Let’s see… how do I condense this story to fit into one post?
Sister and I were suppose to go to a relative’s house last night to get her hair done. She had to get her current “hair do” taken out, given a perm/relaxer, and then her mom was suppose to braid it. I was told this would take about two hours.
JUST taking the current “hair do” out took an hour and a half. By then, it was almost time for me to pick up my boys from a church function, and her mom never showed up, so we decided to leave. Sister’s “Grandma” felt bad about everything and decided to have us meet her at the Beauty Shop this (Saturday) morning so she could get her hair done completely.
We arrived at the Beauty Shop around 7:30am (Oh.My.Goodness.). Josh called me around 8:30 to ask me how long I thought we’d be. I asked Grandma and she laughed and said, “Oh, it’s going to be a while…like four hours or so.”
I should have brought a book, my lesson plans, my household notebook, snacks, lunch….SOMETHING TO DO WHILE I SAT FOR HOURS! Needless to say, I was the only white girl in the building and no one spoke to me unless they had a question about Sister. I smiled a lot and tried hard to make sure I was presenting myself as approachable and friendly.
It just so happened that we watched “Good Hair” last night. It is a 90 minute documentary done by Chris Rock on ‘black hair’ and the black hair industry. I figured, we don’t know yet if our little girls are black, white, hispanic, asian… so I’d better be educating myself on all necessary subjects. I learned a lot. Seriously.
As I sat there, I looked through several magazines full of weaves, extensions, and wigs and I found that I recognized all of the lingo! I probably smiled a few times as I turned each page and had flashbacks of last night’s documentary. Did you know the black hair industry is a multi-BILLION dollar industry??
I noticed there was only ONE regular magazine. The rest were all catalogs and hair books…then I discovered WHY.
These women come to talk.
Don’t get me wrong, I love talking with my stylist when I go to the shop, but it’s nothing like what these women were talking about.
The first thing that shocked me was when a woman began talking about her cousin who moved to Atlanta to marry a Jamaican man for $25,000 so he could become an American. Apparently, there are “business arrangements” involving marrying men from other countries. Her exact words were, “yeah, they just have to stay (live) together for about a year, then they can go do their own thing and in five years they can get divorced. It’s just a business arrangement.”
Another woman asked if anyone had seen the “Smith boys” on the news. Apparently they are well known in their community and had gotten busted for drinking and driving, with the better part of a liquor store in the back seat of their car.
One lady talked about her son just getting off of probation after two years, only to get caught making bomb threats at school and as a result, she was greeted by the police beating on the front door of her home. They were all laughing hysterically as she was saying, “I was thinking, I HAVEN’T DONE ANYTHING! WHAT IS GOING ON??”
I couldn’t help but laugh at a lot of their conversations. White girl gossip is no better, it’s just usually about different subject matters. Whose husband lost their job, who has recently gained weight, what friend is getting a divorce, who recently left the church, and whose child has been getting in trouble at school.
FIVE AND A HALF HOURS LATER, I felt insanely out of place, no matter how hard I tried to “fit in”. Sister’s hair looks adorable and is ‘good to go’ for at least two more weeks. Maybe next time I’ll try harder at being a conversation starter…conversations that don’t involve illegal activities.
Live and learn. 🙂