i tell you, as a black woman wearing your hair natural, you have the most hilarious experiences in every day life just generated by your hair alone. i know, it doesn't seem like it should be that big a deal, it's only hair, but it surprises me every day.
i was feeling particularly lazy today, so i just did a wash n go (soak hair with water, add conditioner if you like, rinse, shake vigorously....go about day) and headed to Meijer today, just going to replenish the rapidly decreasing stock of fruit in my fridge (i'm seriously addicted to seedless red grapes, bananas, and Red Delicious apples right now). in my ignorance i assumed it would be a normal outing. i didn't know that it would turn into a 'oooh can i touch/ogle/stare/shoot dirty looks at your hair' day. granted, i'm fairly used to the 'ugh wtf is she doing with her hair?' looks. i'm even getting used to the twinkle of adoration in some people's eyes when i walk past (or is that just wishful thinking?).
but i mean really, in what other normal shopping situation is it okay to walk up to someone and ask to touch their hair? yes a woman walking around with a a kinky halo full of springy coils may intrigue you. i've seen a head or two that i wouldn't mind touching and trading product info with, but i would NEVER walk up to a random person and ask to touch their hair and expect anything but a funny look.
with all that said.....i let the little girl touch my fro. ha. i know, i know. but IF she had been someone over the age of 18...i would have been referring to her in the preceding paragraph.
she was soooo cute too! about seven, sporting a big smile that lacked two front teeth, and two thick, long (is it possible to be jealous of a seven year old?) pigtails that skimmed her lower back. such a cutie. i noticed that she kept staring at me. tapping her mother's side incessantly until she pried the woman's eyes away from the ingredient label on her the box of whatever she was holding. the woman looked my way, offered a cordial smile, and went right back to reading her box. of course this wasn't good enough for the little girl who now resorted to saying (very loudly) to her mother "mom, do you see her hair?? isn't it cool? you NEVER let me wear my hair like that. mom, look at her hair! how did she DO that?"
"why don't you just go ask her, stop bothering me girl, i'm trying to shop." the woman said.
i'm assuming she wasn't serious. or maybe she was. she did look a bit irritated. in any case, the little girl trotted over to me and asked if she could touch my hair and how i got it to look so 'cool'. i told her it's like a plant; water, sunshine and love make it grow! then i silently sent a prayer up in memory of my perfectly shaped fro as her hands mussed it up and down repeatedly.
no worry, i'll resurrect it tomorrow. i think i see a napptural diva in her future. yay!