In honor of my focus on L-O-V-E for today’s #bloglikecrazy post…
Hair and I have been cool like two cubes in an ice tray since my Mama decided I couldn’t get a Jheri Curl as an 8th grader at Homewood Middle School and finally let me get a permanent after one round of Ramsay High School band camp in the 9th. I’ve always enjoyed the accessory of hair. I like the flexibility of it, the versatility of it and the wow factor often generated from it. I love my own hair and I like the mystery of purchased hair.
In recent years, I’ve enjoyed the variety of looks, styles and personas compliments of weaves and wigs. There’s just such a beautiful transformation which comes from instantly taking on a new look and taking it off or jazzing it up at liberty. I also relish in the shock of people who don’t recognize me because I’ve changed styles in less than 24 hours. However…the real, deal beauty of a hair accessory is not often in what it presents on top, but what it covers underneath.
Weaves or wigs are a lot like a good relationship. They make us look good on the outside while covering what’s underneath. A good wig or weave will know the shocking, mangled, braided, twisted, thinning, dry, dirty, dandruffy, itchy, oily, thick, stinky or cornrowed tresses we carry and cover it until we reach our stylist or solution of choice. Much the same, a good man for his one and only woman can know the brewing mess that’s simmering within and cover as that woman deals with it like the best $159 bundle of Indy Remi or the finest $59.99 Vivica Fox signature hair piece.
It’s not that what’s being covered is to be permanently covered up with no thought of tending, but there are things in life which take time, special attention, gentle care and repeat conditioning or intense management from only those sent to handle it. Just like a premium piece of affixed hair, ladies, a good, God-sent man, will allow God, he and his woman to take care of those internal things while externally carrying on business as usual, knowing that the world might not be able to handle what they’re dealing with as they’re dealing with it, but he can and is honored to make it a priority to do so. He’s able to allow his woman to help him, as she should, but also relishes in the fact that he has something to offer her which no other can. He accepts the challenge to do so, balancing work, children, extra-curricular activities, church or whatever else he’s entrusted with knowing that she is his main order of business. And at the end of the day, he’s spiritually aware, sort of like a wig or weave (but minus the spiritual awareness…LOL!), that how she’s presented is a direct reflection of him.
I’ve been told by a few that my “please, please, please can’t I have some of these qualities in a husband this time” prayer list is too picky. I politely beg to differ! Yes, I do want at least 83.94% of the things on my list. However, give me a man who can cover, work with, transform and enhance me like I just swiveled around in the chair of Jennifer Rose of JRose Beautique and that, ladies and gentlemen, is what I call a bundle of blessings. (Get it, bundle, as in hair…LOL!)
Most of you have traveled with me on, or at some point heard about my journey to and through the worlds of wigs, long hair, disappearing hair, short hair and wigs again. I first wrote about it a couple of Facebook blog posts called When Life Gives You Lemons Wear a Wig and God Tested My Pretty and Gave Me His Cheat Sheet.
To make a long story short I spent about five years growing my hair through the protection of tree braids (Google it). It grew. It looked great. I was excited and couldn’t wait to enjoy the rewards of my patience and the blessings of the gift God gave my stylist Toya Long. For a few months I flipped and shook my hair, opting for super-straight on some days and flowing curls on the other. Then in March of 2011 I underwent surgery to have lymph nodes removed. There was no cancer thankfully, but the anesthesia did a doozy on my hair! It was falling out and shedding like a sheep in the hands of a happy shepherd with scissors. To add to the matter, a month later I developed Lymphedema in my right arm (I’m right-handed) which made it difficult to nearly impossible on some days to literally comb my hair.
So in span of less than one year I went from this (Yes, that’s all my hair compliments of the FABULOUS Toya Long):
To a lot of wonderful wig looks in between and finally this on yesterday, October 1:
I will be the first to admit that fear had a lot to do with me waiting so long to at least have my hair professionally blown out and cut. I was afraid of “what lies beneath”. I was afraid that styling my hair would hurt the healing I’d worked so hard to have in my arm. I was afraid that my hair wouldn’t be as cute as I wanted it to be or as cute as it used to be. (I know I’m not the only one who falls into the occasional concern of things in life not being as good as they used to be). I was afraid of it frizzing up and fluffing out to embarrassing heights reminiscent of my 7th grade year in Physical Education at Homewood Middle School when my mama wouldn’t let me get a perm or a Jheri Curl. I was afraid of a lot of different things regarding my hair, but I decided to take the leap. My stylists, Toya, was so comforting as she began to unravel and discover what the last three years left. She was so assuring in her words, and so set on creating the perfect color (affectionately known as Sassy Copper) for my new reveal. I’m grateful for her.
(Side Note… God has a sense of humor! Sometimes I think He has to just be sure I’m “down for the cause” in case things STILL don’t turn out the way I want to. Today I woke up excited to take down my pin curls only to find that my curly do was a bit frizzy because of the way I pinned it AND the curly-curls were tickling the back of my neck. With my lymphedema, one lingering side effect is not liking to have anything heavy or tickling on my neck where the fluid sometimes still backs up. SO…I pinned that hair to the top of my head in a hurried tribute to Audrey Hepburn, with a natural girl, new millennium twist… and am still grateful.)
Now, will I retire my hair accessories (wigs) forever? Absolutely not. Is my hair back yet to where it was before all I endured? Absolutely not. Does that concern me? Absolutely not. Am I grateful for the journey, regardless of the unexpected route it took my tresses and me? Absolutely, I am. Do I still know that it’s not about the outside, but what’s on the inside that counts? Absolutely, I do. Am I, like my hair, growing more and more each day compliments of this lesson in life? Absolutely, I am.
The moral of this story: We are who we are… long hair, short hair, no hair, or new hair, and that’s the best person we can be. We owe it to ourselves to make the most out of where God has us and what He gives us, but never underestimating His ability to restore in His own precious time and in His own sweet way.
On a previous family trip to Florida one of my favorite cousins and I decided to switch wigs. I was so excited to try hers because on her it looked like a million bucks with change to spare! Her wonderful wig was a beautiful, black, short, precision pixie cut reminiscent of the look made popular in the 60s. She marveled at my “hair accessory”, eager to swap manes. Mine was a mid-length, mixed auburn and brown color, layered look that fell softly in my face just above the left eye. Knowing the investment I made to purchase it, I’ll too say that mine looked like it cost a million bucks with change to spare!
We ripped off our personal pieces and unveiled our “wig caps” for the world to see, okay, not really the world, but our sisters who were waiting to see the by swap. Slowly, and methodically we placed each other’s wigs on our crowns, proceeding to fluff, flatten and fix the tresses in place. Well, wouldn’t you it. We looked a mess. I’m talking a “hot, buttered, smothered, and covered up in hair that should not have been on our heads” mess. We looked so bad in each other’s hair that there is no picture proof of that wig swap ever happening. It was so sad it was funny.
Only what’s for you is for you. That’s the message I received loudly and clearly while laughing at myself (and my cousin) in the mirror. I just knew without a shadow of a doubt that because the wig looked great on my cousin it would look great on me. We’re cousins after all. We look alike. We should have been able to whip that wig on and pose for more pictures that a high school year book. NOT!
Only what’s for you is for you. I’ve learned this lesson a time or two or ten in life, but it really hit home in that Florida condo as I stood looking like a cross between Wesley Snipes in “To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar” and a person in witness protection. What was so absolutely baffling is how we both could be striking in the ones that belonged to us, and we were, but strike out in the manes that clearly did not have our names written on them. Such is the same in life.
Only what’s for us is for us. Whether it’s wigs, jobs, spouses, opportunities or even obstacles. What’s designed and destined for us is for us, and us alone and only we can wear what’s ours well.
The moral of this story is: Do yourself a favor. Wear your own wig.