One Friday before reading week had started, I spontaneously decided to go in the opposite direction of home and visit Montreal before heading back to where my parents were staying for the winter.Read More
When we were ten, Jordan, her parents and I went for a walk to U of T to play soccer around the old ivy buildings. It was a sunny, gorgeous day out and we were hot and sweaty from running around with her dad and playing soccer with so much earnestness and energy that we just wanted to get home to have a popsicle and sit afterwards.Read More
I'm sitting at the restaurant overlooking the river in the National with my brother, nephew and cousin.
I've ordered a latte and a t-bone steak and it's 10 in the morning. It’s our third day here. We've just come back from an early morning ride around the park. There is a water buffalo that's been dying for the past few days sitting by the water. It's calm and the weather is heating up. Our food comes and I make it halfway through the steak before I start feeling the effects of my order. "I'm getting the meat sweats.” My brother laughs. I take a few more sips of my warm latte and we make plans to go swimming at the pool later.
Having a mother with the opposite hair colour, type and texture than yours can be difficult at times. You never feel like you're quite on the same page when communicating about your hair woes. But there are tricks to teaching her how to see the light when it comes to the management and care of your unruly hair. Follow the steps below to avoid any more misunderstandings and misgivings about being a curly haired person in your mom’s straight haired home:
Agree that straightening is bad for the overall look and health of your hair. After all, it makes a lot of sense. Why would putting a hot iron on your already dead hair be good for it? In this case, conceding to her valid arguments will only get you points in her book. She has to know that you're open to her suggestions, no matter how tone deaf they may be.
Agree that your straightened to shit hair looks greasy, because it does. Lament the fact that your curly hair is also disgusting only the ends are fried and dry from all the straightening but the roots are weighed down by the accumulation of sweat and grease you get while it's straight. At least while it's straight, you can manage to tie it up in a messy bun in order to hide how infrequently you take showers. Committing to the curly haired look is only admitting defeat. This is a hole you won't ever be able to get out of so invite her in to see the place for herself.
When she tells you to "Just brush it, it'll untangle all those knots and make it look nice.", be patient with her. Explain in layman's terms that it will make your hair frizzy and insane while still maintaining its sheen of greasiness. If that fails, brush it in front of her. Proving your point will be worth the mess your hair is now in.
Apologize for the clumps of hair that have fallen out all over her living room couch. And the bathroom sink. And the kitchen sink. And for having pieces of hair turn up in the quinoa you prepared for her. When you wear your hair naturally, large masses of your hair knots are bound to end up everywhere, including your own butt crack and there is literally nothing you can do about this. Your mom should suffer along with you.
Never stop playing with it while she's around you. Make her aware of your own discomfort with your curly hair. Remind her that she was born with perfectly straight, dark and manageable hair that looks great no matter what she does with it. Tell her that yes, there is a difference in managing different types of hair and that curls are unique and weird and do not respond to logic or reasoning. Whatever you do to them does not matter or make any difference in the slightest. Will she ever realize this? Probably not. For now, just accept her compliments when she insists your curly hair is the most beautiful and that you should stop straightening it forever. You handed over your physical autonomy when she gave birth to you. In fact, you may never have had physical autonomy because she created you and she would never create something less than perfect. Your hair belongs to your mother so do what she says.
Silently curse her for marrying your dad, whose beautiful curls lay tight and close to his head. His hair is dignified and cool. He can pull off a thick bouffant. If your hair was that short, you may be able to pull it off too. But because of Western society's expectations of women and their beautifully long and Victoria's Secret modelled "beach waves", you will forever be stuck in a blow drying and straightening hell cycle until it's too greasy to tolerate. Make peace with this sad fact and with your mother at the same time. Be free. It's her world, you're just straightening your hair in it.