Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Great Divide

I'm embarrassed. My son needs a hair cut for his very straight, very fine Caucasion hair. He could go to the local Fantastic Sams or any other walk-in salon and come out looking great. But here is my issue: I have a friend who owns her own salon and she needs the business. My boy knows my friend. Her son and my son met in school and became best friends. She's been to my house; I've spent time at her's. That's not the issue. My friend is African American and I hesitate to ask her because I don't know if she would be comfortable cutting my son's hair. I know I should simply ask her. My own discomfort is my issue and that worries me.

My problem is wondering how I got to this point. I have degrees in multi-cultural education. I have taught English as a second language. I live in an multi-cultural area and have friends from many different ethnic groups. For most of my adult life I've worked and socialized and learned from so many people from so many backgrounds different from my own. So when did I get uncomfortable asking my friend to cut my boy's hair? I know she's a good stylist. I know she needs the money. I know we're friends. Yet I feel as though in asking this simple question as if I would make her somehow uncomfortable by admitting that we are different.

How is it that I feel uncomfortable in this, the unspoken difference?


After typing the above, I called my friend and made an appointment for Checkered and our youngest.

Checkered and our boy had a great time visiting with our friend and her family, but when it was time for the cut, my friend was admittedly very nervous cutting Caucasion hair. What followed was a conversational tap-dance for over an hour of, "I would cut your hair, but ..."

Eventually, my friend did the cuts and they turned out great. Now my other two boys need cuts.  Here we go again.   Isn't this absolutely silly?


Beth from the Funny Farm said...

It is just HAIR... let her snip away. Go. Have fun!

Mental P Mama said...

Well now that the ice is broken...dive on in!

Wonderful World of Weiners said...

Seems like you are working through the issue even if a bit awkwardly.

Thanks, btw, for the great comment you left on my blog today. It means a lot.


Laura ~Peach~ said...

lol yeah its silly... most people especially friends will simply say hey I can't do black hair or hey I can't do white hair... My first passion in life was hair ... but some how i ended up in nursing instead... but I can do black hair as easily as white and many many times over the years i have spent the extra time teaching a black friend how to do white hair... I remember when I moved here to ga and I wanted to know how to plait hair like the black girls do so a friend at work taught me how to do my own hair... I already knew how to braid like the white gals... and not long after that I was dying to have corn rows in my hair and chris told me she absolutely could not do it but her sister could so I spent a whole day with her sister while she did my hair in rows! I loved it! just be your honest self and it will all work out....
see it worked out and you got two great cuts but guess what had they turned out bad two things would have happened... your friend would have learned alot about white hair and your hubby and son would grow more hair :)
Laura the babbler!

Keeper Of All Things said...

boys = flo bee

Pam said...

My friend who owns a shop cuts the guys hair. Thankfully her three boys have hair just like them! Curly and wavy as can be. I don't know what I would do if I had this concern of where to go even?
I don't think it's wrong to acknowledge something that is a physical difference in the structure of the way our bodies are. God gave different skins tones and different hair textures. It's a fact. But then, that's what you were saying. It's the saying it out loud part that's harder.
Glad it all worked out.

ann said...

Yay - for putting it out there. Differences make us who we are - nothing wrong with being different, it's just a gap to bridge.