Conversations about hair


Originally uploaded by yaznotjaz.

[Because even if no one sees your hair, there will still always be conversations nonetheless.]

* Last December, at home:

I walk into my room with my hair all tousled and standing up in weird waves and curls all over my head because I just took it out of the bun it’s been in for the past couple of days. Because my hair is naturally annoyingly straight, I view the crazy curls as a delightful change.

My mother, on the other hand, shakes her head in despair. Ey kay ayya, Yasmine? Jindoo dariyn vaykhh na zara. Banda akhhay, dunya thay thud kaday bhi vaalan ni kandee na maree. “What is this? Just look at yourself – one would think you’ve never in the world combed your hair before.”

I laugh. “That’s right, Ummy. You know I never do comb my hair.” She gives me a what kind of monster did I raise sort of look.

I am notorious amongst close friends for never (okay, rarely ever) combing my hair. I wash it, I dry it, I style it by putting it up in a bun again. But combing or brushing? Waste of time. Besides, the hair is so damn straight, it doesn’t really require any of that drama anyway.

Lately, I’ve flirted with the idea of chopping my elbow-length hair all off – like I did a couple of years ago – but it’s a nice anchor for the headwraps, and I really do love the headwraps.

Which brings me to the next conversation…

* Last Wednesday evening at Rasputin Music, Telegraph Avenue, Berkeley:

A man approaches me, grinning widely as if we’re long-lost friends. I stare warily. “Are those dreads?” he asks without preamble.

“Dreads?” I repeat stupidly. “Uh, no. No, I don’t have dreads.”

He raises his eyebrows and checks out my headwrap, wide-eyed. “Wow, you must have a lot of hair, then.”

I start laughing. “No, I don’t really, it’s mainly just the scarf that makes it all look so huge. Seriously.”

“Oh, okay, ’cause I saw you and I was thinking, ‘Man, that girl must have some serious dreads, or maybe she just has lotsa hair!’ “

“Nope, neither, just big scarves to work with, more like!”

We both chuckle, and I make a quick escape to the register to pay for my CD.

Later, I laughingly relay the conversation to my sister, as we settle down for dinner with the brother in Berkeley.

She and the brother share a glance across the table. “He was hitting on you,” she says bluntly.

The brother nods in agreement. “Yeah.”

I stare. “Well…grand,” I sputter. “Clearly, I didn’t notice that part. I thought he was just excited about the dreads.”

It’s kinda not fun when non-oblivious people point out those sort of things, you know.
It just ruins the story.

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