Pesharim - An Ethnication in What Matters Most
My wife is black. I am not. Therefore our children are mixed.
Now my youngest daughter is often said to look Spanish, with long wavy, dark hair. My oldest daughter however is often said to look Italian, or even Greek, with a darker complexion than my youngest girl and with hair, which is not kinky, but very tightly curled.
About once a month or so my oldest daughter, now that she is a “pre-teen,” (whatever that means, when I was a kid you had baby, kid, teen, then adult- now you have about twenty categories of kidhood even though nobody seems to desire to be a real kid anymore) wants to get her hair straightened. Normally her hair is sort of brownish with almost red highlights at the tips of her curls and her hair appears to be somewhat short, just barely touching her shoulders. But when straightened it goes jet black in color and becomes incredibly long as it relaxes, it having been previously twisted up tighter than a dead possum’s tail.
So why do I mention this stuff? Because as my daughters age I’m getting a crash course in “Ethnic Concerns,” or as I like to say, an Ethnication in what Really Matters Most. Thank goodness for that, as if I weren’t already inundated enough with woman talk at church, at home, and just about everywhere else, and with my wife’s classic topic of whether to let her hair go natural, get it straightened, have it platted, curled, rolled, or whatever else there is that you can do to it, now I get the joys of discovering my daughter’s harrowing adventures in beauty tips and hairdos. Hurray!!
Now my daughter can be very sensitive about her hair, even though personally, being a man I don’t really much care about stuff like that. I’ve never cared about appearance and think any grown man who spends more than three minutes in front of a mirror grooming himself should probably look into changing his name to Sharon anyway, and so I have to admit that I find all matters regarding beauty tips and makeup tricks kinda humorous and hard to take seriously. But both my daughters occasionally model and are often told by most everyone that they are very pretty, which they are, and so they take this kind of thing deadly seriously. Like normal people would take a strike from a black mamba or being gored to death during the running of the bulls.
Me, it makes me want to laugh inside, but I dare not. My wife would castrate me, my daughters would curse me with the evil eye, and so generally I keep my giggles and guffaws to myself, or out of earshot at the very least.
But about two weeks ago my daughter got her hair straightened and it lasted about a week and a half, and then she got caught in a rain while riding on one of the floats at the local Christmas parade. It was just a sprinkle really, and I was there taking photographs of the parade, professionally as well as for myself, and also for my church whose float upon which she rode.
I really didn’t notice anything while they rode by and I snapped shots but after it was all over and we met again at church her hair started doing all kinds of crazy things. Soon she looked like Diana Ross caught in the electromagnetic currents near Edison Electric, but it still looked kinda cute. Actually she looked like one of those fancy-dancy New York style black girl models, so it was all cool to me. I thought it was fine and she got several compliments at church. So I thought it was also fine to have a little light fun, tease her about it a bit, while also telling her how sweet she looked. That worked out fine in public, and everyone was all smiles in the relative safety of the crowd, and the facetious banner seemed all in good humor, but once we got home my wife and two daughters tore me a new one right quick.
I couldn’t figure out what all the hubbub was, but they both insisted that I was completely insensitive to both female and ethnic issues and that if I couldn’t help then I should just shut up and stay out of the way. Hallelujah, I thought, I’ll just go do some work and let this all blow over. Bad choice of words.
My wife went upstairs and took some kinda African Hair Oil, put it all over my daughter’s hair, straightened it with a hot comb and then tried blow drying it. Well, it looked like a HALO parachute on top of her head with racing stripes that were on fire for a circus performance. I didn’t know this was all going on and when my wife called me in to look at what she had done my first reaction was to burst out laughing, and then ask if we could get that hair through the doorway without the use of special equipment. I also told my wife to never do that to my daughter again because it might be picked up on radar by local aircraft and they would confuse her for a landing strip.
Don’t say that kinda thing fellas, even in jest, it rarely works out well.
I’d like to tell you everything that followed from these momentous and truly innocent comments on my part but this is a family blog and assuming I can ever reproduce again I’d like to see my grandchildren being born someday.
Anywho I’ve gotten a valuable ethnication from all of this and can hardly wait to see what new wonders await me down the road on my one-man learning curve.
So to all of you White Guys out there who have married a chocolate wonder and been lucky enough to have a beautiful daughter or two let me give you one piece of advice. No matter what the hair of the females closest to you looks like never act like this is a matter of minor import or worse yet, an easy opportunity for some light hearted humor. It’s just not worth it boys, an ethnication is a terrible thing to waste. It’s even worse when it’s on the job training.
© JWG, Jr. 2006