Tuesday, April 15, 2008
"You Have to Use Black Shampoo..."
I had a kinda surreal experience at the store yesterday. I'll share that in a minute, but first a little background. Ever since Haley was born, people have been obsessed with her hair. I remember when she was was just a baby. We were flying to Kentucky to visit and while we were just walking down the aisle of the airplane, people would reach out to touch her head. It was like they couldn't help themselves. As soon as they'd do it, they'd seemingly come to their senses and act all embarassed and apologetic. Then we'd go places and people would come from across the room and make over her hair. Often times they'd want to give us advice on what we can use in her hair to help it stay so pretty and curly and not frizzy, etc. Anyway, when someone makes a big deal over her hair, we've gotten good at making a few canned comments. Anyway, yesterday Cameron, Haley and I were at Walmart. Haley is riding up on my shoulders. She hadn't had her hair washed, so it was frizzy and pulled back in braids. I heard a voice behind me. "Purdy!" Thinking it was someone I knew, I turned around. Standing behind me was a short lady who appeared to be of mixed race. She was looking up at Haley. "Her hair is so purdy!" Oh. She meant pretty. I broke out one of my standard responses. "Thanks. Too bad she doesn't like it much." Bad choice. "Well, you just don't put the right stuff in it you need to put oil in it it's just drying up there's this stuff in a blue and white bottle I don't remember what it's called here let me show you." With that she was off. I was too stunned to do anything but follow. I was able to gather my wits about me for a moment. "I need to grab something down this aisle. Cameron will go with you and you can show him. I'll meet you guys at the front." Nice of me to throw Cameron under the bus, huh? Anyway, I set Haley down, took my time grabbing what I needed (it was Stove Top Stuffing, BTW) and headed to the front of the store. At the front I saw some friends and was chatting waiting for Cameron to come back. To my dismay, they come around the corner. I'd beat them to the front of the store. She was glad to see me and I got caught up in her gravitational field again. As we were walking to the back, she looked down to assess Haley's hair. "Is her mama a woman of color?" she asked. "No." She looked up at me with such a quizzical look, I almost laughed. "She's adopted. Her birth father..." "Oh yes well my hair has three different types nappy straight and..." I lost her, but continued to follow. We got back to the specialty hair products and she started showing me bottles of stuff. "You need to get something that says oil like oil lotion or moisturizing oil just buy the cheap stuff it does't make any difference you can get a better selection at Kim's in Winchester you take the exit like you are going on the bypass and turn left i can't remember the name of the road oh Lexington Road or something anyway you keep going and it's on the right they'll fix you right up the korean lady there can help her husband doesn't know anything." She opened one bottle and squirted it in her hand. Before I can react she rubbed her hands together and began to rub it into Haley's hair. I was speechless. I glanced at Cameron, who was standing behind her. His reaction was a mixture of amusement and amazement. "See how nice that makes it you just need to do this everyday and then get a big brush and comb it and comb it." She was mimicking the act of brushing. Then she bent way over to get another bottle. "Excuse me," she said as she reached back to hike up the waistband of her pants. I'm guessing Cameron got an unexpected view. She proceeded to open this next bottle and squirt some in her hand. "See not much different you should just have your wife give me a call and I'll go with her to pick out some things we can get you folks fixed right up." She was rubbing this lotion into Haley's hair now. Haley's eyes were big as saucers and she was sort of grinning like she didn't know what to do. I third bottle was opened and she began to apply it to Haley's hair. While I was wondering if she was going to use every product on the shelf, she continued her tutorial. "You can use your shampoo our hair just doesn't like it it strips it you need to use black shampoo and you don't need to wash it every day i haven't washed mine since february i don't do anything with it unless i can get an appointment at the salon ok get your cell phone out." I obeyed, feeling a little like the folks in "1984". "My name is Amanda and my number is 859-498-7384 you just have your wife give me a call now i hope your isn't one of those types that will get all crazy because you've got some woman's phone number (I shake my head) just have her give me a call and i'll help her out girl your hair is so beautiful ok love you guys." And with that, she was gone. I was dumbfounded. Cameron was slackjawed. Haley was perplexed. We waited a few minutes and nobody ccould talk. I looked at Cameron. He looked at me. I looked at Haley. "Haley...Did you think that was...weird." She looked up at me. "Uh huh," she said, nodding. As we exited the store I commented to Cameron, who seems to get girls phone numbers every time it goes outside, that I can't go with him to the store anymore because I'd never before gotten a girl's phone number at the store. Must be contagious. I got home and told Kelsee. She laughed at me. Hysterically.