No, I will not do your hair

Back in the good old days when I had a full head of long, happy, mature locs, I used to do my own hair.  I had my locs started by a loctician, but I quickly figured out how to wash and retwist them myself ($65 every two weeks is one helluva incentive to figure it out). It's not rocket science and locticians aren't doing anything fancy in a basic loc grooming appointment. I would reserve my trips to the loctician for color and trims, and maybe the occasional special occasion style. After awhile I started to figure out how to do more than just retwisting and loc grooming. I read discussion forums and watched YouTube tutorials (Shawnta715 has some good ones) and just started playing in my locs. Roller sets, crinkles, flat twists, up-dos....I taught myself to do all that. Because my hair was hardly ever worn straight down the way most people are used to seeing locs, I would get tons of compliments with people asking who my stylist was. They were astounded when I said I did my own hair.

And then the dreaded (no pun intended) question would inevitably follow from any guy (and a few women) who himself had locs: "Can you do my hair??" I've always seen it as a lame attempt at a pick up line, but even if it's not and you really just want need someone to do your hair, the answer is still the same:  NO.

And here is why:

1. I don't KNOW you!! I'm not about to be all up in your house or have you all up in mine doing your hair! I don't know what sinister plans you may have for me at your place, or whether you'd believe that the lame pick up line actually worked and assume that I'd accept payment in sexual favors.  I'm really not cool with just anybody knowing where I live either. I have stranger danger, and that's just.....no. McGruff the Crime Dog would be disappointed.

2. Whatever you're gonna pay me isn't worth it. There's an element of economies of scale with stylists.  They are getting $50+ per head all day, every day. They have all their supplies there and ready to go. And in bulk. I would have to take time to go to your house (but see #1), bring all my products (because obviously if you are needing someone else to do your hair, you don't have much by way of your own), and work with some ill equipped bath tub or shower (I have a WaterPik.... it's great, but still not a shampoo bowl), which is way more time and hassle than the average stylist who is set up to do hair. Add to that the fact that you will probably want a hook-up on the price, and after all that $40 just wouldn't be worth my time.

3. I only deal with the dirt of people I love. Being that you don't know how to groom your own hair, I would be willing to guess that it doesn't get done as regularly as it should. And by regularly, in my world that's once a week to every 1.5 weeks.  Washed, oiled, retwisted, everything. I have a 15 year old son who plays football and lives with his dad, so I've seen (and smelled) what neglected locs are like (as much as I'm on him about doing his own hair regularly). I will get down and dirty and use some elbow grease (and clarifying shampoo) to get all the dirt and buildup out of my kids' hair, but I birthed them and have been dealing with their disgustingness for 15 years (diapers, puke, sweaty uniforms, etc.) Yours.... um, not so much.

4. Doing hair is kind of.... well.... intimate.  My weakness.... the thing that will have my knees weak and, um.... well yea..... is for someone to play in my hair. There is nothing like a good scalp massage. Stylists are different because they tend to be very business-like with their hands (i.e. heavy handed) even though it still feels good. But when I do hair, I have to get a little more involved in the process because this isn't just another day at the office for me. First of all, think about washing.... I don't know too many people with a shampoo bowl in their house (except for my friend's momma who still did curls for those who just couldn't let go), which means that I have to be leaned over the tub scrubbing locs (because, see # 3 above, it probably needs it). I'm not too comfortable with having my DDs hanging 5 inches above your head for 20 minutes while I wash your hair (even though you might be). Plus it makes my back hurt, so add that to # 2 above. Then the retwisting..... keep in mind I've been doing my kids' locs for 5 years, and for 5 years my goal has been to cause the least amount of pain (i.e. crying) as possible.  No matter how frustrated I get, doing their hair has always been approached as a labor of love. And for that reason I only do the hair of people I care about, because I really have no other motivation.

5. There's a mirror image problem. This particularly is an issue when doing styles (which are most often requested by women). Styling my locs with my hands above my head while looking in a mirror is a totally different thing from doing a style with someone sitting in front of me. My hands, arms and eyes are used to seeing and feeling my hair in a certain way. The different approach is disorienting and it just doesn't come out the same. I can throw some flat twists in my hair in 5 minutes, but doing the same thing to my daughter's locs takes a bit more effort. I would hate for someone to come to me thinking they are gonna get the same style they see on my head and end up with some travesty of a style instead.

So what's the lesson here, loved ones? Just because a person has locs does not mean we do locs.  Stylists chose that profession for a reason, and on the flip side I did not choose it for a reason. So if you ask if I can do your hair and I hesitate or outright say no (my usual response is "I only do my and my kids' hair... that's enough"), don't take it personal. Unless you are my friend-- and a good friend at that-- do not ask me to do your hair. And even in that case, see # 4 above.

Really, what everyone with locs should do is learn how to do them yourself. It's not mission impossible. Locticians aren't doing anything magical up there. Twist and clip, that's basically all it is (maybe I'll give you a step-by-step blog post later). I did the equivalent of throwing my son in the swimming pool by refusing to do his hair again until he learned how to do it himself, and eventually he did (and I agreed to do his hair for him again, but now he can keep it up in between seeing me). In this economy it would behoove you to take an evening, pull up a YouTube tutorial and just try it. That way when you have that extra sweaty workout, or walk through that raging dust storm, or want to go swimming, you don't have to wait til your next appointment and drop $75 to get your hair back looking right. Then eventually random people in the mall will be asking you to do their hair, too.

Maybe.....

Zen Koan titled “Maybe”.
(A Koan is a story, dialogue, question, or statement in the history and lore of Zen Buddhism.)

A farmer’s horse ran away. His neighbors gathered upon hearing the news and said sympathetically, “That’s such bad luck.”

“Maybe,” the farmer replied.

The horse returned on his own the next morning, and brought seven wild horses with it. “Look how many more horses you have now,” the neighbors exclaimed. “How lucky!”

“Maybe,” the farmer replied.

The next day, the farmer’s son attempted to ride one of the wild horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. “How awful,” the neighbors said. “It looks like your luck has turned for the worse again.”

The farmer simply replied, “Maybe.”

The following day, military officers came to town to conscript young men into the service. Seeing the son’s broken leg, they rejected him. The neighbors gathered round the farmer to tell him how fortunate he was.

“Maybe,” said the farmer.

****************

This koan is a perfect illustration of my attitude toward life that has gotten me through everything of the past few years.... my divorce, my job change, and all the upheaval in between. When you're going through a divorce -- or any major life change for that matter -- it's easy to feel like everything is going wrong, you life is destructing before your eyes, and it's tempting to view every setback as the worst thing that could possibly happen.

The reality is that we never know what life has in store for us next, and what events in life are setting us up for the next good (or bad) thing. I can't even describe all of the positive things that have arisen from the negatives in my life over the past 2 years..... people I've met, relationships I've formed, experiences that I've had, opportunities that have arisen. It's important to open up your heart and your mind to the possibilities of life.... THAT is what will help get you through the hard times. So the next time something seemingly bad happens and you're thinking that your life has just taken a turn for the very worse, just stop and think...... maybe.

(Originally posted on AID on March 9, 2009)

***************************************************

Or, if you're not into the Zen thing, here's another way of putting it:

"Sometimes life leaves a hundred dollar bill on your dresser, and you don't realize until later that it's because it fucked you."  @shitmydadsays

(For)give a little


Forgiveness Mandala

Recently I completed an exercise on http://www.radicalforgiveness.com/ called the Radical Self-Forgiveness/Acceptance Worksheet. It is a counterpart to the Radical Forgiveness Worksheet (which I have not yet completed).

The purpose is pretty self-explanatory..... it's an exercise to help you forgive yourself or someone else. Many people throw around the word "forgiveness" and don't truly understand or appreciate what it means. "I forgive you" does not simply mean "I'm not busting out your windows throwing a fit every time I see and talk to you" or "I just won't talk about it anymore." True forgiveness is truly letting go, and that's the end of it. One of my favorite definitions of forgiveness is "Giving up the hope for a different past." When I say that you can't go back and change the past, people think I am being flippant and dismissive. No, I mean exactly what I am saying..... I CAN'T go back and change anything. Last time I checked, the DeLorean was not sitting outside my apartment building. So to truly forgive is to quit hoping Doc shows up to scoop you (or the other person) up.

So at the suggestion of another Twittizen (@basseyworld) I went to go check out this Radical Forgiveness Worksheet. However, when I got to the site I realized the person I most need to work on forgiving first is myself. Self-forgiveness is the hardest type of forgiveness because we are constantly in our own heads with the negative thoughts about ourselves swirling about. We feel like we shouldn't or can't forgive ourselves, especially when we are in a situation where we don't feel like the other individual(s) involved have forgiven us. After all, why should we feel good about ourselves when nobody else does?

But this is flawed thinking. You cannot wait around for someone else to forgive you before you forgive yourself, because they may NEVER forgive you. They may always be mired in the past wanting you to go back and make things better, or dwelling on the fact that you can't and taking every opportunity to remind you of that ("woulda", "shoulda", "coulda"). Forgiveness of yourself is mutually exclusive of forgiveness received from other people. Even when there is nobody else to forgive you for some real or perceived wrongdoing, there is still a need to atone. Well, atonement can only go on for so long before it starts to eat at you from the inside out. At some point you must say "What's done is done. I'm sorry it happened, but I can't change that it did. That does not define who I am, and I am allowed to release the feelings surrounding it and move forward with my life."

So what is this Radical Self Forgiveness/Acceptance Worksheet thingy all about? It's an online form that takes about 30 minutes to complete (or more, depending on how much you write). It starts off with detailing what you have done/failed to do and how you feel about yourself over it. It's kind of brutal, especially if you've never taken the time to admit it to yourself (this includes admitting it in such a way where you're not enveloping it in justifications and excuses). After you have stated your feelings about yourself and the situation, you then work through a series of questions where you are asked to recognize and accept those feelings, and that there is purpose behind what happened by answering Accept, Willing, Open, Skeptical or Unwilling.  A few of the statements that stood out most to me were:

"Even though I don’t know why or how, I now see that my soul has created this situation in order that I learn and grow."

"I am willing to see that my mission or ‘soul contract’ included my doing this thing for whatever reason."  This one was particularly interesting to me once I read the definition of a "soul contract":
A soul contract is an agreement that we made with other souls, prior to coming into the human experience, to carry out certain pre-planned missions — to balance karmic energies, to heal group pain, to raise consciousness around some issue, etc.  Who could possibly know what the mission really was? We just need to be open to the possibility that the situation we have guilt around might have involved a soul contract and, if there are others involved in the situation, they may well have been the other souls with whom the contract was struck.

(Sidenote: One question that I couldn't really "accept" was the notion that nothing anyone has ever done is right or wrong because it is just all part of the divine order. The best I could do was to put "Open" because while I know that in every shitty situation there can be something good that results, I do have an awareness of right and wrong.... can't just be out here all willy nilly saying that it's just all part of the divine plan.  Even if it ultimately is.)

Next you work through a series of statements in which you release your negative feelings and forgive and accept yourself.

Easy, no??

Naw, not that easy. I felt a little better after I did it, but I can't say it was some miraculous instantaneous transformation. I printed out my answers and have reviewed them once or twice, and each time I feel just a little teeny bit better.  You may not feel instantly absolved, but at least it's a start and gets you thinking about yourself and your life and your feelings and other people's lives and see how they all inter mesh.

Try it. It might be helpful. Might be a little too New Agey for you. If you're not really a person who gets the concept of Divine Order (I definitely do..... I have a HUGE tattoo of her (the Egyptian goddess Ma'at) across my back, which you can see in the picture in this post here) and spiritual energy, you will probably use this worksheet to line your bird cage. For everyone else, it really is worth 30 minutes of your life.

The Family that Kicks Together....

....sticks together!

In the beginning, I was a white belt....
In March of this year I started taking martial arts with my daughter as a way to have an activity that we could both do together. She started taking classes in December and I ended up getting talked into putting on a (free) uniform and taking a few classes along side her. At first I thought it was kind of corny and only did it because my daughter was in it and seemed to enjoy it a lot. As I got into it and started moving up in rank, I really started getting into it and actually enjoying it.

I'll admit... I really don't like or have the self-discipline to exercise. Treadmills and bikes are just boring.... running and cycling to nowhere just doesn't appeal to me. Martial arts, on the other hand, gives me more structure and a goals to actually achieve. While trying to master tae kwon do routines, kung fu forms, weapons and kicks (and soon sparring), a nice side effect results.... I work physically (and mentally) harder than I've ever worked before, walking out of each class drenched in sweat. Since April I've dropped two sizes and developed better muscle tone (I love feeling on my flexed quads... yea, it's a bit narcissistic). I also like the idea of being a bad ass and the thought that maybe one day I could beat someone up (but only if I really needed to).  I also still achieve my original goal of connecting and bonding with my daugther through working together toward a common goal, and our friendly competition because she's a rank ahead of me.

So this past weekend we went to our first tae kwon do invitational tournament.... well, my daughter competed anyway (I just couldn't afford for both of us to compete this time). Mini-Me made me SO proud, coming in first in her division in forms and second in board breaks. Stay tuned for my debut in the next tournament hosted by our school in March.

Check out my Mini-Me as she does our tae kwon do form.... Bad Assery, Jr.:


And you should also check out our instructor's incredibly impressive performance at the tournament. His entire family are bad asses. Wow.

Randomly Numbered Haiku No. 294: Overslept

Dreaming of the ball
Woke up late and discovered
I'd slept all through it

To Write Love on Her Arms


If you were a follower of my old blog, you know about my personal struggles with depression and anxiety. I was very candid about my experiences in hope that maybe I could connect with someone out there to let them know that they are not alone. Sometimes just reaching out to people in that manner makes a world of difference.... just to let them know you empathize with what they are going through.

Well, now is your chance to do the same.

Friday, November 13th is To Write Love on Her Arms Day, a day to raise awareness about depression, self-injury, addiction, and suicide.

To Write Love on Her Arms is a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide. TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire and also to invest directly into treatment and recovery.

To Write Love On Her Arms Day is a day where anyone can write the words LOVE on their arms, to support those who are fighting against depression and those who are trying to recovering. On this day, just write love on your arms, and show it off, other people will ask why you have love written on your arms, and you tell them you are supporting to write love on her arms day, and how its benefiting a non profit organization helping stop depression, and make love the movement.

About Depression:

  • 121 million people worldwide suffer from depression. (The World Health Organization)
  • 18 million of these cases are happening in the United States. (The National Institute of Mental Health)
  • Between 20% and 50% of children and teens struggling with depression have a family history of this struggle and the offspring of depressed parents are more than three times as likely to suffer from depression. (U.S. Surgeon General's Survey, 1999)
  • Depression often co-occurs with anxiety disorders and substance abuse, with 30 percent of teens with depression also developing a substance abuse problem. (NIMH)
  • 2/3 of those suffering from depression never seek treatment.
  • Untreated depression is the number one cause of suicide, and suicide is the third leading cause of death among teenagers. (NIMH)
About Suicide:

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that each year approximately one million people die from suicide, which represents a global mortality rate of 16 people per 100,000 or one death every 40 seconds. It is predicted that by 2020 the rate of death will increase to one every 20 seconds.
  • In the last 45 years suicide rates have increased by 60% worldwide. Suicide is now among the three leading causes of death among those aged 15-44 (male and female). Suicide attempts are up to 20 times more frequent than completed suicides.
  • Mental health disorders (particularly depression and substance abuse) are associated with more than 90% of all cases of suicide.
  • However, suicide results from many complex sociocultural factors and is more likely to occur during periods of socioeconomic, family and individual crisis (e.g. loss of a loved one, unemployment, sexual orientation, difficulties with developing one's identity, disassociation from one's community or other social/belief group, and honour).
  • In the US, overall, suicide is the eleventh leading cause of death for all US Americans, and is the third leading cause of death for young people 15-24 years.
  • Although suicide is a serious problem among the young and adults, death rates continue to be highest among older adults ages 65 years and over.
  • Males are four times more likely to die from suicide than are females. However, females are more likely to attempt suicide than are males.
(stats from To Write Love On Her Arms website)

HELPLINES - IF YOU NEED SOMEONE TO TALK TO:

National Hopeline Network (U.S.A.) - http://www.hopeline.com/ - 1-800-SUICIDE

S.A.F.E. Alternatives - http://www.selfinjury.com/ - Self Abuse Finally Ends

Childhelp – http://www.childhelp.org/ - 1-800-4-A-CHILD - National Child Abuse Hotline

National Domestic Violence Helpline - http://www.ndvh.org/ - 1-800-799-SAFE

Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network - http://www.rainn.org/ – 1-800-656-HOPE National Sexual Assault Hotline

National Eating Disorders Association - http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/ - 1-800-931-2237

If you or someone you love is struggling with mental health issues such as depression, addiction, self-injury or suicide.... PLEASE get help.  Don't ignore them, don't ignore yourself.  This isn't a joke, or an attention seeking thing, or something someone can just "snap out of".  This is a real medical issue that too often gets ignored.  Please.....

And so it begins.... again

That's it....I couldn't take it anymore. I desperately miss my locs. Yes, that first set had to go, and I'd had all intentions to "enjoy" my un-loc'd hair... the curls, the two-strand twists, the afro puffs. But I've come to the conclusion that I hate doing my hair every morning locs are just more.... Me.

I went to a new loctician/natural hair stylist this time named Eboni. For reasons I'm not going to go into here, going to my old stylist just wasn't in the stars (but mainly because he never responded to my messages). It's cool because it fits with this whole notion of "change" and I'd seen Eboni's work on one of my good friends, plus she did my daughter's locs (my stylist wouldn't do kids' hair). I had her start them smaller this time and she did them perfectly... the size seems to conform much better to my natural curl pattern and (so far) seems to stay better.  I'm still taken aback from time to time when I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror because it's just so short.... the shortest it's been in over a decade.  But.... oh well.  It's hair.  It'll grow back.

So for anyone out there who has ever been curious as to how locs "work", I'll enlighten you with a few of the basics of the loc cultivation process:

1) You don't have to "do" anything to locs to create them.

One of the most common questions I used to get was "how do you get your hair to do that??" The simple answer is... nothing. Locking is a completely natural process in which the curls of the hair intertwine with each other over time to form locs. If all you did was simply quit combing your hair, you would eventually end up with locs (albeit rather lumpy and uneven locs, better known as "freeform" locs). Yes, I go to a loctician for the initial twisting to form the base pattern for the locs, but after that it's all about time and proper care. Retwisting and palm rolling are grooming techniques, NOT locking techniques. You may do a search for locking techniques and come across sites that talk about backcombing and such.... this is NOT for black hair. Locs on caucasian hair (or any other extremely fine hair texture) is a totally different thing. Black hair locs on its own.

2) People with "good hair" have locs, too.

In the month since I took my locs down, I've been telling people that I eventually planned to start another set. The response across the board has been "Whyyyy?? Your hair is so PRETTY!" or, the response that makes me cringe, "Girl, you've got that 'good hair' why would you want to loc it?" (the term "good hair" makes me see red).  When I went to my appointment, Eboni tried to talk me out of starting my locs, even jokingly refusing to twist my hair. Yes, coarser hair textures tend to loc easier.... in fact, that's the main reason I started my daughter's locs, because combing her hair was torture (for us both). But locs aren't just a last resort for those who are happy to be extra nappy. But "good hair" will loc, too. It may take a little more patience, but that aspect actually appeals to me. Everything worth having is worth working and waiting for.

3) Locs can (and should) be washed..... but just not at first.

This is my least favorite part of the locking process. I'm used to washing my hair at least every 3 or 4 days. Eboni said not to wash my hair for the next 2 MONTHS, meaning basically I can't wash my hair until 2010. Not to get all Mr. Wizard on you, but water breaks the molecular bonds between strands of hair. This is why curls (and presses) die in humidity and rain. When locking, you want those strands of hair to stay as close and intimate as possible until they start to intertwine and tangle together. Before you say "ewwwwwww!" let me stress that not washing does not mean not cleaning. During those initial few weeks (and in between periodic washings) the scalp should be thoroughly cleaned with an astringent like SeaBreeze.

(Tip: if your boo-thang has locs, sitting and helping them SeaBreeze their scalp is a great way to ensure that your night ends happily. Trust me.)

4) When it comes to products, more is less.

You don't need any products to form locs. It's very common for new loc-ees to get excited and join all kinds of forums where people are telling you to try this product and that product, and before you know it you're a product junkie. People will espouse to using bees wax or pomades or gels that are supposedly designed to form locs.... wholly unnecessary. Not only will this stuff build up in your locs, but it also attracts dirt. Think about what happens when you spill something sticky on the floor and don't clean it up all the way. You know how that spot gets dirtier than the rest of the floor? Yea, same concept. This was one big eff up that I made with my first set of locs. I used way too much Organic Root Stimulator Loc 'n Twist gel, noticed it was building up, then tried a regimen to remove the buildup. Well, in the process I basically removed the budding locs.... or rather, the buds (the part that starts to tangle) came unraveled and slid down the locs, making them lumpy and uneven. Eventually they looked ok, but my hair never really recovered from that initial screw up and they were always lumpy in some places.

Basically all you need is a light oil (shea butter or olive oil based oils are good, as well as a few others), water and some setting lotion. The only product I might recommend is the ORS Loc 'n Twist gel, but even this should be used very sparingly. Run your finger over the surface of the gel to put just a thin coating on your fingertip. Again, I will stress.... locs form on their own. The products do NOT form the locs, just groom them.

5) The main key to locs is patience.

There is no way to speed up the locking process. It's all about time. It takes at least 9 months to a year for locs to form, and even after that they continue to mature and firm up. The locking process starts about an inch or two from the root with "budding". Small masses of tangled hair start to form that look like... well.... buds (yes, those types of buds). These buds continue to extend down the loc as the hair further intertwines and the locs mature. If you want to read about the 5 stages of locking, you can find a good blog post here.  For me, locs are a labor of love, and it's something that many people admire but few have the patience to actually do.

So, ready to see the beginning of my new crown?  *drumroll*




 *claps hands excitedly* (and yes, that is my kung fu uniform, and yes, they actually held up pretty well through my workout)

So there it is.  I'll keep you periodically posted and updated on the progress (for anyone who's ever wanted to know how all this works).  With my first set of locs I had a whole blog dedicated to my loc journey.  I think it's gone now, though.... it may be some poor abandoned zombie blog out there in the blogosphere.

"You're a part time lover & a full time friend....."

I am not a mushy girlie-girl.  I'm very much womanly, but not girlie.  Traditional romantical [sic] stuff is ok and all, and I like it every once and awhile, but I like real, customized romance that fits my idiosyncrasies.  After all, it's about the people in the romance, not the abstract idea of romance.

So, this is more of my idea of a good love song.....enjoy:



You're a part time lover and a full time friend
The monkey on you're back is the latest trend
I don't see what anyone can see, in anyone else
But you

I kiss you on the brain in the shadow of a train
I kiss you all starry eyed, my body's swings from side to side
I don't see what anyone can see, in anyone else
But you

Here is the church and here is the steeple
We sure are cute for two ugly people
I don't see what anyone can see, in anyone else
But you

The pebbles forgive me, the trees forgive me
So why can't, you forgive me?
I don't see what anyone can see, in anyone else
But you

I will find my nitch in your car
With my mp3 DVD rumble-pack guitar
I don't see what anyone can see, in anyone else
But you

Du du du du du du dudu
Du du du du du du dudu
Du du du du du du dudu du











I don't see what anyone can see, in anyone else
But you

You are always trying to keep it real
I'm in love with how you feel
I don't see what anyone can see, in anyone else
But you

We both have shiny happy fits of rage
You want more fans, I want more stage
I don't see what anyone can see, in anyone else
But you

Don Quixote was a steel driving man
My name is Adam I'm your biggest fan
I don't see what anyone can see, in anyone else
But you

Squinched up your face and did a dance
You shook a little turd out of the bottom of your pants
I don't see what anyone can see, in anyone else
But you

Du du du du du du dudu
Du du du du du du dudu
Du du du du du du dudu du
But you

~Anything Else But You, Kimya Dawson of the Moldy Peaches

Indecent proposals?

 
No.  Just...... no.

Last night I was sitting at home searching for bootleg movies to watch online watching one of my favorite TV shows online (which I can't watch due to my crappy sans FX satellite package), Nip/Tuck (and I watched it on Hulu, so it was perfectly legal..... well, except for that last episode.....). In one of the episodes, Sean's girlfriend proposes marriage to him..... presented a ring and everything. After which he ended up taking too many sleeping pills and booze and damn near killed himself (sorry if that was a spoiler for anyone, but you knew they were not going to let him actually die).

So that got me thinking... do women actually do that, or was this just another wild scenario on this wild ass show (see photo of Mario Lopez, supra)? And, if not, SHOULD women start doing this? After all, I always hear men talking about how they would love if a woman approached them and asked them out, a situation that I'm sure was unfathomable 50 years ago. Is the marriage proposal next on the feminist agenda's chopping block? Should I get on the next wave and come up with a line of male engagement rings, make lots of money and retire to Mexico with a Mario Lopez body double?

I conducted a scientific survey.... ok, so I asked some folks on Twitter.... to see how people felt about women getting down on one knee (but not two, cuz that's an entirely different discussion). The overwhelming response was NO....this is a man's job, period.
loryn24 @DaughterOfPriam times have def changed, I believe in wmn's equality, but there r SOME things better left to a man. Proposals are 1 of them

kellinikole @DaughterOfPriam I think that tends to be a little emasculating. I don't think there is anything wrong with bringing up the convo, but I'd leave it up to the dude, to do the knee and ring deal.

WifeofUriah @DaughterOfPriam NO way. We are equal 2 men in some ways, other ways we are not. Marriage is equal, roles are different. proposal is his.

gabeflowers @DaughterOfPriam It can work 4 some but I would never have the balls! There's something about a man knowing he's ready and taking that step.

gabeflowers @DaughterOfPriam Plus, I wouldn't want to rob him of that moment!
And these responses came from educated, free-thinking, independent women. And as another woman who fits that description, I'm inclined to agree.

I would consider myself to be not so much old fashioned, but more like retro. I recognize not everything from the past is outdated and that timeless things should be preserved. I shake my head at the ultra feminists.... women who refuse to take their husband's name (aside from some VERY compelling professional reason, and even then there's hyphenation), women who name their daughters junior, women who really need to go put on a bra and women who just take "equality" to its illogical extreme. I believe in fairness, but fairness does not equal mirror image equality. There are just certain roles that a man should play and certain roles a woman should play in this complicated game we call relationships.

For example, as a woman I don't feel like I should have to do things like make all the the trips to Home Depot, and I don't expect my man to be all up in Pier 1. Sure, there's overlap and we can help each other (I really do enjoy putting furniture together). But if I'm the one constantly pulling out the lawnmower and putting in the rocks in the landscaping and installing the ceiling fan (these are true stories, BTW), there's a problem. And if he's wearing my fishnets, there's DEFINITELY a problem. Yes, I can stain and polyurethane, but dammit I shouldn't HAVE to. Not as my primary role, anyway.

Men and women each bring something unique to a relationship, and when you try and serve in the other person's role you're going to either get a) a bootleg job, b) that person not receiving what they need from you because you are too occupied with doing their job, c) resentment, or d) all of the above. You should be able to own your unique gender attributes without the distraction of having to take on and compensate for the other gender's, too.

So going back to my original point.... Men should be the ones doing the proposing. Period. You can discuss the issue and arrive at an agreement together that marriage is the next step for your relationship (I don't believe in blindsiding someone with a ring), but the actual question popping should be reserved for the man. I'm inclined to agree with the one response that opined that the woman proposing is somewhat emasculating (but not quite as emasculating as what was done to Mario, supra). There may be women out there who LIKE their men neutered, but personally I don't. I like gender roles, I like the idea of the man being the head of my household, I like the idea of just being able to be a woman.

So ladies, I'm sorry if you are just dying to get engaged....this is still something you're just going to have to wait for him to do.

The Aftermath: Life without locs

A few weeks ago when I decided to lop off my locs, there was one teeny tiny consideration that I didn't fully think about: I actually have to do my hair everyday now. For seven years all I basically had to do to my hair every morning was take off the scarf. Anything elaborate or time consuming was usually done the night (or several days) before....the most I'd ever have to do is unbraid/untwist/unroll it. Even when I'd forget to tie a scarf on it, I'd still wake up looking presentable, which was great during those times when I needed to rush out real quick or be an early morning vixen.

But now..... entirely different scenario. I actually have to DO my hair. I've been told I have that "good hair" (which makes me cringe every time someone says that and restrain myself from hopping up on my natural hair soap box) which basically means I wet my hair, throw in some curl defining gel (mixed with some good ole Ampro Clear Ice for hold and shake. Voila! Little ringlett curls. Which are nice and all. But it's getting to be winter time, meaning that I'm perpetually leaving the house with wet hair, and my inner mommy is screaming at me to 1) not do this so I don't catch pneumonia, and 2) put a hat on, but the hat will mess up the still drying curls and get all wet and gross from the gel. Ok, so you say blowdry it first..... but then I'm still left with the hat hair problem. Then I hate the fact that I have all this product in my hair that I have to wash out all the time and how it makes my hands sticky. I miss one tub of Loc n Twist Gel lasting me 6 months.

At night, I either have to wear a scarf to bed (very un-sexy) still with no guarantee that it will look like much of anything when I wake up in the morning, and if I don't I wake up looking like Buckwheat and Darla's long lost love child. Sure the ringlett curls are nice during the day, but at night it's just another lopsided fro. No more sexily pushing my locs out of my face or running my fingers through them.... now I'm just trying to smash it down into some half way presentable shape so my dude doesn't feel like he's waking up next to Don King. And if there was any wild rumpusing going on the night before.... forget about it. It's definitely NOT looking good.

I have rediscovered the two-strand twist as a way of styling my hair, either wearing the twists or untwisting them into crinkles. That seems to be a little more lasting (for 2 or 3 days anyway) and slightly more rumpus-proof, but not totally because of this "good hair" problem which makes my hair not quite coarse enough to keep its hold. But now I'm back to the same problem that lead me to loc my hair in the first place..... two strand twisting is so effing TIME CONSUMING! I spend at LEAST two hours on it, whereas retwisting my locs took all of about 30 minutes and lasted at least a week (even factoring in rumpusing). However, I haven't tested out its ability to withstand martial arts (twists yes, crinkles no), which I have a feeling is going to totally destroy any two-strand twist induced style from all the sweating.

Ok, loved ones..... this was merely a rant. I'm not trying to discourage ANYONE from going natural, because at the end of the day I'm still doing a HELLUVA lot less than what I had to go through when I had a perm. I love being able to wash my hair whenever I want to and not have to plan out a block of time to wash, dry, straighten, curl, etc. I love the fact that my hair isn't damaged and breaking off due to heat and chemicals. I love that I can walk in the rain, go on water rides, and go swimming without fear of the water's effect on my hours of work spent pressing it out.

(Sidenote: That the thing I never really understood about perms. You STILL have to press it with heat!! Sheesh.....)

All I'm saying is..... I miss my locs. A lot. And this just further demonstrates and reitterates what a sacrifice (in the killing goats on an alter sense) that was for me. I don't regret doing it, but I'm looking forward to the day when I can get twisted back up.

And then that's going to be a whole 'nother long difficult process......

"I'm here for the DeLorean..."

 See what happens when you try to take a DeLorean from a guy who apparently thinks he's Michael Jackson.... um, yea.

I CRIED laughing when my son showed me this....and for that there may be a special place in Hell being prepared for me right now.