Mug Shot, Really?

Mug Shot, Really?!
Before traveling to the Dominican Republic, I had my hair braided in cornrows so the heat and humidity would not expose my half natural and half relaxed hair.  It was wonderful to wake up each morning and just be hair ready.  No brush or comb needed.  Just get up and go.  Well, let me correct that.  There were the spritzes of oil sheen in the crevices of my hair that itched and called out my name to be scratched.

After two weeks of braids, it was time for them to come out.  I started unbraiding them while driving down the street.  I finished while watching a reality show on TV.   I didn’t look in the mirror during the process, but once I went upstairs to look I saw a full head of hair – and I loved it.  Although there was no true style, hair products or anything on it, I loved the potential that it could have possessed.  So what did I do?  I took a photo of it and put it on Facebook.  I received some interesting comments –

“Oh my. That could be a mug shot picture!”  “From all the glam pics this is truly different. All you need is a name plate with a number.” “Time to DEEP condition, straighten it out, and trim! Hey now!”

Wow, I was pretty caught off guard by the comments.  Who would have known that a picture I admired would be seen as so horrendous and negative by others.  It wasn’t until I posted a comment about liking the photo that others started writing positive comments.

I hate that so many people see natural hair as such a negative and ugly thing.  It’s a good thing that I don’t do things in order to impress other people or else I would have run as fast as I could to get a “Just For Me” Kit.   By the next morning, my hair was back to straight and I looked “acceptable” again (see below).

I don’t know how people will treat me once I am completely natural and let all my hair do whatever it feels like doing.  Who knows, I may cut it tomorrow.  I may flatiron it forever.  I may rock an afro puff cocked to the side.My hair does not define me.  Whatever I do, I hope people will still love me for being me.


M.Y. June 2011

A Nasty Tone/ A New Year

A Nasty Tone/A New Year

Dec 10-4My Zumba group and I were working out at an upstairs location.  We were grooving to the beats, enjoying ourselves.  I noticed a woman watching us from the back door.  I assumed she was interested in maybe doing a class.   We carried on.  I then noticed her standing at the front door watching us.  Once again, we kept doing our thing.  She finally said “Excuse me”.  I stopped the music to see how we could help her.  With an attitude she said that she had to lock up upstairs.  I told her that was fine and that we would lockup once we finished.  I asked if she minded telling the owner downstairs what she had told us.  With even more of an attitude she said, “Yes, I would mind!”  I was taken aback.   It took me a couple of beats of the songs to get back on track.  We were all surprised with her demeanor but just brushed it off.

Well, I guess this lady was going through something because the next day she came to the facility to give me a card.  She apologized for the way that she spoke to us and stated that that was not the way she really is.  I shared her card with the group.  We realized that everyone has their good and bad days and that her attitude was probably much larger than her interaction with us.

I could have put her on my enemy list, but I did something different.  I realized the value I could give to the business where she works.  I reached out to the manager (and didn’t mentioned the incident) and am forming a partnership with them.  As we enter a new year, think about some of the things or people that have affected you either positively or negatively.  Think about how (or if) you want them to be a part of 2011.  Just remember, though, you can’t control another person’s actions.  If you want someone to continue with you into 2011, remember you are accepting them just the way they are.  It’s not about spending next year trying to change them.  Not everyone should make it into next year.  That man that always hurts you – leave him alone!  If he wanted to be with you he would.  The friend that always lies about you behind your back – leave her alone!  That’s not a true friend.  That person that serves as a source of inspiration for you (even if you don’t know him/her personally) – keep him/her close!  Surround yourself with positive people doing positive things.  Think about all that you want to accomplish, write it down, tell the world and make it happen!


M.Y. December 2010

Bad Attitude or Something More

‘Bad Attitude or Something More?’

Apr09-3My washer recently started leaking so my friend took a photo of where the water was dripping and suggested I go to a home improvement store to try to fix it.

I then threw on some sweats, pulled my hair back in a ponytail and headed out the door.   I entered the store and was immediately greeted by two people.  One walked me back to the appliance section where I was introduced to Mike H.  When I told him the issue, he said that I would need to go to an appliance parts store.

I asked which ones he would suggest.  Mike said to look it up in the phonebook and find one close to where I lived.  Excuse me!  I stated that I live just around the corner and asked if he would write some down.  He then placed a piece of paper and pen in front of me.  Wow! I wrote one down and he said it was two city blocks south of I-264 on Newburg Rd.  I asked if that was near the School Board.  He rudely said, ‘I said two city blocks’.  I once again kindly reminded him that I live in the suburbs of Louisville and have no clue how far two city blocks are.

At this point I felt belittled and asked Mike H. if I were taking up his time and should instead find someone else that would better serve me.  An older female customer standing close asked me what my problem was and started talking to me.  She told me about her recent washer problems, made suggestions if I had to get a new one and helped me more than Mike H even attempted.

I pulled out my camera to show the other customer where the water was leaking at Mike looked at it.  He then said, ‘So, what part is that?’  Really!  My response was, ‘I am in education, if I knew what the part was then I wouldn’t have come to this section for assistance.’  I told him that my friend suggested possibly putting putty in to stop the leak.   He told me I would need to go to an automotive store to get that.

I walked out of the store hurt at my experience.  I felt some very disparaging remarks were made toward me and felt that nobody should be treated that way.  When I arrived home, I called to speak to a supervisor.  The next day, I also went into the store and talked with the store manager.  He was very disturbed with how I was treated and apologized.  We first walked all through the store to try to find Mike. After we couldn’t, I was introduced to Gary who gave me the type of service that one would expect.

You know, people talk about being discriminated against and I am not sure if this was one of those situations.  Yes, the employee (Mike H) did have a very nasty attitude – but was it racially motivated?  That I will never know.  I do know that he was just one employee and not a reflection of the entire store.  I actually went back to the same store several times that week because I did end up needing a new dryer.  Each of the other times I was treated wonderfully from the time I entered to the time I left.  Lesson learned: Don’t let people treat you less than you are worth and don’t assume that one person’s attitude is a reflection of those around them.

M.Y.  April 2009