Natalie has had three hairstyles since I’ve known her.
Twists, which I was quickly corrected are not little braids. All the women I grew up with were Asian so I get a pass on this. The Twist looks simple but it’s a six hour ordeal that happens every two or three weeks. On occasion, Natalie will attempt this on a weeknight after work. This never works out right and sometime around midnight she falls asleep with exhaustion and wakes at five the next morning to finish lest she arrive at work with half a head twisted and the other half as…
The Fro. This is my favorite. It’s exactly what it sounds like, a big Cleopatra Jones And The Casino Of Gold afro.
Afros should only be worn by black people (much like blue contacts lenses and LL Bean should only be worn by white people). White people with afros confuse the hell out of me. The same goes with white people and dreadlocks. This may also be Natalie’s favorite hairstyle but since she’s a professional woman and fears the judgment that may be levied against her, she seldom wears this style outside of vacations, weekends or if she fell asleep the night she intended to re-twist her hair (see previous paragraph).
The irony of an attorney fearing judgment is not lost on me.
The last and current look is the Straight Hair. If it has an actual name, I don’t know what it is and am going to refer to it as “The Straight Hair.” This was done for the wedding. It offers more options than the previous two lending to the concept of women growing their hair before their wedding so they can “wear it up.” I always questioned this practice and why they just didn’t cut it. Wearing your hair up is something you do when you have long hair and need to get it out of the way for a situation like cleaning the baseboards, chasing children or spelunking but when you’re the lady about town you want to let those locks flow. Spending months growing your hair out only sweep it up at your wedding and then cut it afterwards escapes me.
I questioned whether I would like that the hair Natalie had in our wedding photos would be hair I may likely never see again. If I liked it, then I wanted more of it. If I hated it, enjoy your wedding photos for the rest of your life.
I worked with a woman who had very pretty naturally blonde long hair and complained about it. Complained about maintaining it. Complained about the heat. Complained it was uncomfortable. I asked why she didn’t cute it and she said, “If you had hair like this, would you cut it?” I didn’t tell her but the answer was, “Yes.” Once of the three hundred and nine differences between men and women is that men do things for comfort, women do them to impress other women. I have never gotten a haircut, taken a picture of it with my cell phone and sent it to my brother.
The Straight Hair look was always temporary and I was warned of this. Like most things, I really didn’t have much of a say in this. Every few weeks Natalie gets her hair “done” and she’s gone for several hours and returns cute and happy.
So Natalie came downstairs and on the news a woman was being interviewed and she made a comment she liked her hair. I agreed. She then said something along the lines of how much she disliked her current hair.
I have to interject something here. I like Natalie’s hair. I have for the six months she’s worn it like this. This last time she had it cut I thought the woman took a little too much off. Just enough to make me not like it as much. I didn’t say anything. Neither of us had…
“I don’t like it much, either.” The words came out of my mouth and I had actually examined each one before I said it and still felt the need soften the blow. “I liked the other cuts. This one just seems too short in the back.”
Natalie got up and walked upstairs and said, “It’s nice to know you hate my hair.”
Hate? Did I say “Hate?”
I quickly rewind my Mental Tivo. Bloop bloop (this is the sound Mental Tivo makes). I don’t see the word “hate.”
“Natalie? Nat?” Nothing. I get up to follow apologizing all the way. “I’m sorry. I love you.” I repeat this several times like she didn’t understand it the first six times. “I thought you wanted me to be honest.”
Early in our relationship, Natalie made meat loaf and asked if I liked it and I said, “Yes.” She then asked if I didn’t like it would I tell her and I said, “No.” I have always been cautious of other people’s feelings (although often unsuccessfully). Never having been in a relationship that lasted more than six months I didn’t understand the long-term ramifications of this which would be a lifetime of bad meat loaf.
I know a woman who’s grandmother makes Buckeyes, which for those not in the know, is peanut butter balls dipped in chocolate. I know you’re thinking, “Nothing wrong there.” She and her entire ungrateful family hates these delicious treats and every Christmas the grandmother makes several Tupperware containers full of hundreds of these which die a very slow death in this family’s freezer unless my brother or I have our way with them. This is because thirty years ago someone told this woman they love these Buckeyes (or rather didn’t have the heart to tell her they didn’t).
But this wasn’t the case with the meat loaf. I liked the meat loaf and reminded her of the story and was quickly told she didn’t care about the meat loaf. She cares about her hair… that and I have the eating habits of a goat so discretion with food is not my strong suit.
What I thought was I had a pass as soon as she said she didn’t like it and I could then agree. This isn’t the case. I’m reminded of the line “Nobody picks on my little brother but me.” I left her alone having done all I could and a few minutes later she came down, accepted a hug, apologized and explained the rules to me. If she comes home with a Cyndi Lauper waffle etched into the side of her head and a length dyed Seguin Blue I should just smile and tell her she’s pretty.
Note to self: stop making fun of her dress that reminds you of a men’s dress shirt or a 1960s nurses uniform. You’re probably making her cry… you big jerk.