I get asked a lot of questions about my hair. People ask all the time if it’s natural, if they can touch it, and if I like having curly hair. That last question always strikes me as odd. Like, is that there way of saying that they don’t think I should like having curly hair? Sometimes people aren’t even that subtle. Tons of people have given me sympathetic looks and said “I bet you wish you had straight hair, didn’t you?” People are odd sometimes. Today as I was waiting in line at the bank, I kept hearing a popping sound. Finally after about five minutes I turn around to see what’s going on and I see a middle-aged woman wearing flip flops and a Jimmy Buffet concert tee, blowing bubbles with her gum like a ten-year-old at the baseball field. Slightly confused, but at least satisfied that I knew the source of the popping noise, I go to turn back around and she stops me with “Hey, what’s it like having curly hair like that?”
First of all, I didn’t realize that the type of person who randomly talks to strangers in bank lines still existed out there. I thought at this point in our evolution we had all agreed to just stand in line silently, while taking occasional breaks to check our phones. I was so taken aback by the fact that Mrs. Jimmy Buffet was even asking me a question that I didn’t have time to properly consider her question, or even answer it. Now that I’ve had some time to think about it I’m not even really sure how I would have answered it. Originally, my first thought was to say that it’s probably not too different from having straight hair, but the more I thought about it, I guess it is pretty ridiculous.
For one thing, washing your hair is like playing the lottery. However it decides to dry that day is just what you’re stuck with, since the only way to fix it is to wash it again. Plus, it takes like 6+ hours to dry anyway, so nobody’s got time for that. During home room in high school, my friends used to play this game called “hide the braid,” which involved putting a teeny tiny braid in my hair and seeing how long it took to find it. A couple times I didn’t successfully locate it until the bus ride home. I guess that would be a hard game to play with straight hair. My hair also seems to reach out and grab things pretty often. If I walk to close to a bulletin board, next thing you know my hairs wrapped around a tack. Going in for a hug with anyone who’s wearing jewelry is risky because there’s a 50/50 chance a curl is gonna end up wrapped around their necklace or bracelet.
My best friend’s absolute favorite story about my hair being ridiculous occurred during our 10th grade history class. Mrs. Anderson, our teacher, was a little person, in the sense that she was under 4ft tall. However, she liked to flail her arms around using big gestures to help get her point across. When we were sitting down in our desks, we were perfectly at eye level with Mrs. Anderson and as her arms were moving around her wedding ring made contact with my hair, and it was all over from there. For at least twenty minutes, her hand was stuck in my hair and the whole class was laughing so hard no further learning took place that day. For twenty minutes, I had a literal human being in my hair. So I guess having curly is a little bit different after all.
In response to any questions this post might have prompted, no I’ve never gotten it permed, yes you can touch it, yes I like having curly hair, and no I probably don’t wanna try whatever product your cousin/sister/friend with curly hair swears by. Now please don’t bother me in line while I am trying to avoid any unnecessary social interaction.