Not a Hooker. Not a Pirate.

In my update last week about shaving my head, I failed to include details about the response in South Dallas. If my goal were simply entertainment, I would never omit details from South Dallas. But there’s only so much a girl can blog between doctor’s visits, life, and a baby. But, today, the girls outdid themselves and I feel like I’d be failing you not to share. Last week, it was enough to get the entry and pictures out from the beauty shop and I failed to include the ‘day after’ when I showed up for Bible study in my wig. I was sure they’d all be excited that I’d joined their wig-wearing-world but, instead, got chastised for covering my head and told to go bald. Not by just one of them but it was a rather unanimous sentiment. From a demographic of women who ‘lay tracks’ (translation for white women = gluing down extensions), wear wigs, all kinds of scarves, don ‘stensions’ (translation = extensions to their own hair woven in at the scalp) and have asked me to purchase Africa’s Best hair products, I was quite sure they’d be so glad that they’re ‘undercolor sister’ (best nickname ever courtesy of Sarah Mae) was sportin’ a wig. But, lest I ever think I know what to expect down south, they threw another curveball and told me to go bald. As we often say, “you couldn’t make this stuff up.”

Here I am with Lisa from last week. She told me to go bald and be proud. You can see that my wig is in my hand – they had no interest in it on my head. So, as I headed down south today, since I don’t yet have the courage to sport the bald outright, I thought I’d give it a go with a scarf – again, these are some scarf-wearing women so I expected some positive feedback. I was wrong. When I walked in, feeling pretty cute in my scarf (thanks, B!) and even proud of how I’d tied it into a bow in the back, Lisa was at the door. And she said, “now, girl, we told you to go bald, whatchu doing with that there scarf? You be looking like a PIRATE!” A pirate?! In a previous post, I expressed concern about looking like a muslim man, a gypsy, or a shepherd girl but little did I know I needed to be concerned about looking like a pirate too. Thanks, Lisa. You’ve never been short on opinions and you didn’t disappoint today.

I went on into Bible study where we’re finishing the book of Matthew. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a note passed in class but, again, you never know what may surprise you down south. I think you can read this sufficiently (her handwriting is much more legible than mine) but, in short, she’s telling me she brought her makeup to give me ‘a lil color’ and is gonna keep her hair short in my honor. Man, these girls love me well. And I love them pretty big too! As soon as Bible study was over, she was headed my way and pulling things out of her bag. She said, “I ain’t got much time but we need to get you a little color. Not so much that you look like a HOOKER. Just a little color.” Really?! Like if she got too much was it possible that people would think I was a street-walker? Say it isn’t so. But, good news – she was gonna make sure they didn’t. She dug in her bag and out came out with more makeup than I own.

I can’t tell you about Meme’s makeover without telling a little bit more about Meme. She’s been in our study for about a year and she’s awesome. She’s consistent, kind, a student of the Word, and a delight in the group. Today, she told the group that she’d known she needed to quit usin’ [drugs that is but they don’t need to add that detail because that’s implied when you say ‘usin’] but it wasn’t until she went to her dealer one day and overheard him say, “y’all get out da way, my number one customer is comin’ …” that it wrecked her heart and made her quit. I asked her, after class, if she knew Jesus then. She explained that, at the time, she was a single mom raising 4 kids but was a functioning addict. Doing crack in her room every day but maintaining her kids and her job (as an LVN). She said, “I knew Jesus but I didn’t do Jesus.” She was raised by her Grandmother and knew the Truth but had started using diet pills and, after awhile, was using anything and everything. Jesus got her attention with the drug dealers description of her and then He set her straight. And she even got a new job this week at a nursing home. As Pastor Chris (at Cornerstone Baptist, our partner church in South Dallas) says, “if it’s good in the ‘hood, it’s gotta be God.” He’s there. And Meme knows him. And He’s got her. And I love her.

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Apparently, it wasn’t enough to work on my face but my head needed a shine too. Again, with another talkin’ to about just going bald but shining up my head so it’s not dry and wearing bigger earrings. These studs just aren’t gonna do it. And, the sista-girls are always quite concerned about ashy skin.

And then there came my scarf-tying lesson and some mention of Josephine Baker who was, apparently, the first African-American professional dancer (though the girls tried to trick us and tell us she was the first African-American stripper … not so fast, homey!) and the first to introduce elaborate scarf tying. So, thanks to Josephine and Monisha, I have a few more scarf-tying options. And, it’s a real shame for y’all that I’m too cheap to add the video upgrade to this blog because I am absolutely withholding another great moment of the morning. Not only would you have the benefit of a scarf tutorial should you ever need one but, better yet, you’d see the mid-lesson-interruption from Lisa who came into the room, saw the new scarf style, and screamed, “OOH GIRL! YOU AIN’T A PIRATE NO MO’ … YOU BE A LADY NOW!” So, there you have it. Not a hooker. Not a pirate. A lady. A bald lady – and learning to love it. I mean, seriously, did anyone else get an unsolicited full makeover or note in class today?! Bald ain’t so bad. And God is SO good. All the time. And everywhere. South Dallas is proof.

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10 thoughts on “Not a Hooker. Not a Pirate.

  1. OMG! I have said the “you ain’t a pirate no mo” line to myself 50 times and crack up every time. Only you, Miss Jennifer, could make this journey a blast for all of us. Your posts make my week. Definitely need to figure out a time to come see you.

  2. You continue to amaze me with your blogs, attitude , experiences, and Beauty! What a testiment of your strong faith and an examlpe for All of us to follow! Thank you for the encouraging words. Ann

  3. Jennifer, I am bawling as I read this, and so thankful I was blessed to WITNESS the whole thing! The makeup, the scarves, the pirate comments. It is weird how God makes something hard( like a bald head)…and your chemo experience… to BLESS people around you. I see Him, our Jesus…saying ” ya’ll just trust ? and see how I work”! The scarf and makeup……today in that room… the Word in our midst! love you , MB

  4. I love it, love it, Love It!!! The comment earlier speaking of Jesus saying ” y’all just trust and see how I work” says it all. Definitely a book in your future. This was heeelarious!! I’ve even created my own folder to keep all your blogs .

  5. You captured the event so well and filled in the gaps for me. I loved watching all the sistas gathered around you for the makeover!!! And may I add, so glad it was you and not me. Perhaps Meme needs her own station at GLOW!!!

  6. Well the title sure got my hubby’s attention. “Pam, what are you reading?” “Jen’s blog.” “It says Hooker.” LOL!!!! And so I explained the story but I am still scared to ask what the Army man who has been all over the world actually thought I was reading.

... Those are my thoughts. Now, I'd love to read yours...

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