6/24/2010

"So, Is That Weave?"

It's been a long time since anyone has come right out and asked if my hair was real, but alas, the lull was broken recently. For my job, we did a program with middle schoolers so on our way back from lunch, I sat in the back with a group of giggly girls. All except one girl who was very stern-faced but pretty with high cheek bones, freckles, and dimples. She and I chatted about how she's moving to a new high school next year and she's nervous because none of her friends will be there. I told her not to worry about it, that she'd make friends in no time! Then she lamented her "awful" English and how all of the new kids would tease her. I saw that she was getting quite depressed about it so I tried to give her a pep talk. Then she turns to me, cocks her head to one side and asks:

"So, is that weave?"

**pause** First of all, if your English is so bad, why the devil do you know the word weave?! Obviously, you've been watching enough BET or Real Housewives of Atlanta to know about weave! Second, really??? But none of this registered on my face. I just looked back at her, smiled sweetly and said, "No, it is not a weave. These are called twists." But she wouldn't relent. Here's how the conversation went (and I'm sure all my sistas know exactly what's about to go down)

HER: Yeah, but I mean, that's fake hair. That's not your REAL hair.

**thinking to myself** You little twerp...

ME: Well, technically, no it is not all my hair. I am just giving my hair a rest for now.

HER: Oh. But like, how do you wash it? **starts rubbing her hair as if to demonstrate to me how to wash hair**

ME: **starting to boil** Well, how exactly do you wash YOUR hair? With shampoo and water right? So do I.

HER: **not giving up** But like, isn't it hard to wash it deep? What about your scalp and stuff?

ME: **seething** Ok, sweetie, I understand your natural curiosity around my hair. After all, there aren't many people who look like me walking around. I get it. But I wash my hair just like you do. It's still hair.

HER: Hmph. **mutters to herself** I see.

~*~ 5 minutes pass~*~

HER: So, then, that's weave or not?

ME: Oh, look, we've arrived! Time to get off the bus!


Never in the history of me getting my hair twisted/braided has there been this much interest. I swear, I am going to write a manual for people, once and for all, so that a Black woman never has to be asked stupid hair questions. The weave question doesn't bother me as much as the "do you wash it?" question. That sends my blood boiling in 2 hot seconds. I'm probably a lot more lenient and patient with people, too...even strangers. Yes, I have let strange people touch my hair simply to satisfy their curiosity and get on with it. I realize most Black women would probably cuss them out and send them packing, but I recognize the ignorance and try to be open-minded. But my patience is running thin. I dunno what's going to happen when I unleash this afro in a few weeks....

Anyway, I had hoped to attend a Korean wedding last weekend, but work called. Pretty bummed about that. Instead, I ate and drank every night! I tell you, last time I was in Korea, I lost quite a bit of weight but it is completely reversed this time around. I am gorging myself on grilled meat, kimchi, and other miscellaneous Korean food that I missed all this time. Thank goodness I'm still working out to counteract this madness. I feel like time is going by too quickly now. It's almost July and I haven't done many of the things I planned so I've gotta get on with it. I will do a temple stay at some point!

This weekend should be good. World Cup Fever continues - Korea beat Nigeria to advance to the Round of 16 so on Saturday, they'll play Uruguay. I'll be out for that. And congrats to the US, too!! They'll play Ghana and hopefully emerge victorious. If, by some miracle, Korea beats Uruguay and the US beats Ghana, US and Korea will meet up! **GASP** I'll be so torn...but anyway, this scenario is unlikely.

Alright kiddies, sorry I don't have pics, but give me advice on how to handle stupid hair questions. Please and thank you.

Until then,
J

4 comments:

Viajera said...

I think you handled it quite fine. Maybe next time you get the question from a kid, you could also ask them, "How would you feel if I asked you if you washed your hair/armpit/vagina this morning?". And don't let them squirrel out of it.

eccentricyoruba said...

i can only imagine your frustration! i've experienced the same thing but in my case it was a friend of mine who was Chinese. she basically asked me about braids and how we washed our hair with them on. she seemed genuinely curious and was polite. when i explained that it is indeed possible to wash your hair as usual with braids on she remarked that it was very convenient.

i think you tried your best explaining and you shouldn't quit being patient when it comes to other people's curiousity about your hair.

Stephanie said...

Do you think she was using the sympathy to draw you in for the questioning?

Homegirl probably wanted a step by step tutorial. LOL

The Entertainment Geek said...

I've actually been asked the same question... by caucasian Americans. And they were adults too.