Title

Ital (eye'-tal): of or from the earth; vital; life giving; natural.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Haircuts and Humans

Last weekend, we indulged our urban side and spent three days in Kingston. We watched Netflix on high speed internet, ate Chinese food, attended the St. Andrew Horticulture Expo (where I picked up my first bunch of orchids~) and got haircuts. Well, Cy and I got our hairs cut anyway.

Cy's was the typical cut a child gets sitting at home on the front stoop while a parent with scissors hovers overhead trying to get everything even.

My experience was a little different. I found myself in an uptown salon painted an outrageous pink hue and attended to by a young urbanite named Princess. My very presence created a silent awkwardness. Yes, I'm white. Yes, I'm foreign. No, I'm not here for braids with beads. Just a haircut, please.

Hair is a complicated topic. It's entwined with race. I've written a number of posts trying to express these complications and implications. I don't possess the eloquence to write in detail about how these cultural subtleties possess us, define us, unite us or repel us.

I know that my presence in the salon put Princess on the spot. She had to up her game. She was, after all, responsible for cutting and shaping a white foreigner's hair~that thing that we still use so frequently to define us. I don't blame her for her nervousness or awkwardness or general feeling of being overwhelmed. I would have been too. And I did feel weird because I represented the "other", the one holding the bar high, the one with the power to make this go well or to turn it into a disaster. I'm not comfortable being placed in this role, but I find myself in it quite frequently. It is all very subtle but I notice how the barristas change their tone of voice when they talk to me or how the bus conductor directs me to the best seat...

Princess liked that I liked my new 'do. She appreciated my laughter, my small talk and chit-chat. We connected through our humanness.

At the end of the day, we are all just people. People with hairs that need trimmed, ideas that need to be expressed, feelings that need to be understood, hearts that need to share love, friendships that need to be cultivated, bellies that need to be fed, families that need to be cared for, insecurities that need reassurances, minds that need to be inspired.

Are you connecting on that most basic human level?                                                                                             

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