Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Monday, August 9, 2010

Opinions Are Like...

Her: My co-worker saw your picture and thinks you’re beautiful.

Me: Aww, tell him I said thanks.

Her: But your hair wasn’t natural in that picture.

Me: O_O

Her: I like your hair, it’s…different. What did you do?

Me: Oh, just washed and conditioned and then twirled small pieces around my finger with some gel to make spirals.

Her: Did you cut it? It looks short.

Me: *stretching a coil* It shrinks a lot but yes, I did cut about 3 inches last week.

Her: Well, there’s always weave.

Me: O_O

Him: Your hair is really short

Me: No, it’s not…it’s just appears short because it shrinks a lot

Him: Your hair looks like…I don’t know…it’s an afro.

Me: Pretty much.

Him: Oh, I know! You look like Alicia Keys’ hair in “Secret Life of Bees”

Me: Is that a compliment or an insult

Him: Uhmmm…

Me: O_O


Thursday, August 5, 2010

I Love Me!

Even when I find things that are wrong with me, I realize that there are a lot more things that are right. I’m far from perfect but thank God I’m not what I used to be.

Positive affirmations are important and dare I say…necessary. And for someone who used to be really insecure, complimenting yourself can seem selfish and wrong. But do it anyway. Write your affirmations down, say them in your head or shout them out loud. Be your biggest cheerleader and your #1 fan. You can do it, you can be it, and you can live it.

Give yourself a pep talk every day - several times a day, if need be.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Fourteen Sixteen Seventeen Twenty

No, I haven’t forgotten how to count by 2’s. Those are the ages of the young men that live with me. I affectionately call them “The Boys”. They are awesome kids who I have had the privilege of parenting in whole or in part.

Meet Capt. Kirk - the twenty year old college sophomore. My brother and the oldest of The Boys. He’s Kirk because he writes beautiful lyrics like Kirk Franklin but can’t sing a lick, save for the choir where his voice blends in. He also used to “kirk” out at random times throughout his pre-teen years. You should have seen it; it was amazing and not in a good way. Very smart kid who drips of sarcasm, attitude, determination, vision, humor and sweetness. I spoiled him rotten as a kid and am probably mostly responsible for his love for all things candy. I’m not proud of this accomplishment. He doesn’t have a driver’s license and I wish he did. He’s creative, loves music and is a preacher - not in the “he lectures everyone all the time” way, but in the “…and God said He loves you” while standing behind a podium/pulpit way. A very inspirational fellow who definitely has a special calling on his life. But, he’s also a twenty year old college male. Yeah.

Next up is The First – my oldest son. Smart as a whip and stubborn as a mule. He’s been known to be the clown, most times to his detriment. He’s getting better with being mature and making momma proud. He has a heart of gold and is the first I call for help with anything. He says “yes ma’am” and “yes sir”, opens the door for females and is known to help old ladies with their bags. I must’ve done something right. He’s the self-proclaimed fashion guru of the house. He knows the hottest male fashion trends, refuses to buy cheap and could be known as a label ho. Champagne taste on a kool aid budget. He likes what he likes and won’t settle for less in anything. I love this and hate this about him simultaneously. Remind me to tell you the story about Easter suit shopping 2009. He taught himself to play the piano and is pretty good at it. He’s deathly afraid of cats and neither of us knows why. He loves all things food, except for potato salad. This kid will be 18 at the end of the year and is smelling himself. If you didn’t know, 18 is some sort of magic number. I’m pretty sure I heard him say something about being and man and doing what he wants. We all know how that goes, right? Right. He used to want to be a chef (and can cook really well) but couldn’t figure out how to be a millionaire within the first few years of graduating culinary arts school. He’s now going to be an entrepreneur who makes boat loads of money. I believe him because he’s a hard worker and determined.

Then we have The Last – my youngest son. There will be no more unless God wants me to be the virgin that brings the second coming of Christ. I’m not a virgin. So yeah, shop’s closed. He’s a cool dude. Very unassuming and off-the-cuff hilarious. He’s my affectionate kid. I picked him up until he was seven years old. Judge me if you want, I don't’ care. He’s mature for his age, very logical and very matter of fact. There are no cut cards with him. He hates that I follow him on Twitter because he can’t say what he wants (read: cuss). I don’t care if he does, by the way, because I’m pretty sure I cussed at his age. But out of respect for me he won’t tweet a curse word. But he has no problem re-tweeting a curse word. There’s more than one way to skin a cat. He’s clever and loves animals (except for cats) and the guitar. Taught himself how to play and I’ve been told that he’s actually as good as I think he is. He’s unconventional. Loves rice and potatoes, hates biscuits and is the laziest boy to walk the earth.

And last but certainly not least there’s Sly. My nephew. Tall, skinny and cute as a button. Very sensitive and very lovable. He’s the quiet type that you have to watch out for because well…he’s sly. He’d convince an Eskimo to go out and buy ice cubes with the money they made from building igloos. He’s got that pretty boy swag and I’m pretty sure he knows it and will use it to his advantage. He’s the baby of The Boys and they remind him of it - and treat him like it - often. When everyone is chipping in to complete a task, he’s the one that slipped away to use the bathroom 5 minutes into the task and never returned. You don’t realize this until you’re about 15 minutes from finishing said task. He’s a wrestling fan. Not the real professional sport, but the WWE type stuff. He thinks it’s real. o_O He loves the drums and also plays the piano. Self-taught, like the other ones. He’s also into that weird spooky stuff like those paranormal-type shows and horror movies. I am anxious to see his personality develops in the next couple of years. Should be interesting.

So, these are the men that sleep in my house. They make me happy, mad, frustrated, worry, laugh out loud, cry, pray, be thankful and love. They are so much more than the few lines that I’ve written about them here. But don’t you worry, I’ll be writing about them again.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Starting Over...the Obligatory Natural Hair Story

Natural hair seems to be all the rage these days. Folks are denouncing perms left and right and regaining “freedom” and “power”.

Hair’s my story.

I stopped perming my hair about 2 years ago in an effort to be all natural. I didn’t document my journey in words and there are few pictures. My decision to go natural was solely because I didn’t want to be bald-headed. Improper perm applications, lack of money to get my hair professionally done regularly and sheer laziness lack of good hair knowledge were taking me down the road to a thinning hair line and broken off, crunchy hair. I’m pretty sure I got on the bandwagon at the beginning of the natural hair wave and boy did I let the world know.

Random Person: You’re hair looks nice!

Note: I transitioned using flexi rod sets to hide the new growth

Me: Oh thanks, I’m going natural! (insert swole up chest with pride >here<)

Question: Did the random person say anything that would even lead me to offer the natural hair journey story? You don't see it? Yeah, me either. Moving right along…

Since there are quite a few nice random people on this earth, the conversation continued as such:

Random Person: Oh really? Interesting. Good luck with that.

Me: Insert conversation about how perms are breaking my hair off…I really want to see my true texture…this is so much healthier for the world me…every time I re-do my hair, I cut a little bit more straight ends off…blah, blah, blah >HERE<

Yeah, I was becoming THAT person. Looking back, I can’t believe: 1) how much I was embarrassing myself, 2) how nice people were to indulge me and 3) how much I was embarrassing myself.

I was knocked got off my high horse pretty quickly because my love for “going natural” was waning because…well…I was going natural and MY nappy natural hair was not THE acceptable natural hair that is portrayed in commercials and print ads.

The more those silky straight ends disappeared and the kinky coils appeared, my confidence began to take a hit and not in a good way. But the easy thing about “going natural” is that you can “go UNnatural”. But before that, I got all the permed ends cut off, got a decent cut and…

Enter: the perm texturizer. I had heard that this practice – texturizing – would “loosen my curl pattern” and give me the coveted “wash-n-go hair” (see above pic). You see, I got tired of the manufactured curl pattern that was achieved by washing, conditioning, detangling, flexi rodding, and sitting at least 1.5 hours under an uncomfortable, hot hair dryer. It would take no less than 4 hours from start to finish once a week to achieve this look. And because it took so long I either had to save the routine for the weekend (which meant I had to sacrifice social activities) or I had to stay up ‘til the wee hours of the morning because I decided to do it on a week night…starting at 9. o_0 Well, the texturizer didn’t work. Just because I refused to fight the power of my naps didn’t mean that my hair didn’t have to continue in the struggle. Wash and go’s didn't work without the help of a couple of VERY expensive products. I know y’all natural ladies know the magic that is Kinky Curly Curling Custard . I loved the results but my bank account didn’t love spending $50 on 2 products to achieve the look, so…

Enter: the ceramic flat iron and my holy grail, the Maxi Glide. I told myself I would only straighten my hair every 4 weeks. And that worked for a while. But I could do so much more when my hair was straightened: pin curls, bantu knots, twist-outs were my styles of choice. See?

a comic strip!

Plus the Maxi Glide used the “steam puff technology” to protect the ends. I was still natural, right? Right. But then I came into another problem…

Heat damage and straight ends. Ugh! I don't think the “steam puff technology” was deceptive; methinks I went a little heavy on the straightening and a little light on the hair care in between straightening. It was like battling the permed straight ends again. But this time, there was too much natural hair and not enough straight hair to mask the problem. I had long since given up sitting under that God-awful hair dryer so flexi rods were not an option any more. I vowed not to use heat on my hair for the summer and try to get my straight ends to revert. No dice there. So last Friday, I took the plunge and did what in my mind is a Big Chop. I got about 3-4 inches of hair cut off to reveal all of my naptural, kinky coily goodness. I love it!

Here’s to starting over.