she made her way through the crowd of people who were hugging, kissing, squealing "how are you", "you look great", "you look the same"... however when she turns to me she says... "do you still work in midtown?". "no", i reply, "my unit has moved out to queens"... wow i thought, she must be asking because we used to work so close to each other. we made plans for lunch the last time we saw each other, exchanged business cards and all that. she then says, "oh i figured that because there's no way you can get away with working in midtown with that hair."
my natural, coarse and wild hair? i had no idea that midtown manhattan, which is the area between 14th and 59th streets, about 5 square miles, had stipulations on which state my hair or anyone's hair should be in. i can't even imagine midtown being some kind of entity that would frown upon and possibly banish me from entering unless my hair was somewhat more... acceptable?
i am not even fazed by this comment nor am i surprised. this old schoolmate has always seemingly had this black may be beautiful but it's not always right mentally. it has been a whole 366 days since i made the decision and cut my relaxed hair off. i went from having 12 inches of relaxed hair...
to having 3 inches of natural hair...
and i have no regrets. in fact, i could not be happier.
i could have been offended by her comment but i am not. in fact, i am flattered. i love that my hair grows out and up, defying gravity. i like not having to put up an umbrella when it rains, knowing that my scalp will remain dry. i enjoy not worrying about wrapping my hair every night and i am excited to work in a field where natural is acceptable - my director rocks a caesar, my supervisor has locs, and almost every woman of color in my worksite proudly flaunts their naturalness.
my facebook inbox is full of messages from friends and friends of friends who ask me when, how and why i cut off my hair and my daily regimen. i receive compliments especially from people who never would have guessed that i would cut off my treasured relaxed hair, and as blog sister kay c wrote once on her blog, i receive lots of hands in my hair, especially from male acquaintances.
so now that the reunion is over and everyone is posting pics... i have this feeling that one of the messages in my inbox this week will be from this very woman... except this time she won't be asking something like, "girl, how they let you go to work like that" but more like... "i've been dying to do the very same thing... tell me how you made it happen".