I started my natural hair journey a little over a year ago and the growth my hair has experienced has been unreal. I started with a TWA (teeny weeny afro) and graduated to a BAA (big azz afro) within months of my BC (big chop). (You like how I’m giving y’all a lesson on natural hair terminology, huh?) But now that I’ve officially gotten a full year under my belt, I’ve got something more like a BBAA (big bad azz afro). This thing is huge! And I’m loving every inch of it.
Funny story — This past weekend, I went back to DC for the Labor Day holiday and one of my friends told me I had a “Sideshow Bob” thing going on. I took offense and she said “What? It’s fun!” Now, she meant it as a compliment (I think), but when I left the house, I definitely was not intending to channel Sideshow Bob… I was thinking more “footloose and fancy-free”. But sometimes I miss the mark. *shrug*
That Sunday, I went to church with my parents. My home church has a very old congregation. The majority of its members are senior citizens. So when I walked in with a ‘fro reaching to the rafters, you betcha it caused a little buzz. When Pastor instructed us to “pass the peace” (a practice where we move about the church fellowshipping with others by shaking hands, hugging, and verbally blessing folks) following the morning announcements… well… let’s just say that more than “peace” was being passed to me. Almost every one of my mother’s fellow deaconesses had something to say about my hair. Even when it was meant to be “complimentary” it didn’t come out quite right. It’s a good thing that I love my hair or else I might’ve taken offense to some of the comments.
My hair draws attention no matter where I am. My boss (an older white female) came into my office a few days ago and said “Wow… every time I see you, your hair just keeps getting bigger and bigger and bigger.” Three “biggers”? Really chick? Alright. I see what I was meant to infer from that. It was code for “you need to do something to tame that hair”. But until someone says something outright to me about it, I’m not changing a thing. That same day, I was sitting in a meeting and the person I was meeting with a 30-ish white male looks at me and says, “I’m sorry to interrupt, but I just have to say… I LOVE YOUR HAIR! I don’t know what you’re doing, but whatever it is, it’s working for you.” Well, any potential insecurity my boss’s comments might have caused went right out the window then.
Then, this morning on my way to work, I walked past a grocery store and a white delivery guy who reminded me a lot of Turtle from Entourage said “Let it out, girl. All natural!” We made eye contact and both giggled. It was pretty cute and funny. I would’ve considered stopping to flirt or perhaps give him my number, but… I was hesitant. Not that I have a thing against white boys, ‘cause I don’t. Nor do I have a thing against delivery guys as a matter of course. But I just have to be honest – I have expensive taste. There’s no way that we’re going to be able to live out my champagne dreams on his beer budget.
Okay, that was a superficial thing to say, but since I’m well past 30, and quickly sailing into the waters of spinsterhood, I think I’ve earned the right to say what I feel. So there.
Then, just last night, I was at this event sponsored by Disaronno at this chic hotel in midtown. It was a cute event that featured the thing I love best in this world (besides my mommy and french fries) FREE DRINKS. So, I’m sitting there sipping my strawberry-lime rickey (which was amazeballs, btw) and this white guy walks by with his girlfriend or, at the very least, SOME girl, trailing behind him. He winks, gives me the thumbs-up and mouths “I love your hair”. My friends cracked up. But the best part (to me) is that my friend Tee was sitting right next to me, and her hair is gorge! Like, she’s one of the reasons I was inspired to go the natural route myself. But he didn’t say that to HER, he said it to me.
Stream of consciousness sidebar: I just realized that every compliment I’ve received was from a white man. Interesting fact — black women make a fuss (I can’t tell you how many times women have stopped me on the street and said “Tell me EXACTLY what you did to get your hair that way!” One woman actually pulled out a notebook and started making notes. Lol!) but black men hardly ever mention my hair. But whatever. I’m really just making observations.
For once, I don’t need validation from others on this. ‘Cause one thing I know for sure is that my hair is fab. And so am I.