Natural Hair Gone Awry 

Sunday was wash day at my house.  I ran the dishwasher, did a few loads of laundry, and washed my hair.   The process of washing my hair can take all day. Literally.  

After I wash it, then I put conditioner in it and let that sit for 20 minutes to a few hours depending on how dry my hair is feeling.  I never really mean to leave it on for multiple hours, but I get into doing other things and then realize hours later that I need to rinse my hair or it will never dry before I go to sleep.

After I rinse out the conditioner, I put in a leave-in conditioner and detangle my hair.  That can take about 20 minutes if I’m being gentle with myself.  Then it’s time to style.

I recently returned to finger coiling my hair because it gives my curls more definition.  I hate the process because it takes so long, but I usually like the results.  Usually.

The next morning, I sat on the couch and uncoiled my hair while I watched the Today Show.  When I went to the bathroom to finish getting ready, I looked in the mirror and was completely shocked. I looked like I had snakes coming out of my head.  I was straight up Medusa, y’all!  My hair was going every which way and no matter what I did, I couldn’t tame it. I. Was. Stressed.  Then I said to myself, “Fuck it.  Ain’t nothing I can do about it.  Ima put on this suit and throw on some African jewelry, go to work, and act like I meant for my hair to look this crazy.”  And that’s just what I did.  When I went back into the bathroom to take a final look, I spotted the steamer I had just used to knock the wrinkles out of my suit and thought, “Hmmm…. why not?”  

Yep,  I hit my hair with that steamer, y’all and laughed the whole time I was doing it.  Magically, it calmed the whole snake pit down.  Couldn’t believe it.

I’m still not happy with the way my hair turned out, but at least I can live with it until next wash day.

Stuck in a Groove: “Get Me Bodied” by Beyoncé

I am prone to having songs get stuck in my head. If it’s musical, it gets trapped in my brain and I could usually recall it at will. When a whole song or particular portion of the song starts playing on a continuous loop in my head, I call it getting stuck in a groove. If you didn’t grow up with records, you won’t get the double entendres there.

Yesterday, as I was pulling out of my driveway, Beyoncé’s “Get Me Bodied” came on the radio. I hadn’t heard the song in awhile and it got my juices flowing first thing on a Monday morning.

Normally, when I get stuck in the groove, it happens immediately and can last for a few minutes or a few days. This time, I thought I had escaped the infectious beat that Beyoncé laid down, but this morning, out of nowhere, it caught me.

I slept through the night, but woke up feeling as if I hadn’t slept. As I dragged myself into the shower, I was praying that the warm water would give me the jolt I needed to get through the day.  It was at that moment that Bey’s song popped back into my head; not the whole song, just this loop: “All I need/is to let it be/ Ain’t no worries, no/ boy, dance with me.” The lyrics struck a nerve. It kept repeating and wouldn’t stop until I burst into song. As I sang the lyrics over and over, I found myself throwing my hands to the sky and lowering my head as if I were in church.  I let the the water run down my face and continued to belt out those four bars.  And then it was reduced to “All I need is to let it be.  Ain’t no worries, naw…” and then I’d let the music play in my head for the remaining four counts.  Apparently there is something that I need to let be and I’m guessing that I’ll be stuck in this groove until I figure it out.

Do the Scissor Legs and enjoy Bey while I figure out my personal issues.

What’s the last song you had stuck in your head?

I am a Part of the Rhythm Nation

Janet

I was in high school when “Rhythm Nation” dropped.  I was already a huge fan, but this album took me to a-whole-nother level.  I was already an avid concert-goer for both Mike and Janet, but this album made me a bit fanatic.  I had the hat, the 1814 pin, the t-shirt, you name it, I had it.  I would have rocked it ’til my tape popped, but I’m pretty sure I had this album on cd.  The album was everything; socially conscious, great melodies, grooves that made you wanna dance, choreography that you had to know in order to be cool, and the videos!  Mike invented the long form video and Janet put her spin on it.  The long video that goes with this album was the bomb.  I’m sure I still have it on a vhs tape somewhere.  I remember thinking that it was so cool to have one video for three songs (“Rhythm Nation”, “I Miss You Much”, and “The Knowledge”).  Mike never did that and to my knowledge, no one has done it since her until Beyonce’s “Lemonade”.

A group of us decided to perform “Black Cat” for a high school pep rally.  We had our own choreography and everything.  You couldn’t tell us that we weren’t good enough to go on tour with Ms Jackson.  We. Were. Fierce. (Thankfully, this was before the age of smartphones and YouTube, so there is nothing out there to prove otherwise.)

Today is Janet Jackson’s birthday.  To celebrate her day, please take a trip with me down memory lane and enjoy her most meaningful and iconic work, “Rhythm Nation”.

And if you’re looking for tickets for her “The State of the World” tour, you better act fast!