Sunday, January 22, 2006

Time Out

For a while there I thought I had lots to say and then I got bored with the hum drum, predictable nature of my life. I'm really not one for introspective navel gazing anyway. I mean who the hell cares! I care least of all to read about my own personal angst. Much of the time, when I write, it's because something strikes me as so ridiculous or outrageously unbelievable that it begs to be given a platform. Maybe nobody notices but me but that's alright too. When I read these blogs and see others who drone on and on about life and how miserable they are, I gag. I want to say 'Get over yourself already." The ones that really turn my stomach are those that try so hard to be clever. Either you are or you aren't and when you are the effort does not show. There I've said it......Now here's a little story.....
......The Really, Really, Really Bad Hair Day......
If you're a black woman, you already know that hair truly is the black woman's burden. Yeah I know, some days it seems like the black man is our thorn but really it's the hair.
When mine is 'undone' it looks like spiked brillo; untamed, slightly dangerous. Remember Lady Sings the Blues when Diana Ross was in the full throes of heroin addiction and her hair was all wild and nasty lookin'? You get the picture of what I look like. A sistuh can go into a serious tailspin if the hair isn't right.
Lately I've been wearing 'twists'. If you don't know what they are, I can't explain. But every couple of months or so, I have to have them freshened up and the hair has to be uncoiled. I found a couple of teenage sisters with very talented hands to free me from the tyranny of my hairdresser who had the nerve to charge $150 AND ask me to pick her up and take her to the shop. Girlfriend never had a car.
Sooooooooooooo, recently after spending all night taking apart my coils until 4 a.m., I get an early morning call from one of the sisters that went something like; "Oh I forgot to tell you the price has changed. It's no longer $50 but $80." Ok says I but since you don't take checks can I pay you on Monday when the banks open again. "Sure," says she. Twenty minutes later, the phone rings and it's her brother. "My sister says, my momma says, she can't break up the money like that. "Where's yo momma? says I. "Um she ain't home," says he. The sister gets on the phone and agrees to let me come in. It's 5:30 a.m. Ten minutes later the phone rings and they say they'll be late because they have to take Granny to work. They'll call me when they're heading to the shop. "Ok," says I. Next call. "Er, um, can you come in tomorrow (Sunday)? The shop don't have no heat and it's cold." It'll be cold tomorrow, says I. Oh we're going to get my cousin to fix the heater." But don't you have othger customers today? Why can't I be one of them? By then, I'm squealing like a helpless pig headed for the bacon factory. They are unmoved. In anticipation of being fucked over, every self respecting Black woman always has a 'Plan B.' I had bought a hot comb the previous night at one of the many Korean hair emporiums to be found in every Black neighborhood in America. On a Saturday night, these stores are busy as whore houses on payday. The doors swing open continuously with Black women in search of hair to be sewn in glued or otherwise attached to their heads. My preference is 1B/27, natural, $8.99 a bundle. It takes three bundles to cover my head with twists. If you don't know what a hot comb is, I will explain. You plug it in or set it on the stove to heat up. Then you grease up your hair and put the hot comb to it. With any luck, the mess straightens itself out so a comb can be pulled through your head. I was not looking forward to doing that for obvious reasons. The last time I'd used hot curlers to make bangs, I'd fried my forehead. The scar took a year to fade. I had no guarantees that the sisters would call on Sunday. For the rest of the day, I went about my routine with a hat and scarf tied around my head. every Black woman knows when she sees a sistuh on a Saturday in a hat and scarf, she's not trying to be glamorous. It's because some hairdresser somewhere has let her down. It's Sunday and the phone rings at 11:15. "We're on our way to the shop." I'm incredulous. Suppose, says I, I'd been outside with the dog. I didn't know whattime they would cal or even if they would. But call they did and I sprung into actiion. I drove the 40 miles to the shop in record time. After two hours, I was myself again, fresh coils and all. I was BOOTIFUL.....until next time.