Today’s hate is for people who refuse to respect boundaries. Like personal space.
Let me start at the beginning.
In order for you to appreciate the rest of this tale, you have to know two things: I have a big, curly Afro and I live in a predominately White area.
So I’m minding my own business, waiting for an appointment when a lady that I do not know walks by and ruffles my hair. No lie. Like I am a puppy. While I am quite adorable, I do not like to be petted. (Petted? Is that right? It doesn’t sound right. It is? Huh. Well, okay.)
She says, “You hair is so cute! I bet people do that to you all the time.”
I look at her, wide-eyed, and exclaim, “Nooooooo! They don’t!”
This heifer had the nerve, the unimaginable nerve, to look offended.
I was beside myself for the rest of the day. I must have describe the event to the Big Man at least a dozen times.
“And then, she has the almighty nerve—“
“To be offended. How dare her.”
“Are you making fun of me?” I may have been screeching in a tone usually emitted by peacocks.
“Listen, sweetheart. Your hair is pretty awesome.”
“People like touching awesome things.” Oh, I hate it when he’s so succinctly sensible.
“I know that too.”
“So what’s really bothering you? I’ve seen you let people touch your hair before.”
That’s what it was. The word let. She touched me and she didn’t ask me first.
Okay, background. One thing about me: I don’t like being touched. I never have. I think it’s a family thing. I am so serious when I say if my father gave me a spontaneous hug, I would assume he was dying. Not dying in an I-just-found-out-I-have-cancer kind of way; more like a I-was-shot-while-standing-next-you-and-have-minutes-left-to-live kind of way. My family is a close-knit, loving family. We just aren’t very touchy.
I have cried at work over a death in the family (my Doberman) and my co-workers were like “Can I…, I mean…, is it okay, to um, hug you?”
When I met the Big Man, he thought that was weird. He said all of his past girlfriends were always wanting to cuddle and hug. He got used to my physical aloofness, though, because everything else about me is pretty great. Also, I at times have to restrain myself from pushing the kids off me. Especially The Destroyer. He has always been and it seems like he will always be a cuddlebug. (Kids can be like little blast furnaces, too. So there’s that.)
Back to what I was saying. Many, many people have asked to touch my hair. I get it, because they probably don’t see an Afro up close on a daily basis. Some people have never seen an Afro in person at all. So I generally let them touch it when they ask. But for some reason, when people don’t ask permission, it doesn’t just upset me—it enrages me. I try my hardest not to be rude (I despise rudeness) but sometimes I can’t help it. Oh, and I’m not sure what these people thought my hair was going to feel like, but I guess it wasn’t hair. “It’s so soft,” they say. Well, you guys, I’m not a hedgehog.
You want to know something, though? I have never in life wanted to touch a stranger’s hair. NEVER. And I have seen some beautiful hair.
Look, all I want is for someone to ask me first. That’s it, really. Ask. Then I don’t have to go home and sound like a peacock. Seriously, those things sounds much, much, worse than they look.