“I need you to schedule some time for us to have a conversation. I don’t need a lot of time, but we got some things we need to discuss.”
Straight panicking, I whipped out my planner and flipped through pages trying to find the closest open appointment.
“Okay. I can do March 6 at 8 p.m. The kids will be gone and the Hero will be playing basketball. Is this one of ‘those’ conversations?” I asked desperately. I knew I’d been putting her through misery with the heat, lack of styling and moisture and product changes like underwear.
“No, it’s not one of ‘those’ conversations,” she answered encouragingly. “Relax. I’m not walking off the job like I did before.”
“Okay.” I started breathing again. I didn’t want a repeat of 2007. I’m trying to grow Hairsula out so I can wear the big, neck-hurting afro puff on the top of my head. I need her cooperation and support to reach that goal. A partnership was key to the ultimate success of my hair plan.
“Cool. I’ll talk to you later. Let me know if you’re running late. I know the kids gotta go back, so I’m flexible about the time.”
What was it now? What had I done to Hairsula that she needed to have a conversation with me? I mean, I spent my boot money on Aveda products at the recommendation of a natural stylist. It was a small fortune as hair products go. And I started using olive oil to moisturize her. Even put the scarf on AND slept on the satin pillowcase. What was it now? Seriously?
I couldn’t concentrate. I kept touching her trying to figure it out. Okay, I admit she felt a little dry and when I picked her in the morning, I would sometimes have a small afro in the sink, but I read somewhere that hair sheds and since I don’t pick her every day, shedding would be more pronounced when I did. Just breathe, D. She said she wasn’t walking off the job, so you don’t have to worry about waking up and greeting a Sinead O’Connor in the morning. Relax. I hit the road back to Columbus, trying instead to put together what I would wear for my first day of the new gig.
Two hours later, I pulled the Lady into the spot outside the house. I had about 30 minutes before my talk with Hairsula, so I figured I’d straighten up since the Kid and the Girl ravaged it. I don’t know why those kids can’t seem to clean up after themselves the way I instructed them, but it never fails that I find stuff in places it doesn’t belong. Just eight more years….
I called Hairsula, ready to have the conversation. I gave up trying to figure out what we’d discuss. I kept telling myself she wasn’t walking off the job and anything besides that is manageable. She answered on the first ring.
“Hey,” I said cautiously. “So what’s going on?”
“Okay… I’ll get right to the point. I know you’ve been trying to fix me and restore me to the state I was in six years ago, but I wanted to tell you some things that will hopefully make the journey easier for you and think about what you really want to accomplish,” she said quietly.
“The first thing is, you’re older. I’m older and the nature of things aging is that they change. I’m not the same way I was when I was 10 just like you’re not the same. So for either of us to expect to get back to our 10 look is futile. That said, I’m not going to look the way I did in 2005 and I’m asking you to stop trying to make that happen.”
“Alright. I get the aging part of that and I’ll accept that you at almost 35 won’t be the same as you were at 29. But you’re basically telling me that I won’t be able to achieve the 29 look anymore? Under no circumstances?!” I asked in disbelief. “I mean, I liked pulling you back into a puff and being able to see the curl pattern with shine. I can’t get that to happen now. No matter what I use, you still have a dull look. I can’t even tell if you have enough moisture because you don’t even feel like the same hair I had at 29. I’m at a loss and trying everything I know or read to make you do what you did.”
“See, D, that’s where you’re going wrong. You’re a big believer that things change and evolve with time, right? What makes me exempt from that? What makes you think that as you age and other parts of your body change, that I shouldn’t? I mean honestly? What kind of logic is that?”
Her questions made me stop my mental tirade for a minute. My body has changed in six years. My skin’s changed too. I mean even the way my mind works changed, so she had a point. Nothing is exempt from the opportunity to change.
“I get your point. So what you’re saying is I need to look forward and not back. Fine. So what do I need to do for you that I’m not doing now?”
I could feel Hairsula relax on the other end. Maybe she thought I would be more difficult, but I feel like she should know me better seeing as she sits on top of my head all day.
“First, go back to the natural way you took care of me. You know that a lot of the stuff you used wasn’t good for me. So while I could achieve a look you want, think about all the years you used those products, without considering the side effects. It’s catching up to you now. Aveda is fine, but I really don’t like that. I hope you can do a product exchange at the meetup because if not, that’s a lot of loot you wasted. Should have bought the Curlz products instead. Loved those. So next time, invest in that product ‘cuz this Aveda sucks. Not to mention it smells like mud and old weed. Anyway, my second point is I know you’ve been reading up on natural remedies and watching YouTube videos for ideas on how to style me so take some of those suggestions instead of stockpiling information for the future. I don’t need to be washed every week. That may have been the case when you were working out hard five days a week, but unless you go back to that again, I think a full wash once a month will do. In between time, do a baking soda no poo (I’m going to put in a new name request to Brain for that) and use that stinky Aveda conditioner. I like the olive oil afterward, but you saw that you can use other kinds of oil. Try some. Try almond. Try grapeseed. Avocado, coconut, peanut, canola, something, but you don’t have to stick with one kind. I know you’re vegetarian now, but that doesn’t mean eating Boca All-American Grillers all the time. Really try eating more leafy vegetables and more fruit than just those cute, delicious pink lady apples from Trader Joe’s. The decision to go vegetarian is fine, but be sure to get more variety. Seriously, you just wrote an article about it on Examiner.com… how come you’re not incorporating your own research?”
“Okay, but you don’t know how good those Boca burgers are….” I started.
“I’m sure they are delicious. That’s not the point though. Don’t come with excuses. You keep telling everyone you want a puff like the little girl’s on the Boondocks. I’m trying to tell you how to help me get there.”
“Sorry. I’ll stop thinking about those Boca burgers,” I mumbled apologetically. “I’m sure you have more to tell me.”
“As a matter of fact, I do. I need a trim. I mean badly. What you see in the sink isn’t healthy. I know you’re trying to wait it out, but the longer you wait, the more I split and break, so make that part of your plans this week. Go see Curt B and get me trimmed up. Not to mention I grow at different rates so the front eclipsed the back and sides. A trim and shape-up will do us both well.”
I’m starting to get tired. I’m not sure if it’s the conversation with Hairsula, playing hide and seek for what seemed like hours with the kids or a combination of both. I really just want some Haagen Das five ice cream and to go to bed. Sensing my dwindling concentration, Hairsula sighs.
“It seems you’re distracted and not paying attention so I guess I’ll save the rest of the conversation for another day. But since I know you had plans to wash me today, let’s just start there. Try the rinse and conditioning instead of a full wash. I don’t feel like sporting twists so please, for the love of God, don’t do them today. The sun is going to be out and I’d like to feel it on my skin while I can. Next time you’re going to tend to me, we’ll finish this conversation. Deal?”
I agree to Hairsula’s terms. We exchanges good-byes and hang up. I grab the stuff I need for my hair therapy and head to the kitchen sink. As I start the water and get the temperature right, I think to myself ‘Man I’m glad I have such a good relationship with my body parts’. Thanks for the advice, Hairsula.