Hair is not puppies and puppies aren’t just dogs
You know that invasive stance people adopt when they spot a preggo belly? Making them want to reach out and touch it. Rubbing their hands on your body and soiling your clothing in the process. A process I’m all too familiar with being both the receiver of random hands and the owner on the opposite end of the hand just wanting to rub a belly. BUT, I don’t. (I still remember the dirty hand smears on my clothing.) Unless I’m invited to touch off course. Then there’s no stopping me given the opportunity.
For a while I’ve been exponentially broody. The mere sight of babies made me long for a pregnancy and a baby. Not like I loved being pregnant. I cannot romanticize my pregnancy like other women. Morning sickness throughout the nine months was hell on earth. Feeling the baby move was uncomfortable. Walking around with a lopsided belly was not cute either. Neither was waddling or insomnia.
Added to that, I’m not exactly the best baby mom. I love sleeping and I can’t handle people who can’t come straight out and tell me what they want or need. This may just be the reason why I didn’t experience many sleepless nights. I’d wake up refreshed and the husband would be dog tired come mornings. Ladies if I can give you advice, marry well. Marry a patient man who will be hands on in all aspects of your daily lives. Especially with the kids. And cooking. And cleaning.
Since going natural last year I’ve been experiencing random people wanting to touch my hair. Family, friends and even strangers. Especially strangers. What the heck for, I have no idea. Nothing comes to mind actually except the fact that I probably remind them of a dog. A Maltese poodle to be exact. Or one of those cute dogs who run on the beach with their owners and wander off in your general direction looking for some attention. Dog owners who walk their pets in the beach really do have the most gorgeous dogs don’t you think? It hardly ever is Maltese poodles.
If they don’t touch it right on, you can almost always tell how they resist the urge to touch it. Probably wondering if it’s a) real b) as soft as it looks or c) as brittle as it looks. So instead they stare. Making you wonder if there is any fluff that escaped your notice when you left home the morning. Because, well, you woke up that way. Also, combing is not exactly high on your list of priorities. Besides combing is a no-no. Unless it’s a pick and you use it to fluff out your fro for maximum effect.
My question is, with the amount of product we use, are they not afraid of their hands getting grimy? I wouldn’t want to touch someone’s hair. If I did I would’ve made it my profession. I would also not bribe #MiddleK to do #LittleK’s hair. I also wouldn’t give #LittleK a hard time for crying and performing when her sister does her hair because it would mean that I would have to. Honestly I would much prefer to have her walk with curls for days but my mom would die if I had to try that. Or worse, she’ll brush my daughters hair and make me feel like I’m lacking. Little girls should have neat hair and there should be no tangles. Us new age moms get it wrong on so many levels.
So here I am, having had enough of puppy (hair) love for a while and donning turbans for weeks. At least that’s the plan. I don’t want people touching my hair for no reason. Are their hands even clean? The same as I didn’t want my belly rubbed and ending up with dirty shirts as a result.
Just in case you were wondering (and even if you didn’t 😜), here are a few things you really should know about me:
- The power a touch yields is real. I firmly believe that both positive and negative energies are transferred through a touch. This is part of the reason I limit touch with people. Hugs are one of those. Kind of a big deal to me.
- Much to my chagrin, I’m an empath. I feel too much and this may just be the reason why I’m an awkward toucher/hugger.
- The husband is hands on and quite frankly, I’m a spoilt wife. It doesn’t mean that I don’t ever do anything. I’m raising 3 kids of my own and my late mother in law’s overgrown kid. They haven’t died yet.
- Having people invade my bubble by even reaching out to touch my hair makes me cringe. Personal space is a big deal to me. Huge!
- My hair is a form of expression to me. But mostly it’s just hair. No stories to tell, no attitude, no hidden agendas. Just hair. Here today, gone tomorrow.
- And before you think I’m all kinds of lazy. I’ve had carpal tunnel release surgery on my left hand a few years ago and even though my hand works well, I find myself not being able to do certain chores for an extended period. Blame the fact that I delayed getting a second opinion and seeing a specialist until I lost use of my hand. Also, I need to have my right hand done too but I’ve been doing everything I can to go without surgery. Kinesiology taping and hand exercises that works wonders.
- Living naturally has become my thing and these days I find myself reading product labels more than I do instruction manuals. Who evens reads instruction manuals?
- My coping mechanism is to shut out the negative albeit people or situations. Literally shut myself off from it. Giving myself a time out. A bad habit of mine come to think of it. But it’s how I cope.
- I consider myself to be an alpha. And it feels damn good being pack leader. At least where my dog is concerned.
But what I really want you to know:
I know you really want to touch a preggo belly, a new baby and even people’s hair. But please don’t. Unless they say it’s ok. It’s almost never ok, but people humour you by saying yes. Because lo and behold they refuse you “your right of way”.
It doesn’t escape me how often people take liberties where others are concerned. We feel like it’s our God given right to say and do things. We feel hurt and angered when we aren’t allowed said liberties. Like we have the right to feel bad when we hear the word NO.
There are plenty of fine lines in life. Lines between right and wrong, love and indifference, sarcasm and humour, genius and insanity… We’re not expected to know everyone’s limits. What might be acceptable to you might horrify the next person. Sometimes we unknowingly cross those lines. How we handle being in the wrong (even unseemingly) is the determining factor of who you are and what type of person you are.
One of the most frustrating feelings is being cornered into accepting a touch or a word because you’re too afraid of offending the person. For all my big talk I sometimes allow people to get away with doing or saying things because I fear the backlash of saying NO. Not actual fear though. More like grin and bear and wish them away without having to explain myself. Because I shouldn’t have to. You shouldn’t have to. People will ridicule you and downplay your feelings because they don’t understand it. It’s easier to keep quiet and let bygones be bygones. Sometimes. Most times I have no problem opening my mouth and saying what I troubles me. I know my fine lines and limits and prefer to sleep at night as opposed to thinking about possible outcomes had I said something.
I can’t tell you when to speak up. I wish I could. Everyone is different. You’ll know what feels comfortable and can be dismissed and when you have to assert yourself. I can tell you that the art of asserting yourself lies in how well you know yourself. It also lies in how you allow other people to treat you. Unfortunately people will treat you the way you allow them and this I find is often in direct conflict with the way they want to be treated.
On the flip side, we cannot expect people to know that they’re offending us when we don’t tell them. Many times people don’t realize this and are apologetic. Not often voiced but you can see it in their actions. Everyone has their own way of resolving conflict. Mostly, it’s never verbalized. Such is life.
You cannot help how someone feels about something but it shouldn’t be too difficult to apologise and let it go because you offended or hurt them. Be open to accept the unspoken apology. Sorry still seems to be the hardest word. Whatever you do, and whichever side of the coin you find yourself on, don’t wear your pride like I wear my favourite pair of jeans.
PS: As for my broodiness. I got a puppy. But I guess no.9 already cleared that up. A little dog who has almost tripled in size since we got him six weeks ago. He lights up our lives. That’s when he’s not up to mischief. And he does mischief well. He’s not just our dog, he is family.
PPS: For a moment there I thought this post was going to be an exclusive hair and puppy post. That’s the beauty of writing. You never know how a story will end. And mine keeps on going.
Until next time…