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?