, this blog has taken a weird turn, but it just surprised me is all.  Maybe next time I need a hair cut, I’ll head to that first white barber.  And once again, he’ll ask, “Can I help you?” And I’ll say, “Yeah you can help me.  I got next! ¡Viva la Revolución!”

 

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So, my son bought a fedora.  I don’t know where he got it from, or why he bought it, but when I picked him up from his mom’s house yesterday, he had it on.  Don’t get me wrong, he looks great, but is a fedora something that a 5th grader should wear?  Or more specifically, should he wear it to school?  I can honestly say that I want my children to grow up independent and secure in who they are and  I don’t want them to worry about what other people think or say.  They should be themselves and not let anyone dictate who or what they should be … in theory.

You see, in my mind, when he arrived to school wearing a fedora, kids were going to point at him and laugh.  They were going to tell him that he looked stupid wearing that hat, and then spend the next 20 minutes making him cry.  The scene finishes with him eating alone in the cafeteria working really hard to hold back tears.  Or there was the other version, the version where kids take his hat, rip it up and beat him up for being a pretentious little fedora-wearing panzy boy.  He arrives home with a bloody lip and runs to his room crying.  What I have just described to you is the real thoughts that ran through my head this morning as I contemplated keeping the fedora at home.  Instead, I simply asked him “You sure you want to wear that hat to school?”  He responded simply, “Yup.”  And that was that.  I said nothing else.  he got ready for school, which included his gym shoes, backpack, violin and fedora.  Him playing the violin, in my mind, did not help.  As he leaves the house, about to close the door, I say one thing, “You look great in that hat.”  He said, “Thanks” and walked to school.

He is wearing that hat. You go boy!

I didn’t know what was going to happen, but I knew one thing, my son was going to leave the house knowing that I thought he looked great in that fedora.  And he did look great in that fedora.  My goal for my kids remain the same.  I want them to be independent and not worry about what other people think.  But I added another goal to my parenting list today; I want my kids to know what I think.  I think my kids are awesome, and he looks good in a fedora.
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I wondered this morning, “what crazy thing would I do if I was filthy rich?”  When I say rich, I mean light your cigar with a burning $100 dollar bill rich.  Here is what I would do: I would purchase a barber style chair, I would make a special room with a HD television on the wall, and wall speakers connected to my voice activated i-pod that is connected to the internet and automatically downloads any song that I request.  Blu-ray with surround sound of course.  I would hire the most attractive woman I could find.  She would be paid $50,000 a year to wear high heel shoes and a nice low-cut black dress, and at least once a week, using tweezers, pull the white hairs from my beard one by one.  Happy ending would be optional.  I’m just sayin …

He is very good at the violin, and the fedora completes the ensemble.

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So, generally when I write a blog it feels right.  At some point in the week an idea comes to my head and I say to myself, “I need to blog about that.”  For whatever reason that did not happen this week.  It came close with my friend Nick who is recently engaged.  I thought about writing about how is life is over or how now he can’t seem to make the simplest decision without her (really?).  This was starting to happen anyway, slowly but surely losing his manhood to the point by now I believe his testicles are in a glass case over his fiancée’s fireplace mantle.  It is well-lit, with gold inlay, it’s tasteful and well done.  I thought the sign in bold neon letters under the glass case flashing “Property of Laura” was a bit much, but to each his own.  But then I thought giving a man a hard time for getting married was too cliché and I am better than that, so I am not going to write about my man, Nick.

Than I thought about going political.  Speaking about the craziness of people who want to change the 14th amendment, which I still believe is more about racism than an intelligent solution to the problems of immigration in this country.  Or how brilliant I think the “March to Keep Fear Alive” is and how I wish I could attend the event.  But, quite frankly, I am not in the mood for a serious political discourse.

Then I thought about going with another heart string tugger of parental wisdom.  On how my son actually wants to practice football with me ever since I decided to take it down a notch (see Sins of the Father).  I was going to speak of how as parents we would be more successful if we were willing to meet our kids where they are, rather than expect them to meet us where we are.  He is doing great in football by the way.  Improving every week and having fun playing the game.  But no, I am not going to talk more on that subject, it just doesn’t feel right.

Do I have writer’s block?  I don’t think so.  As you can see from the above subjects I have plenty to talk about, but I am not in the mood to talk about them.  So, what am I in the mood to talk about.  Hmmmmmm.  Fantasy football?  I should be talking about this, but I am not.  Maybe next week.  So, what will it be?

How about hair?  Yeah, that feels right.

That’s right, hair.

I find hair to be very fascinating.  I am not a hair stylist, but I do know good hair when I see it.  I love the saying “bad hair day” and I wish it was used more often.  I never use it, because I have no hair.  Well, I do have hair, but my hair does not want to grow on all parts of my head, especially the front part above the forehead.  My father has the sam balding pattern.  Who said balding skips a generation?  The funny thing is, I know exactly where it began.  In 1997 I took my oral exams for my PhD.  To commemorate the occasion, I shaved my head and cut my beard into a goatee.  I wanted to intimidate my doctoral committee as they had never seen me with this look.  I liked the look so much, I kept it for a year or two.  One day, I decided to let my hair grow back.  Not all of it did.  Uncool.  I have learned to live with it.  Now, I shave my head, but it is less by choice than not liking the huge bald spot.  You may not know the difference, but I do.

But the thing I find most fascinating about hair is how contextual it is.  What do I mean?  Whether hair is a good thing or bad thing all depends on context.  For example, It is OK to put your hands in someone’s hair.  If you are close, you can pet your friend’s hair.  Cutting someone’s hair is not a big deal, but as soon as the hair hits the floor, it is NOT to be touched with bare hands, unless it is your own hair.  On the head, clean.  Falling to the floor, garbage and unclean.  Many people put their own hair in their mouth, but you would never put someone else’s hair in your mouth.  It is just hair, but context changes everything.  Here is a list of the worse situations of context to find hair:

In your food.  Yuck, and the longer the worse it is, especially if you pull it from your mouth like a noodle.  Actually there is something that is worse …

A short hair in your food, and it is NOT straight.

Hair in the bathtub drain.  I hate this with a passion.

Hair on the shower wall.  This is especially true if it is a hotel shower.

Hair in any bed that is not your own.

Any hair that is growing in a place that it should not be growing: mole, feet (this one varies), the stray chin hair, the stray chest hair, and the ever popular nose and ear hair.

In general, hair on one’s chest is fine, but there is variation of opinions on this, but hair on the back is almost never acceptable.

And I will end with this very fascinating fact:  The acceptability of hair and its location changes dramatically during sex.  Many things change during sex, but this is a blog about hair.  So, if you have read this blog from beginning to end, I apologize.  It is five minutes of your life that you will never get back.  But, it still feels right and I wouldn’t want to write a blog that I couldn’t be proud of.

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When it comes to marriage, women and men are different.  They just are.  For example, a woman might have a special notebook of wedding ideas that she might have been accumulating since five.  Even the wedding itself is different.  At the wedding on the female side is joy, laughing, celebration, single bridesmaids wishing they were the bride.  On the man’s side: Groomsmen, “You say the word, and we will hop in my car right now and get away from here.  We could be in Vegas or an Arizona golf course in five hours, your choice.”  Groom, PAUSE … PAUSE … PAUSE  “No, I’m good.” … PAUSE … “Yeah, I’m good.  You’re a good friend.”  I’m just sayin …

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