Friday, August 3, 2012

I'm Divorcing My Hair

I was compelled to write about this because of the recent hoopla in the news and social media. In Thinking more and more about it, has allowed Mee to truly ask myself an honest question.
Gabby Douglas has done something phenomenal!!! She WON!!!! She got the GOLD MEDAL for Gymnastics in her Team Sport as well as Individual Competition, she is 16 years old.  She accomplished something so great that will go down in History- she is forever sealed in World History.  The more I say that the more excited I get for her and for all the little Black Girls to come who dare to dream.  I think it's wonderful that this has happened for Gabby as well as the entire US Gymnastics Team of Girls who are also no older than 16 years old.  This is why I could not understand for the life of Mee the discussion about Gabby Douglas' HAIR.
I will regress from the rant about it because it's stupid.  The topic though, and the report on FOX News prompted Mee to look at my own self and ask the question- Is My Self Esteem attached to my Hair and if so, Why?
I will never forget  the early 90's. I was in College, working at Def Jam Records and going to every party they had.  I had decided that I wanted to be in Videos.  I could dance and I wanted my chance at Fame in a Video.  As I went to the many auditions, or should I say Cattle Calls, I began to notice that I did not have what it took to be "The Girl" in the Video.  First of all I was Dark Skin and Second of all I did not have Braids or a Weave.  I thought I was pretty enough but apparently not enough for certain Rappers and Groups to pick Mee to be "The Girl".  I would get upset at times, but I would always walk away with the attitude with my other friends that didn't get it saying stuff like "they would have wanted Mee to be in their video" but then going home looking in the mirror saying "what's wrong with Mee?". But yet and still I'd go for my weekly Wash n Set Uptown so I could have my "Doobe" fly for Sunday.  You couldn't tell Mee nothing about the Doobe- Hair freshly Permed- Washed, Conditioned, Sit under the dryer for 45 Minutes then Wrap with Pins.  One Hour sometimes a Hour and a Half if your hair was long which was the goal of every single Black Girl trekking her way to Harlem to get her Hair Done every week, or every 2 weeks.  The Doobe was it for Mee until I said to myself- "Girl you gotta make some changes".  I began to dance on MTV's the Grind in 92 - this was MTV's version of Soul Train and I was one of the Dancers.  I noticed that the girls who were put on the Platforms if they were Black, they had a Weave or Braids.  I would have my days on the Platforms because I was good enough and attracted enough attention but, I never got picked for routines or trips.  Some people would say I was envious- well I guess so, but my thing was 'if I danced better than she- what was the difference between she and mee?' and it was ALWAYS the Braids n weave factor.  So I struggled with my hair- hating that when I went out- if it was muggy, my curls wouldn't last- ah but the Doobe!!! The Doobe was Awesome!!! I still would not conform.  I rocked Afro Puffs, & Doobees.
I had my first lesson in "What Hair NOT To Buy" on a Cruise singing with Patti Austin.  I figured, I needed hair because there was water and I'd be in it so I needed hair that can get wet and bounce back for show time without too much hassle.  Because of my lack of experience with adding hair, I just got some hair and asked my sister to weave Mee  up!!!.  I went frolicking in the water and went to wash it to get the sand out and I couldn't get a comb through it.  I gagged!!! Thank GOD for Alyson Williams!!!! She too was on the Cruise and I went to her door in tears.  This woman, DIVA, Mentor of Mine- Laughed at Mee and embraced Mee and made all my troubles go away.  She told Mee about Good Hair, and Cheap Hair, and what products to use, where to get Good Hair thats usually expensive.  All this while I sat on her floor and she combs my weave out strand by strand it seemed.  I believe we consumed 2 Bottles of Champagne.
From then on to this day, I have been hair Obsessed.  It does go deeper as far as to childhood when my mother sat me down and taught mee how to braid on my doll.  She bought Mee a head Doll that if you pushed a button, the hair got longer.  I was 5.  Once she showed Mee how to braid I began doing my own hair.  I was the only little girl in the 1st-4th Grade doing her own hair!!! I felt FAB!!! I LOVED Hair!!! I Loved My Hair because it was long and thick.  I just hated other people doing it because I was tender headed.  My mother used to ware Mee out combing my hair and she couldn't take it no more thats why she bought the doll head. I always wanted to go to Hair School but touring always got in the way.  I used to take care of my Grandmothers Hair who had the prettiest head of  hair.It was Silver Gray with like a Violet Tint-I did her hair as she laid there on the table.  I will never forget that.  Even in death, I had to do Mama's Hair.  It was important to Mee, and she wouldn't have it any other way.  She would always encourage mee to go to Hair School; I still want to go, Maybe I will.
So, I guess I am hair Obsessed. My hair has gone through lots of changes.  The Braids took out my edges, and the Laces Fronts is doing the same so my breather is Mee all natural at Home.  Out in Public, well...... Right now I am going through a change.  I want to change my hair.  I want to cut it off and be real short.  Something Ive never done.  But then I want a sickening Weave down my back-because I Love Hair - I want to go blonde for a spell- Ive never done that, and I want to shave like the back or something- Ive never done that either.
I know Im just going on and on about this and that and Hair but I  just can't help but think.  What if I had focused like Gabby Douglas focused on that Beam- did you see how her eyes stayed locked on that beam until she couldn't see it anymore- what if I kept my focus on getting that part in the video, or routine, or what if anyone of you that might read this focused as much???
As I look in the mirror, I realize that I have given HAIR Power over Mee and that my friends is just NUTS!!!
The Only Power over Gabrielle Douglas is GOD GIVEN and she acknowledges that.  It's sad that we focus on things that profit us very little.  We can all take a Lesson from Gabby-FOCUS  ON THE THING THAT WINS THE GOLD.
Today, I Am Divorcing My Hair, It has no more Power Over Mee.
The End.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Where Did The Time Go???

Have I not written all year???? This is Preposteurous to say the least, as I AM a Writer.  At first I was amazed by this discovery but then I remembered..........
Right after Labor Day last summer, I remember my Grandmothers health beginning to fade.  By the time Thanksgiving came we had discovered that her Uterine Cancer had spread to her lungs and settled there.  I remember the day she came back from the doctor with this knowledge and I remember how I felt-completely lost- Not wanting to accept the inevitable, knowing it's coming.  As she rested that day, I was in and out of her room, many times just looking at her.  Watching her breathe, watching her sleep-Hoping that this just was not true and by some miracle, we'd get a call saying that there had been a mistake and she would be fine with plenty of rest.  I remember her waking up and yelling at Mee for being there-but I gather she was just taking it all in and talking to GOD.  It seems that right after this day the count down to the end began.  I was getting ready to go on Tour for the Month of December and I just wanted to cancel- I wanted to NOT go- I wanted to just stay there with her.  The day I left, I laid in bed with her and talked to her and asked her to pray.  I could've prayed but I wanted her to pray because her prayers I always knew got to GOD before mines.  My grandmother prayed like she had another 20 years to go and all I wanted her to do was hold on until I returned.
As the days went by, she faded fast.  I wasn't there but the rest of the family was. I called everyday but I remember feeling like that jus wasn't enough.    21 days later I was awakened in a dream and saw her sitting on a bus with Red and White on Smiling and waving.  Her Silver Gray hair was all Black, her bottom half White and she wore a Red Blouse and she was so Pretty!!! 2 hours later, My Mom called Mee and told Mee that God came and took her.  It was Christmas Eve.
I sit here now 8 months later fully soaked with tears.  I Miss her SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!! There is no doubt in my mind that she's in a better place and I am assured that "when we All get to Heaven" I will see her again.  I still can't help but pause and reflect as to how this has affected Mee and my Family.  On some level- yes, we are moving forward and grieving in our own personal ways- then on another level, it's things like writing that has been affected because I just don't feel it- I feel lost a lot of times, like what really do I have to talk about and who is listening to what I have to say???
This woman who raised Mee, taught Mee how to Cook, led an example before Mee-is no longer here in my presence but I feel her all the time!!! I feel her energy- her love-I hear her voice sometimes, her pictures are everywhere, and when I stop and look, I just stare...........
My lack of writing has been because of my loss- but I haven't lost my gift, just my zeal.  I am praying that it returns.  One of my best friends reminds Mee all the time that I have to do this, It's a Must, It's Inevitable- I MUST WRITE.  Thanks Mike, I am so glad you are there.....
So here I go, stories in tow, 'bout to hit the road and go,NON STOP -
My grandmother always wrote letters to her friends and family.  In her younger years she wrote Poetry and then sermons.  I'd like to think that aside from my father, I acquired this skill from her.
I Won't Disappoint............