Thursday, July 17, 2014


I have naturally curly hair.  I wasn't born with it.  When I was little, I had hair as straight as anyone else's.  And then, back in the 80s when perms were all the rage, I jumped on that particular bandwagon and had the Annie hairstyle (I haven't burned the pictures yet).  As the weeks and months passed, the curls just never went away.  Now, 30 years later, I still have that same perm.

Since I didn't inherit my curls via DNA, nobody in my family knew how to handle my ... hair.  For decades, I struggled with how to manage the unruly mess of corkscrews, soft curls, and waves which fell as they wanted.  Hundreds of dollars were spent on products with the hope that something would make my tangles turn into something that was remotely un-horrible.

Along the way, I learned some important lessons: Don't wash your hair more than once every other day (curly hair is naturally dry, and washing it only aggravates the problem).  Just because a product didn't work as you expected, don't give up on it.  Try more or less, try wet or dry.  And for the love of all that is good and holy DON'T brush your hair when it's dry.  Combine this with washing your hair every other day, and you're looking at brushing your hair once every other day.  I've come to terms with this, and I don't brush my hair anymore.  On the mornings when I wash my hair, I slide a comb through my wet mop just to get the few knots out and that's it.

Last night, my boyfriend said he wanted to brush my hair.  The terror instantly filled me.  "NO-O-O-O-O!" I wanted to scream in the primal way of a bad actress in a B-Horror flick.  "I don't brush my hair," I replied to him as calmly as I could muster amidst the fear running through my veins. 

"Please?" he simply requested.

How could I refuse that?  "I think I have a brush," I lamely said as I walked to the bathroom.  Ratting through the drawer which housed unused items like that hair removal system I bought at the Christmas festival four years back and the tub of lotion my mother bought but never used so she gave to me, I found my brush which had antiquated lint and ancient strands of hair woven through the thick plastic bristles.  With visions of a thoroughly tugged scalp (I had driven with my car windows down all day) and of hair too wide to make it through the door, I walked the paddle brush down the hall into my impending doom.

In a very intimate way, he instructed me to sit with my back to him on the bed, his legs nestling beside mine.  I worked really hard to not let my body language reflect the trepidation I was experiencing.  Nobody had brushed my dry hair since I was a small girl.  No man had ever brushed my hair.  I didn't know how to react to what was about to happen.

Carefully, lovingly, he took the first stroke. When he reached the first tangle, he removed the brush instead of ripping through it as my mother had done when I was young.  With time, patience, and tenderness, he worked his way through all of the knots, leaving a silky smooth feel as he lowered the brush over and over down the length of my hair.

As he did so, I found myself in a blissful, other-worldly state.  I understood what cats feel like as they purr.  The sheer physical pleasure I took from that small action was comparable to a really good massage.  This man, who loves me, was spoiling me in a way no man had ever done, and it was exquisite!

Was it because I allowed it?  Was it because I trust him?  Was it because he enjoys sharing intimate moments with me?  Was it because he wanted to spoil me?

Whatever the reason, I hope it happens again.

I was careful to not look in a mirror after the experience.  That would have just ruined it for me!

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