Recently I had a run in with a gentleman with whom we used to attend church. He and I had an additional thread in common besides the house of worship. That is, a love for the lens – photography. So naturally the conversation turned to his latest gigs and triumphs in the industry, of which I was super stoked to hear about, when an unfamiliar woman came and perched herself alongside him. She began staring at me with great intensity, and what felt like a hint of disdain.
I figured she was a new girlfriend that might have mistakenly assumed I was an old flame. Being cognizant of her presumption, I quickly threw my husband’s name in mix of the conversation.
To which she responded, “Is _____ your husband?”
To which I retorted, “Yes, yes he is!”
In an attempt to ease her mind even more, I began telling him about my recent heart problems, while continuing to mention my husband and children somewhere in between my recent setbacks.
I’ve been her. I know how it feels to have run-ins with my love’s past interests, (although he was not one of mine). While we realize ‘everyone has a past,’ nobody ever wants to actually encounter it in real life. It’s safe, so long as our loved one’s history stays suspended in that theoretical sense, and not in 3D, looking you in the eye.
Anyhow, my attempt to secure her stand with her man didn’t lessen her gaze upon me. As the conversation of vanilla talk continued, my platonic friend was totally oblivious to her searing eyes, (or my increasingly uncomfortable foot shuffling because of it).
I finally mustered up an excuse to leave, when she spoke up again.
“You have beautiful hair!” She stated, completely throwing me a curve ball.
I didn’t believe her. I felt it was a ploy, and that when she got out of earshot, she would be immediately mocking my 1990’s Mariah Carey hair to my friend.
Terrible at hiding my emotions from my face, I mustered a thank you and almost snickered.
She sensed my seemingly inappropriate response and inquired, “What is it? Is it not real? Or is it not your natural hair?”
I laughed (sincerely), at the remark. I felt like saying, ‘Who in their right mind would pay for this?!’
But instead I said, “Oh, yes! It’s mine, it’s just that I’m self-conscious about it. That’s all.”
She seemed bewildered by my statement. She might have even mistakened my laugh for haughtiness, but it was just the opposite.
I went on to tell her about a childhood and adolescent riddled with jokes in the name of my hair’s sake.
She said, “Has nobody ever told you it was beautiful before? It is absolutely gorgeous!”
I still didn’t believe her.
The 16-year-old girl in me had quickly, and sarcastically, jerked up an arm to be called upon, cocked sideways in a her school desk chair, chomping on a piece of gum, and said, “Uh… Don’t you remember that time when when we were a sophomore, and Bob (a guy I once dated) dissed and made fun of the affect the humidity had on your curls one day in front of his friends?”
The brat in me pressed on, recalling another folly. This time involving an hour of getting ready for a night out, only to walk into the next room where my ex-husband waited, where he began to laugh hysterically, almost falling in the floor at my ‘big hair.’ Mind you, I never had to try to make it big. It is monstrous, without intervention.
I even had the pleasure of a hairdresser laughing at my locks out loud once – in front of a salon full of people. How’s that for keeping the ego in check?
So, no. Sometimes I do not believe you. The adolescent inside won’t permit it.
Yes, my hair’s a beast. Anyone who knows me can usually recognize me a mile way from my locks alone. They are big and pretentious.
But, it’s the hair God gave me. I’ve succumbed to her majesty and embraced her wild ways for the most part. I stopped attempting to battle my unruly locks with straightening tools and magic balms of mayonnaise a decade ago. I let her do her thing now. I have better things to do with my time than to spend it fighting her will.
But, there is still a rare occasion that insecure girl speaks out. But unlike my ability to calm my Medusa-like hair, I’ve mostly tamed the 16 year old voice.
Do people still make fun of me? Sure they do. I just try to think that for every hater, there is a lover of my hair to balance the scales;)
A glimpse of her madness is captured below, in a rare moment my hubby wanted to photograph me for whatever reason. The 16-year-old would say he took the picture so that later, when he was alone, he could have a good chuckle at my expense. Even so, the 40-year-old me doesn’t mind so much.
Besides, she can be a bit funny sometimes.
Or, perhaps I should just cover my head altogether??
(I am still debating that one, but that topic will be saved for another blog post.)
For now, I will leave you with this, in tying in with the topic of hair..
Luke 12:6- 7 NKJV
(6) Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. (7) But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than sparrows.
Since God knows the hairs on my head, I’d say He’s had to get to know more about me than some others;)
And I’m thankful for every wirey, unruly strand of it.