a brief encounter

Dear friends, I confess, I’m probably becoming a grumpy older woman,  especially exasperated (though I’m not rude) by middle aged white men who have little in common with me, except that we work for the same company.  This week I found myself in the elevator with such a one and the brief conversation went something like this (I’ll call him Bob): Me: (hurrying in as elevator doors are about to close and pulling off woolly bobble hat) Oh, hi Bob, you alright? Bob: (looking in elevator mirror, turning as I enter, holding Costa Coffee drink) Oh Hi! I must say I do like your dreadlocks. Me: They’re braids!  Thanks though. Bob: Of course, not dreadlocks, but didn’t you get it done over Christmas? Me: Yes, before New Year. Bob: That first Monday back in the office,  I saw this person and thought who’s that? And then realised… Me: (interrupting before Bob breaks the third commandment) Yep! It’s me, afro gone!! Elevator reaches our floor and we exit, heading for separate doors into the same office… Me: Well, have a good day! Bob: (with back to me, catching the door from someone heading out) Yes, and you! So, my thoughts?  It’s been several weeks now since the braids replaced my afro, my twa! So, please,  get over it, while it’s lovely to receive compliments,  you see me everyday; you may not talk to me everyday but I very much doubt that if I were white we would be discussing my 6 week old hairstyle,  would we? Someone, help me understand!  And then, I think any intelligent person knows the difference between dreadlocks and braids; and if you don’t,  don’t use the word!  Simply say, ‘hair’ – it’s obvious I will know what you are talking about. This is a bit of a rant, I know, but I think we can all do with a bit less ignorance and more genuineness and respect all round. 

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