Thursday, April 26, 2012

I gotta shake, shake, shake my sillies out...

I had one of those times when someone says something to you, and then you say something back, and then a little later you think of something much more clever to say.

I was at storytime and talking to a 7-year old.

A little backstory: My son and I go to storytime at our local library twice a week. You know, that whole getting your kid around other kids his age so he doesn't grow up to be a huge weirdo thing.

A little more backstory: As you may know, I don't chemically straighten my hair. Most of the time, it looks like something that most people would classify as an afro. Sometimes, if I'm feeling particularly industrious, I will style my hair by using something called twists. They're like braids, but not really. So I'll twist my hair and then the next day I'll take the twists out. Then my hair is kind of crimped and overall more dynamic.

The last of the backstory: Normally, I comb my kids hair. This day, we were running late for storytime and his hair is cute and curly when I don't comb it, so I just said no big deal, almost two-year-olds don't have to have combed hair all the time.

So, it is the end of storytime and all the kids and moms and nannies are milling about. My kid and I are about to leave when I hear the 7-year old white girl mumble something. I could tell she was talking to me so I said, What? (or something like that.)

Then she said, You guys have crazy hair.

I am thinking at least part of the reason that she said this is because she is not around a lot of black people (I have never seen another black person at storytime,) and/or most of the people that she comes into contact with on a daily basis have straight, or maybe wavy hair.

Now,crazy isn't as bad as dirty, smelly, ugly or stupid. But it's not as good as pretty, fantastic, amazing or spectacular.

So I said something like, Yeah, then walked out. I thought of this other time when a white person said something unexpected like this to me, and I didn't have a comeback.

But after we left, I did think of something cool to say.

So she says what she said, and then I say...

Yeah...crazy awesome!

Aaaaaand scene.

And before anonymous jumps on here, I want to clarify a few things:

This little girl is not a bad person.
The little girl is not a racist.
I did not give this little girl a dirty look or hit her.
I am not upset this little girl made such a comment.
This little girl making that comment did not ruin my day.

This is simply a mildly entertaining story that has something to do with race and inequality, and so I thought I would share it with you all. If you have a comment, don't bother.

Ha ha! I'm just kidding, you know I love comments. I was just trying to see if some reverse psychology might work.


  1. Anonymous10:12 PM

    Hmm, crazy is not really a good word, but I appreciate your giving her the benefit of the doubt.

    This reminds me of the story of our friends' 3-year-old son saying to his dad in the grocery store: "Daddy, that man is brown! Brown, brown, brown! Brown all over!"

    But 7 is not 3, and I feel like that girl should know better and be a little more aware of the variety of ways that people look by now.



  3. when my five year old (doh! now six) says something is crazy he does mean awesome. i have no idea how she meant it - obviously face and tone and whatnot. but he'll tell me a story and i'll go "whoa; that's crazy" and it's meant to convey 'cool'. but idk, maybe that's just us - weirdo is an endearment in our house too.

  4. my mil referred to my daughter's natural hair as crazy once too. i punched her....okay not really, but i might use your crazy awesome comment next time.


    p.s. i have some major, uber respect for people who keep their hair natural, and twist outs are one of my favorite things ever. (this is not to say i don't respect people who straighten their hair. i just know what goes into natural hair care). :)

  5. Anonymous7:31 AM

    "crazy awesome!"--you'll have that ready next time.

    and, ick. Imagining myself in your shoes made me feel unwelcome at storytime, even if it was a 7 year old and all.


  6. I'm so happy you go to your local library for storytime! Thank you!