If you knew me personally, which I wish you all could (I think I am a hoot!), you would know that when it comes to things about myself or social issues, I try to speak frankly. I don’t really care anymore if one is offended (of course, I don’t go around trying to offend people, but we live in such a politically correct world, it’s hard to say the word “fart” and not have a petition started demanding your removal from wherever you are), as I learned that my experiences are MY experiences and if you don’t like them, you don’t have to listen, with that being said … let me progress with this post.
It has been 10 years since I have had a black boyfriend. In my opinion, having a black boyfriend is a lot easier when it comes to my hair, as I don’t have to explain the intricacies of what I do or why I have to wear a scarf to bed every night. They don’t care if they see me in rollers and don’t freak out if I use a product called hair “grease” or “oil.” They know I don’t wash my hair everyday and that I am not nasty for it. They have been born into this culture so they are used to it … it phases them none and some of them find it sexy. How can we forget the iconic shot out to our hair in Drake’s 2009 “Best I Ever Had?” The lyrics read:
Sweat pants, hair tied, chillin’ with no make-up on/That’s when you’re the prettiest, I hope that you don’t take it wrong.
Well, it has been 10 years since I have had the unspoken privilege of just doing what I do to my hair without snarky comments. The first white boyfriend I had was Scott. He had some jokes … (for starters, read this post). He has also called me Harriet Tubman and Tupac (because my strip scarf was tied up front like his on this picture). He wondered why I would answer the door in a scarf when he would roll up at 11pm (uh, because it’s 11pm and unless I am out, my hair is up!) and other nonsensical ideas on the affairs of my hair. Did I mind this? No, I thought it was funny. I don’t get offended easily. I like to have frank conversations about race and other topics often seen as taboo. I saw it as my role to educate him, so going forward, he would know this and even impress a sista or two. He is still one of my dearest friends and I go visit him while I am in NC. I even leave little toiletries that I know any sista that may sleep over may like to have, such as a shower cap and real lotion, for starters.
Hey, if I had to be called anyone, let me be called two of the realest people in my culture for the past 160 years!
The boyfriend I had between Scott and Nathan did not mind my scarf. He actually thought I looked pretty damn sexy in it. He said he saw Eva Mendes in one and loved it. “Well, damn,” I thought! I kept my scarf on most of our 2-year relationship! I would go out in it (don’t you dare say “ghetto!”) and wear my strip one to work at the daycare with my hair clipped up in the back (like Eva, see photo below!) I was protective styling and didn’t even know it … I guess that is why my hair had some resemblance of health despite me triple processing it (relaxer, permanent color and bleaching it for highlights!)
Well, flash forward 8 or so years. Last week, I was cleaning up my room in preparation for Nathan’s dad’s arrival. I found a Fitness Magazine in a Nordstrom bag. I noticed the woman was rather curvy. I showed Nathan and he was like “It’s Brooklyn Decker” and I was like “No! It’s so-and-so” (I don’t remember who she was and I am too lazy to look it up). He was like “whoever it is, she’s fine.” I am now donned in my sexiest apparel: Nathan’s gray fleece sweatshirt, some sweatpants, fleece socks and my black bonnet. I say “I could be on the cover of a magazine!” And he quickly retorts: “Yeah, Mammie Magazine!”
Now that was funny. As heck. I got a great laugh out of that one!!! Many people I know would be offended – FOR ME!! How dare a non-black say that to you!?! Well, for one, he’s my boyfriend (of 3 LOOOOONG years) and we have very candid conversations on the differences (and similarities) of our culture.
It is always so interesting dealing with men that are not black (well, unless they have an extensive history of dating black women … then they are already acclimated and you can just carry on without discussion). I love to hear their thoughts, what they heard and even dispel a few myths!
Well, I thought that I would share my funny history of dating non-black men and how they feel about my hair and my hair care practices!