Of all the sales representatives at my job I am, without a shadow of a doubt, the most picky when it comes to females. In the dull hours at the office, me and my co-workers do what any bored male with a working penis/brain combo on the clock does: stand around and rate women (pass or fail, bang or no-bang) as they saunter past our window throughout the day. My pickiness had gotten so bad, I had failed so many of my overly concerned workmates’ expectations of what a man wants that it almost became a running gag at the office that I was gay (not that there’s anything wrong with that).
I am a product of a youth spent watching Seinfeld, exclusively and every weekday at 7:00, when it would come on with that chunky bass line between The Simpsons and Malcolm in the Middle. Everything from my soft attraction to tall women (See George Costanza: Season 3, Episode 35/36; The Boyfriend) to my acute fault finding tendencies (See Jerry Seinfeld: The entire series) is derived from hours upon hours of watching what I felt was the only clever show on television. Kyle, a co-worker of mine and probably the most handsome guy in the office, the only one worthy of being called a gentleman, has this philosophical term he likes to throw around called “standards.” I like to call them rules, or better yet, laws I use when I’m drunk and need the force of the term to deter me from sleeping under my curve. But drunk or sober, there is one rule that will never ever be broken: NO WEAVE. My mother and father owned a hair braiding shop downtown when I was a kid. The only concrete memories I have of the place was learning how to use a cash register and a mouse found in the wastebasket that one of the wash girls burned alive. I was around plenty of weave growing up. Before, I would hardly notice. Now it grosses me out to the point of goosebumps, like fingernails would when found apart from the body. I never noticed how upsetting I found it until after I slept with a particularly memorable girl that happened to wear a piece:
It was one of those wintertime flings. You know the ones. The paltry kind of affection born from that awkward time between warmer months. Everyone grabs on to someone else, the closest one even, that old friend you always wondered what it would be like to sleep with, that ex that you don’t love but you know still has a thing for you, or maybe just a funny fat chick you know. In the wintertime, everyone starts calling in their cards for hibernation, Netflix, hot chocolate and sex. These things are relevant to my interests and I wanted that winter to be interesting, so I was on some serious arctic death snow hunting shit.
She was Jamaican, we’ll call her Sherry. We went to the same high school and a friend brought her to one of my house parties. I hit her with the ole’ “I’ve had a thing for you since high school” bit. It seemed like the right thing to do at the time. She once told me that back home, they would call girls like her “brownin’” because of her fair complexion. She looked a lot like a macchiato with a touch of soy milk. If you've ever seen a Jamaican girl dance you’d know that they can move their bodies and believe me, it translates well in bed. I was ready for winter. I remember one of my favorite aspects of her Jamaican hotness was her straight shoulder length hair, shiny and black, that favored the shape of her face perfectly. She sure knew how to pick em’.
We had been seeing each other for a few months when we were invited to a Halloween party by a mutual friend. She chose to go as a sexy French maid. When I met her at her house she was just getting out of the shower. I thought maybe she had a sister that she hadn't mentioned that I was getting to see naked when that shoulder length bundle of sinews wasent on her head, but instead over by the dresser, motionless and discarded like the hide of a small furry animal. It had just occurred to me in this moment that her hair could have possibly been weave.
That may sound superficial -- because it is -- but the weave is just as, if not more so, and I simply couldn't cope. All that night it bugged me. I created heartbreaking scenarios in my head, cringing at the thought of running my fingers through her hair for that tried and true kiss set-up and getting my fingers stuck in her tracks or retrieving her weave for her if it ever got flung off in a random cat-fight over my oh so precious love or hearing the infernal sound of her patting her weave when I am trying to concentrate on a Rubik’s Cube or when her head itches. It was especially weird for me to split up with her for such a reason because I could feel how self conscious she was about it. I didn't blame her though, without it she kinda looked like Vegeta and I would hate to be the guy that found whether or not she could turn Super Saiyan if you got her mad enough.
Weave is a staple in the African American community. The way I have grown to feel about life is that self consciousness is a disease and wearing hair that isn't yours (and probably costs more than a good pair of shoes) is just one of its many, many symptoms. And I understand, there is a certain level of self-depreciation that comes with being the progeny of a robbed, shackled and nappy headed race but I refuse to think that weave is the answer.
I admit, I took hair for granted. It hadn't even occurred to me that her hair could have possibly been a romanticized wig, but now it’s the first thing I notice about a woman; the first disqualifier. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I don’t respect women who wear weave, although in an earlier year I may have. Now I have a strange empathy for them, and an ample admiration for any woman that doesn't. It takes guts, courage, a certain level of hubris to be natural, not only when hair is concerned but fully in one's countenance (too-much makeup or non-prescription glasses also gets the immediate axe) Woman have much more -- infinitely more pressure than men to live up to society’s standards of attractiveness and sexuality, and it’s a damned shame. But it’s ALSO a shame that silly bitches fall into it and let it swallow them whole and twerk on their free time. I’m no feminist by any stretch or am not sure what those people are practicing these days but I do feel like there is something admirable about a woman who presents herself honestly and unabashed, assumes her own beauty and owns it without aid.
That’s kinda rare nowadays and probably why I’m so damned picky.