Black like me.
Recently, a lovely woman I work with made the comment, in regards to my youthful countenance, 'you have black folk in your family somewhere!' As she herself is black folk, she has some authority on the matter. And it's funny, because I've always felt I had both black and Jewish lineage in me somewhere. When I was a kid, it took me a while to catch up with my mouth, which earned me the nickname 'n___lips' and the taunt that 'you didn't get lips like that from sucking on doorknobs' (which still doesn't make sense to me - but this is 2-3rd grade witticisms were talking about). The genealogy is murky on either parent's side, but my father (who was a deplorable bigot his entire lonnnng lonnnnng life) had black curly hair and used to tan very deeply. When he enlisted in the army, in a beautiful stroke of irony, they listed his status as 'Negro'. Much to my dismay growing up, I inherited the curly/frizzy hair (the standard of beauty all around me growing up was straight straight hair). I used to spend the better part of every Sunday with my hair in ginormous rollers under a hot hair dryer to no one would suspect my terrible frizzy secret (a secret that my parents encouraged me to keep, interestingly). Every night I had to tape my bangs to my forehead (I was going for Agent 99 hair). When I finally left home and was able to just let my hair do what it wanted, I rocked an awesome Afro for several years, until hand held blow dryers came along and I was able to tame my head thusly. Alas, today I only have a wave left, which often gives me hair that looks like this:
It should be noted that the photo at top, taken while I was camping with my cousin and her family in California when I was ten, was not an attempt at black face. We were having a mud spa treatment. The brat at the bottom is my cousin Sara, who screamed until she was included in the shot.

1 comment:

Steve said...

You too?