Ok, I know it has been a number of weeks since of I have written but vacation threw me off balance… or vacation and trying to get used to not being on vacation afterwards. We left New York a couple of weeks ago and we left behind practically winter weather, at least as much of a winter as we have gotten this year and we got back last Saturday to be greeted by a summer just getting in to full swing. Truthfully, if we had not just spent two weeks in the South I don’t know that we would have survived the sweltering days that got all the way up to and over 80 degrees.
This past weekend saw me experiencing a unique cultural event that is going to become a normal part of my life. This week I tried to find a black barber shop in upstate New York. I say tried because ultimately I was unsuccessful and the barbershop I wound up at only reinforced my need to find a culturally appropriate place to cut my eldest son’s hair. Initially I wanted to find a black barbershop so that I could go in and have his hair cut while I picked the barber’s brain about the ins and outs of haircare for a Haitan-African-American. I was already aware that special care was needed for my eldest’s hair but I was not sure what methods or equipment I should be using to actually cut it and seeing that I am the barber-in-chief for the males in our family that is important information to have.
My search process was an interesting one, and let’s be honest, Googling “black barbershop” felt more than a little wrong even though that was exactly what I needed. There’s another strike against our PC culture. Anyway, I scouted out a couple of shops before finally settling on one in an older part of town. I walked in and was greeted by an elderly (white) gentleman who has probably been cutting hair in the same shop since before my parents were born. It was a small, two chair shop with a pile of hair in the back corner that looked like it might have dated back to the Reagan administration. At this point I nearly walked out as this clearly was not the type of place I was looking for, yet the old man’s smile and his assurance that yes, he could cut hair like this, was enough to make me stay. I should have trusted my gut instinct.
The old man prepped his work area and my son and began using his clippers to cut his hair, it did not take more than a couple of swaths for my confidence to erode entirely. I think what worried me most was where he muttered to himself, “Hmm… that’s not going to work.” I was extremely grateful that the old man did not have to resort to using scissors to remove a pair of hair clippers that became firmly lodged in my son’s hair. Ultimately the entire experience was not a complete failure, my son did get his hair cut, never mind the fact that it went all the way to the scalp and he really did not have any hair left to cut. In addition, I also learned that I should probably not trust a white barber to cut my black son’s hair… well, lesson learned. I still don’t know where to find a black barbershop, this has resulted in me walking up to random black men and asking them where they get their hair cut. I’m genuinely asking a question but I think I keep coming across as insulting as most of the guys I’ve asked have had extremely short cropped (practically scalp length) hair.
Speaking of hair, Leslie has made it clear to me that I am no longer allowed to do Ayla’s hair. I gave our daughter a bath the other night and the final task of that event was to unknot that matted gnarl of hair. Using a pick (there’s a hair accessory I never thought I would be using) from our eldest son I combed out her hair and gave her the only look that made sense, the backwards comb over, my daughter now looks like Donald Trump. With this kind of track record it’s surprising that Leslie even lets me do my own hair. In other news, I realize that it has been awhile since I’ve included any random pictures I’ve encountered throughout my daily encounters or random perusing of the internet, part of that is largely due to the fact that my random perusing of the internet has significantly decreased with the addition of three children into my life. Now, having said that, I came across a stellar example of vehicle security the other day while in the parking lot at Sonic. I’ve seen some pretty banged up cars on the road before, but this one definitely gave me pause. I’ve dubbed this picture “but how do I get out?”