For those of you who don’t know me…I rock my natural hair with a whole lot of pride and just as much volume…My hair has often become a focal point and/or conversation starter. Talking about my hair or using it as an excuse to spark a conversation with me is very welcomed. But in the last few days I can’t help but fight the urge to buy a T-Shirt and paint the words: “Touch my hair and DIIIE!” on the front of it.
I often find myself spending a great deal of time, literally, keeping fingers off my head…hell my own child has a tendency to stick her grubby little fingers in it, or pull a comb through it (that usually gets stuck and requires a bag of fairy dust and happy thoughts to get out). But; she’s a kid and I have a weak spot for tykes so they get a “minor” pass…but adults who know better, NO! “Oohh it looks so soft and shiny. Can I touch it?” uummm HELL NO!
Look, no really I need you to listen to me on this, because it should only have to be said once…You Don’t Pet People.
Yeah that T-Shirt would free up so much of my time. That way I have more time to answer other “Dumb” questions like “Are black girls better in bed?” or “Do you go tanning?” or my favorite “Do black people bruise?”…ugh
I remember when I was 8 years old, Third grade, I was called to read my paper out-loud to the class…my teacher in all her Caucasianess asked me if my hair was “Extenders” and could she touch it. This was when I learned (at such a young age) that at in point, while in “mixed company”, I could, at any time, become a one-person informational attraction, representative, SIDESHOW.
Not good enough for you?
A few years ago I was stuck in Ireland, due to weather, where I had the pleasure of meeting three Aussies (Australians). After establishing the kind of rapport, that is shared by strangers on foreign sole, they made a pitiful attempt to add me to their…how should I say this? “International experience”.
“…Can you say, ‘You go girlfriend’?”
“What? No. I don’t even know anyone who actually says that…”
“…Aww C’mon, say it. We get the Maury Povich Show…All Black American girls say
“Hey guy, F@*! you. NO!”
Ok to be honest with you, I think I would much rather have overt “A$$holery” than the “well-meaning” kind. Case in point; a lady I used to edit for called me, the aforementioned, “girlfriend”, even though she knew I hated that sh!t. But she has never slapped me in the face with the “…black women are so confident in their bodies” BS… Which by the way is a marvelously backhanded way of telling me how amazed you are that I’m fatter than you—but apparently don’t hate myself (you can go to hell…immediately). #BitchMode or #InformationalRepresentativeMode …which is often confused with Bitch Mode. Why? Because a black woman is not allowed to criticize anything or anyone without others assuming she’s just being a bitch…
Still not good enough? Well try this one on for size…
A friend and I were recent patrons at a nice “grown-up” establishment…tucked far away from the playgrounds of the beer pong sect of a college town. We were soon approached by two fairly handsome white guys. It only took a single round for one of them, just-so-happened, to mention that he’d ‘never been with a black girl before’. 1) I am not a “girl” I’m a grown woman 2) I would love to know if he thought that this approach was appropriate for all women and not just black women. For example: ‘I’ve never been with a ________ girl before (Jewish, Polish, German, etc).
I am inevitably, hurtfully, blindsided by this type of thing. Often times I dwell, later, on what type of response I should or could have given at that moment. But, I try my best not to have a fit whenever someone asks me idiotic things. I’m just tired of having to be “On-duty” all of the time. I wish that non-black people would put down their ‘Field Guide to the African American Negro’ (No it’s not a real book) long enough to learn about me the same way I learn about them: by shutting the hell up and taking cues…