how it all began

On a walk a few months ago, I stumbled upon this…

I know primates are not indigenous to this area, so I knew it could not be what it appeared to be—a small gorilla that had been run over by a car.  Still, it did look an awful lot like a dead animal. Or maybe a dead bird. But upon closer inspection, I realized it was nothing that had ever lived or breathed. This was not something from the natural world.

I knelt down to examine it more closely, poking it with a stick to see if it moved. It didn’t. And then, I actually TOUCHED it and realized it was “hair.” Fake hair. A synthetic tangle of flammable material—otherwise known as a weave—that someone had, at one point, actually worn on (presumably) “her” head. And now this blob of hair was lying on the side of the road, discarded like yesterday’s trash.

Slightly repulsed, I stepped over the tangled mass, continuing along my way. I probably would never have given it a second thought had I not—two blocks later—stumbled upon yet another weave, lying amidst a bunch of cigarette butts and remnants of someone’s dinner. Yes, another blob of fake human hair lying on the side of the road.

I mean, what are the odds?

Now, I know a bit about hair. Having been born with hair that on a humid day is not too unlike Phil Spector’s, I’m no stranger to the flattening iron or “product.”

And because my best friend growing up’s mom owned a hair salon, I’ve spent some time in hair salons; we used to visit her mom’s salon after school, playing with the curling irons and shelacking our hair with the latest products. Her mom was the first person to highlight and perm my hair. She once used a color called “ash” (that should have been my first clue) and used teeny, tiny rods in my hair for more than an hour, essentially making me look like my 92 year-old grandmother. It took years to get over that one. But, I digress. Bottom line is, I’ve been around hair products much of my life, and I thought I knew a thing or two about them. That is, until I stumbled across my first weave.

It was unlike anything I had ever seen before—maybe because this exotic form of female enhancement is unknown to most white women…. But after spotting these first two weaves, my life has been a never-ending stream of them. I find them everywhere—mostly on my morning walks with my dog, Spud.

Spud and I found this one—one I refer to as the “mac daddy” weave because of its size—on a recent walk. It was so large that I even made Spud sit next to it for some perspective. I know what you’re thinking: pet abuse. But I assure you the photos of Spud wearing the weave are not for public consumption (and you know I could win some sort of award for that montage).

It doesn’t matter where I am. Chances are good I’ll spot one—in trash cans, blowing along the sidewalk near work; I even found one in the jungles of Guatemala! And it got me thinking: Who were the women on whose heads these pieces of fake hair had resided? Were there a bunch of bald women now roving around my ‘hood? How does one actually “lose” a weave?

In search of these answers (and others), I’ve started this blog. One that will cover not only these gnarly appendages—the weave—but other random things that occur to me, often on my walks with Spud.

You’ll likely notice that now that you’re aware of the weave, you, too, may start to find them in the most random places: in parks, on benches, in gutters. I’d love to see what you find, so please feel free to send in your weave photos or stories. Or other random musings.

the is-there-a-dead-body-attached-to-that-weave weave

It appears that Baltimore is not the only hot spot for weave sightings. In recent weeks, posts have been flooding in from all over the country. For example, take this one from Dea in Florida. Dea and I had not connected for many years–since high school! Who knew we had this—the weave—in common? She’s been spotting weaves all over, and sent this photo of one she spotted in a gas station.

It looks like a cross between an actual human head (maybe there’s a dead body attached), and a horse’s tail. Maybe someone had used this as part of a disguise, and discarded it as part of a quick getaway?

Thank you, Dea. It’s good to be reconnected in this way.

trees

Walking out the door for my morning walk with Spud the other day, the sky looked like it was about to open up for the first snow storm of the season. But the 60+ degree temps—a rarity in Maryland in December—told another story.  The wind was in high gear, making an almost whistling noise as it whipped through the leafless trees all around us. Droplets of water hit us as we weaved among the downed branches that littered the sidewalks and streets. I wasn’t sure if the droplets were coming from the sky or if they were leftovers remaining on the trees after the rain earlier in the morning. And given the tremendous humidity and wind, my hair was volumizing and frizzing by the minute.

As Spud hopped over one particularly large branch—after first stopping, of course, to lift his leg to pee on it—a thought occurred to me (I do have them from time to time): trees provide an amazing model for showing us how to live our lives. Their roots are firmly planted in the earth, giving them stability and grounding. And through their branches, they reach toward the sun for nourishment and light to help them grow. They cannot live without one or the other. They also need to be able to bend in the wind because if they didn’t, they would break in two. This thought is nothing revolutionary and I know many philosophers have used this analogy before in terms of  how it relates to the human condition (and believe me, I’m not fancying myself a philosopher!). But one thing I haven’t heard before that dawned on me as I hopped over this particularly big branch (avoiding Spud’s dribble, of course)—is how important it is for the tree to lose branches that are dead, or just too heavy to support any longer. Hanging on to these branches threatens the very well being of the tree, in fact.

Nature takes care of the release of these branches; sometimes they just naturally and gently fall from the tree over time, or sometimes they’re ripped from the trunk through terrific windstorms like the one Spud and I walked through earlier this week.

I wondered how many “dead branches” I’ve been carrying now and throughout my life… some I’ve been able to let go of on my own. Others have been ripped from me through “windstorms” in my life, sometimes causing immense pain. Either way, I am realizing that losing these branches is part of life and that by doing so, I’ll be better able to bend in the wind (and hopefully not snap in the process)!

I’m feeling like it might be ’bout time for a good pruning. . .

unbeweavable!

On a walk a few months ago, I stumbled upon this…

I know primates are not indigenous to this area, so I knew it could not be what it appeared to be—a small gorilla that had been run over by a car.  Still, it did look an awful lot like a dead animal. Or maybe a dead bird. But upon closer inspection, I realized it was nothing that had ever lived or breathed. This was not something from the natural world.

I knelt down to examine it more closely, poking it with a stick to see if it moved. It didn’t. And then, I actually TOUCHED it and realized it was “hair.” Fake hair. A synthetic tangle of flammable material—otherwise known as a weave—that someone had, at one point, actually worn on (presumably) “her” head. And now this blob of hair was lying on the side of the road, discarded like yesterday’s trash.

Slightly repulsed, I stepped over the tangled mass, continuing along my way. I probably would never have given it a second thought had I not—two blocks later—stumbled upon yet another weave, lying amidst a bunch of cigarette butts and remnants of someone’s dinner. Yes, another blob of fake human hair lying on the side of the road.

I mean, what are the odds?

Now, I know a bit about hair. Having been born with hair that on a humid day is not too unlike Phil Spector’s, I’m no stranger to the flattening iron or “product.”

And because my best friend growing up’s mom owned a hair salon, I’ve spent some time in hair salons; we used to visit her mom’s salon after school, playing with the curling irons and shelacking our hair with the latest products. Her mom was the first person to highlight and perm my hair. She once used a color called “ash” (that should have been my first clue) and used teeny, tiny rods in my hair for more than an hour, essentially making me look like my 92 year-old grandmother. It took years to get over that one. But, I digress. Bottom line is, I’ve been around hair products much of my life, and I thought I knew a thing or two about them. That is, until I stumbled across my first weave.

It was unlike anything I had ever seen before—maybe because this exotic form of female enhancement is unknown to most white women…. But after spotting these first two weaves, my life has been a never-ending stream of them. I find them everywhere—mostly on my morning walks with my dog, Spud.

Spud and I found this one—one I refer to as the “mac daddy” weave because of its size—on a recent walk. It was so large that I even made Spud sit next to it for some perspective. I know what you’re thinking: pet abuse. But I assure you the photos of Spud wearing the weave are not for public consumption (and you know I could win some sort of award for that montage).

It doesn’t matter where I am. Chances are good I’ll spot one—in trash cans, blowing along the sidewalk near work; I even found one in the jungles of Guatemala! And it got me thinking: Who were the women on whose heads these pieces of fake hair had resided? Were there a bunch of bald women now roving around my ‘hood? How does one actually “lose” a weave?

In search of these answers (and others), I’ve started this blog. One that will cover not only these gnarly appendages—the weave—but other random things that occur to me, often on my walks with Spud.

You’ll likely notice that now that you’re aware of the weave, you, too, may start to find them in the most random places: in parks, on benches, in gutters. I’d love to see what you find, so please feel free to send in your weave photos or stories. Or other random musings.