Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Great Moments in Black History?

For those who don't know October in England is United Kingdom Black History month, not like a month is really good enough. I know that you are probably wondering why I am talking about it since I live in Israel. Hmmm, ugh...Okay I admit the only answer I have is that I have some family in London. The following is a great moments in Black History from USA.

Fooled You! The real name of this post is RIP To the Jherry Curl also known in certain dialects of French-Creole as the Le-Curl Jerry. It is the first of a number of post about the funny parts of my life.

Okay I admit it the Jerry Curl and its wicked step son the S-Curl were not a great moment in African American history, but you have to admit that this was funny. I have a confession to make........... I had a curl in the 1980's.

The sad part about it was that I had a Curl-Fro or a Fro-Curl, depending on which one you consider more dominant. Initially, my hair was braided but my mother needed something that took less time and was more in fashion so she cursed me with the curl. There were exactly a lot of braided or even dread locked kids walking around Kansas City in the 1980's. At that time I had really thick glasses, so though I had a cute kind of face, the fro-curl did not help. A good afro would have been enough. By the way, you won't find any close up pictures of the curl ever on this blog or anywhere else in photo logs. Those picture rest in a closet at my mother's ranch where they will remain. There is one picture I put on this blog with me and my curl, but I won't go telling you where it is so ha ha.

When I was young I liked my Fro-Curl and I thought I would never part with it. That was until I spent the summer with my aunt and uncle in Dallas, TX. They were traditionalists and I think they had been plotting on my Fro-Curl from the moment I arrived. They had two sons who didn't have curls. The oldest, my older cousin Melerick, may have also been in on this plot since he loved to try out his martial arts moves on me and his younger brother.

I will never forget the day that they made me cut my curl off. We were eating dinner, a dinner that was made up of take out food because my aunt has never known how to cook. (ha ha) Because my mother did not give me money to maintain the curl in Dallas, I had to try and make due with whatever products I could find. For those of you who know anything about curls no matter what you try you eventually need to have a professional do it. So my curl began to dry up, and that night my aunt was no longer willing to take it. She began to say that I needed to cut my hair like a normal person. I argued something to the extent of my curl being my identify or something that now would not make sense to me. I really don't remember my justification, but I wasn't willing to let that curl go. At some point my normally calm, collect, and serene uncle jumped in with, "Look dagnamit, your going to go and get that thing cut off your head. Do you understand me?" His response was a shock to me and he really scared me since I had NEVER seen him mad before. Normally, my uncle played good cop to my aunt's bad cop. Now the shoe was on the other foot.

So the next day they sent my cousin Melerick to take me to the local barber to have it cut. My cousin Melerick found the whole thing funny, and he kept making jokes about my Fro-Curl the entire way. So when we got to the barber Melerick told the woman, "Cut off, cut it all off!" So she did it. She cut my hair as short as possible, without it being bald. I still remember the locks of hair falling to the floor in slow motion, the sound of them landing below the barber's chair was like stones crashing to the earth below. Okay I really don't remember that, but work with me here. The barber also showed no mercy to my as she yanked and pulled her clippers through my hair. Maybe she was also a part of this wicked plot on my Fro-Curl. When she finished and I saw myself in the mirror I wanted to stand up in the chair and yell out, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was so hurt to come home almost bald. I had visions of myself being Samson after Delilah had his hair cut, all I needed was for my eyes to be poked out. Or at least my glasses being taken (I am near sighted). When I looked in the mirror I no longer knew who I was. Who was this kid who looked back at me from the mirror?

When we returned to my aunt and uncle, my uncle said, "You didn't have to get that much cut off. I just wanted you to do something with that thing." I looked back at my cousin Melerick to his laughs. I vowed revenge that day, but of course he was bigger than me so nothing ever came of that. I went to my room and I refused to come out.

It was in the darkness of my sorrow for my lost hair, that reason went out the windom and I came up with all kind of schemes to return my Fro-Curl to its rightful place. This was in the 80's mind you, but I had heard of the Hair Club for Men. Maybe they could help me regain my former glory. Maybe if I sat in the room long enough the hair would grow back, hmmmm. I wanted so bad to find a way to make my hair grow back as fas as possible so I could walk into the dinning room and show off my regrown hair.

Time went on, as time does and I forgot all about that stuff. I eventually went on to the flat-top, the step flat-top, the gumbi, bald (in college because I couldn't afford hair cuts) and a number of other hair styles. When I moved to New York I eventually went back to growing my hair like a small natural aka a mini-fro and my beard until I went to Ethiopia and a barber there cut off more of my hair than I wanted. My Ethiopian girl friend at that time was so happy that this happened. No one in her family had beards.

It is funny in life how you go through these kind of phases. It is also funny what goes in and out of style and how you can look back and say, I can't believe I actually had one of those. May the curl remain dead and never return to haunt any of my descendants.


Miriam said...

That was a hilarious post! I like the tone of the post too- light and pleasant. I enjoy all your posts lol

Hair is such an important part of us. At least you were allowed to try different things w/ your hair. My parents forbad me to do ANYTHING. It wasn't until after I moved out that I could even press my hair. Can you imagine my high school days. Forget it! lol.

Thembi said...

Hahahaha...Im very sorry to hear this!

Tr8erGirl said...

Very funny!
I have very kinky, frizzy, curly hair and spend a small fortune on hair product, so i got a laugh from the "Because my mother did not give me money to maintain the curl in Dallas" comment....everyday of my childhood was measured by what my hair was doing and I too tried every style and product and ironing, etc. I've made peace with it, mostly because I no longer have the 4 hours it takes to straighten it on a regular basis! Anyway - Im going to busy myself now scouring your blog for the pic that you mentioned! I'm sure its adorable!

Ehav Ever said...

Miriam - I am glad this made you laugh. I have so many funny stories from my childhood and college. I still have a few photos of me with various versions of a flat-top. I have one story that I am going write about of when I was cutting my hair bald and I tried to use a short cut. That may get a few more laughs.

Thembi - Which part are you sad to hear. That I had a curl or that I had to cut it off. (smile)

Tr8ergirl - I'll make you a bet. If you find the photo I will swallow my pride and post a giant size photo that I do have of my Fro-Curl.

Tr8erGirl said...

Found it - (I think) pay up!

Tr8erGirl said...

and it is cute! no need for pride swallowing!

Bohemian Hippie Chick said...

Great story Ehav! I too had a curl forced on me in the '80's...I hated it!! I toughed it out for one month and then made my cousin cut all of my hair off. When my mother saw my 1-inch fro, she tried to kill me! No way was I gonna walk around with grease all over my face!

It was a sad day when "The Curl" was invented. What's even worse is that some people still get them!

Ehav Ever said...

Tr8ergirl - Which post did you find it in? I have to see the proof first before I pay up. (smile) As they say show me money. ha ha.

BHC - Maybe we should go on a talk show circuit. I can see the title now, People Who Had the Curl, and the Parents Who Forced It On Them. I think if we are going to truly put the curl to rest we also need to have a funeral for the S-Curl as well. I had one of those, or at least the knock off brand, too when I was trying to make my flat-top grow. I remember the add slogan, S-Curl is the man's curl.

Mes Deux Cents said...

Hi Ehav,

Well just feel fortunate you were not around in the 50's, there might have been pics somewhere of you with your hair fried, dyed and layed to the side!

I enjoyed the post, thanks!

diva said...

That post made my day. I laughed so hard I cried. My mother forbade jheri curls in her house-she said it set the race back. I hear that the last remaining bottles of curl activator are hidden in a underground bunker.

nikki said...

hehehe@this entry. i got a smile this morning and it's cuz of this post. thanks for that.

and i'm glad you finally got over the fascination for the curl. i never had one, but my mom did. i can't hate...i also had a crush on a guy who had one of the curls (and it was juicy too).

Ehav Ever said...

MDS You make a good point about the 50's and 60's. Although looking at my old family pictures none of the men in my family seem to be into that kind of stuff. My grandmother more than likely would have been against it. There was a comedian who once said that the reason why grandmothers had plastic covers on their furniture is because they knew the curl was coming. (smile)

Diva I am glad that I was able to get a laugh out of you. I have a lot more funny stories to post. I could spend a lifetime post about all the funny things that happen to me here in Israel.

Nikki Hey Nikki. Welcome to my blog and thanks for the comment. I always love to make people laugh. I figured this post would get some laughs. Be thankful you never had a curl it really damages your scalp. It is also funny how curl and juicy became one and the same. (smile) In Kansas City in the 80's it was like you weren't a real man unless you had a curl. The funny thing is when you see old men with bald spots sporting curls.

Shavonne said...

I had a leisure curl once. My hair didn't take. I think it was because I didn't put enough juice in it and it dried up. I hated the greasiness of it. Yuck! I much rather run my fingers through my hair and get my fingers caught than have my fingers come out dripping with activator. {{shudder}}

I no longer put harsh chemicals in my hair. In fact, my goal is to go natural.

Invisible Woman said...

My shame; I once dated one of the guys that used to be on the Duke hair box. Do you remember that product?

btw zest=gay, tho I know that's not what you meant :-)

Ehav Ever said...

Hey IW. After I thought about that word Zest for a while, and I looked at how it was used on your site I began to wonder if that is what it meant. I definitely had to take that one down. Thanks for the confirmation. It gives me a good idea for a post about the different slang words people use around the world.

You mean to tell me you dated the Duke hair guy? That product was a legend in certain downtown areas of Kansas City. Especially at the Landing Mall. I remember when we were using duke to try to put waves our hair, and we would cut up our mom's pantyhose to wear on our heads while we slept.

I had one friend who had his hair waved like Rodney O and Joe Cooley. Remember those guys.

Ehav Ever said...

IW was this the guy you dated?

Or was it the guy on the other Duke: Texturizing Creme Kit (Resistant Hair)?

Ehav Ever said...

The link didn't come out right. Is this the guy you dated? here