History has it’s eyes on you.

It was inevitable that I would, at some point in the next four years, title an entry this.  I’m sure this post will be restated by me many times over during the current political situation.

I’ve never been good at confrontation, dissent, or dealing with people who hold tightly to opinions I strongly disagree with.  Can I participate in a conversation where someone thinks that UCONN mens basketball is categorically better than Syracuse mens basketball?  Sure.  And I can even do it reasonably civilly.    But I know they are wrong.  Where I run into trouble is when people have opinions that, to me, are so clearly on the wrong side of history that it frustrates me that they don’t agree with me.  Not only frustrates, that’s too nice of a word.  It angers me.  It makes my blood boil.  I can feel the heat climbing up my chest and face until I can almost feel the steam coming out of my ears.  I’m having a really difficult time reconciling the fact that I truly believe, I have no doubt at all, I am currently on the right side of history, with the fact that millions of others ALSO believe, without a doubt, that THEY are on the right side of history.  That’s the way life goes though isn’t it?  I’m so convinced of my superiority in beliefs that I can’t even FATHOM how small minded someone must be to believe differently from me.

Now I don’t mean I believe that in all aspects of my personal beliefs that I am superior or correct, but in the following categories, I 100% believe that history will prove that I am right:

  • Trump.  Tell me I’m wrong.  Show me evidence that the policies this man is putting into place are good for our country.  Tell me how banning people from 7 predominantly Muslim countries…EXCEPT FOR THE ONES IN WHICH TRUMP HOLDS BUSINESS TIES…is beneficial to our country and our nation’s safety?  swastika-vandalism-w710-h473  This was in the NYC subway system…on February 5th…2017.  Two thousand and mother-fucking seventeen.  I relate more to this brand of hate because it’s the one that directly affects me, a Jewish woman, but this is just the tip of the iceberg.  There’s a story floating around the internet of a senior picture at a school in Texas gone awry when a group of around 70 students started shouting “Heil Trump!  Heil Hitler” during their class photo.  The stories, as you all know, go on and on and on and affect everyone who isn’t a white, cis-gender, Christian.  It’s horrifying.  I canNOT incorporate the fact that people, millions and millions of people, think that this man was the correct choice for President of these great, yet broken, United States.  (Photo credit:  http://nymag.com/selectall/2017/02/ny-subway-swastikas-removed-by-hand-sanitizer-in-viral-post.html)

There was a post from Humans of New York that I wish I could find, but I can’t.  A woman was talking about her difficulty with the election cycle and said (something to the effect of), “for me, the line in the sand was the misogyny.  For others, it was abortion.  For others still it was something else. I have a hard time understanding other people’s lines.”  That sums up everything I’m feeling right now.  It unconditionally does not make any sort of sense to me that people could have different lines in the sand.  How can any of the things he said be ok?  How can his stance on business or the fact that he isn’t a life long politician, how can that possibly outweigh ANY of the rest of it?  He would have to hold the secret to ending world hunger and communicable diseases for all eternity to have me even begin to consider voting for him.  How can the fact that the use of a private email server (which, by the way, Trump himself is now doing…hypocrisy much?) be enough to think the current choice is better?  I just, I mean really, I just do not have the capability of incorporating this into any sense of reality.  I just don’t.  Has anyone had success doing this?  Not that I want to try.  But anything? I feel so stuck most days.  I don’t know how to move through a world that exists like that.  Shame on my privileged life that this is my most uncomfortable living setting.  The end of this tunnel seems impossibly far away, and the tunnel could collapse before we even get to the end.

  • LGBTQ rights.  Again.  Tell me I’m wrong.  You who claim that your version of G-d makes no mistakes.  Who claim that to live your life as G-d like as possible is the only way.  You who claim that the path to righteousness is to follow the teachings of a man who spoke about unconditional love and understanding.  Go ahead and tell me again how G-d made mistakes and that people who fall anywhere in the vast queer spectrum are wrong.  A favorite comedian of mine once said, “The mere fact that there are gay people born in the back woods of Alabama is enough to prove that being gay isn’t a choice.”  Why would someone chose to be gay in an area where they will be ostracized, abandoned and the target of mass hate?
  • Abortion.  Please.  Let’s go back to a time where 5,000+ women died annually in a fight to have autonomy over their own bodies.  Tell me again how you, whoever you are, get to decide what is right and what I can or can’t do with my own body.  Tell me again how you, who fight so hard for an unborn collection of cells will then turn around and fight when I request government assistance.  How you will call me a whore, a thief and a liar who lives off the teat of the government and the hard work of other Americans.  The collection of cells only matter until they are born huh?  Then you could care less about them.
  • Education.  Continuing the theme of “these cells only matter until they are born”, let’s talk about education.  How is it even a little OK that a man, who openly mocked people with disabilities, is in charge of appointing someone who will have an impact on my students?  Not only that, but the person he picked?  And we all thought John King was bad.  How in the world is it feasible that a woman WHO HAS NO IDEA THAT THERE IS A FEDERAL LAW PROTECTING THE RIGHTS OF STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES, not to mention her atrocious and extremely dangerous belief in taking federal dollars away from Title 1 schools for “school choice” is one small Republican Senator away from being official?  I cannot.
  • Immigration.  Let’s face it people, unless you are a Native American, you are, in some way, shape, or form, an immigrant in this country.  Do we, as a nation, need to make sure that we vet people?  Yes.  But guess what?  We already have a strenuous vetting process to enter this country.  Asking people their beliefs on the President before they enter the country and denying them entrance based on that?  Seriously?  I travel abroad at least once a year.  If they ask me my beliefs, I doubt I’ll be let back in the country.  Do we need to protect ourselves?  Yes.  We do.  Does that mean that anyone with a weird (to us) last name, a hijab, a turban, a burka, or brown skin is inherently evil and a terrorist?  No.  Throughout our history, people have been openly discriminated against based on where they came from.  How many of your relatives came over during one of the immigration waves and changed their last names at Ellis Island for fear of discrimination?  Again, yes, I understand that in the extremism of the post 9/11 world that we live in that we need to protect ourselves as a nation, but this immigration ban is unbelievably un-American.
  • Dakota Access Pipeline.  The crimes we, as Americans, have committed agains the Native Americans is nothing short of genocide in my opinion.  We have pushed policy after policy after policy through to oppress the Native population of this country.  We have marched them from their tribal lands.  We have lied.  We have stolen.  We have raped.  We have pillaged.  We have shrunk a population of people down to it’s bare bones but that’s still not enough for us.  Now, instead of responsibly harvesting energy, we are, as is the norm, taking the shortest (and in this case most destructive) path to victory.  We care nothing for the fact that in refusing the shift the location of a pipeline, we are creating the potential to completely destroy the drinking water for the reservation.  (I am aware that despite a mountain of reading, I may be getting some facts twisted.  If you notice any profound inaccuracies, please respectuflly let me know if the comments below).

The other problem I’m having today is centered around the Superbowl.  Such a silly thing to be up and arms about, when you first read the sentence but hear me out.  I’m not talking about the stunning Patriots comeback and could give two shits about whether or not Brady and Belichick are cheaters (as the evidence strongly suggests that for at least one Superbowl, they were).  What I’m talking about is Lady Gaga’s performance.  I, personally, enjoyed performance.  She did what she always does.  She put on a phenomenal show with a strong message about inclusivity and LGBTQ rights.  That’s been her platform for a while now.  But guess who else put on a killer show with a strong message that’s been in line with their platform?  Beyonce.  That’s right.  But all of a sudden there is article after article and statement after statement about how it was Lady Gaga who taught Beyonce a lesson in bringing America together.  Why?  Because Lady Gaga’s message was about people you could imagine as white?  Because fighting for LGBTQ rights is inherently less “dangerous” than fighting for the rights of people of color?  Because it’s “less” offensive to be gay than it is to be black?  Because we refuse to take a look at our police and we refuse to hold them accountable for murder?  (This in and of itself could turn into a whole rant about how we hold every other profession – mostly – accountable for mistakes – hell…teachers a essentially burned at the stake if they don’t hit a certain criteria for test score).  White people are so unbelievably scared of the concept of ALL people being equal.  If I can no longer oppress people who are black or gay or Muslim, than what does that mean for me as a white person?  Clearly raising someone up to have the same full rights as me means I’m less than right?  Because that’s what it seems like.  We seem to be so convinced that if everyone has equal rights, that really means that we won’t.  There have been so many articles written about why saying “All Lives Matter” is a crock of shit.  Do you homework and go read them.  Whitenonsense Roundup is a fantastic resource.

Ugh.  I’m so annoyed.  And out of time.  I’ll write more tonight if I can remember, or I’ll update tomorrow morning if any new feelings arise.

 

Cinq, six, sept, huit, neuf

It’s Monday!  This is “post experiment” update two.  I have nothing in my hair but some frizz-eaze.  I’m wearing my hair down (for now) and I don’t have make up on.  I feel much more like myself than I have since starting this experiment.  I’m interested to hear what comments I get from people today.  I feel good.  My hair feels soft.  I’m wearing an outfit I’m comfortable in (which I wore both the week I did my hair straight and the week I wore my hair curly).  It’s science at this point.  Keep everything the same and only change on thing, in this case my hair style, to see what the difference in comments is.

As always, I’ll keep you posted.

No one has said anything to me.  Good or  bad.  It’s playing with my head.  I think I said it in another post too (the first time during the experiment that I forgot to wear make up).  I’m half panicking that everyone is saying how shitty I look behind my back.  I shouldn’t worry though, people here have no problem telling you they think you look like shit, so I guess if they aren’t saying it to my face, chances are they aren’t saying it.  It’s weird though, before the experiment, I never would have thought twice about people talking shit about me.  Now however, after two weeks of compliments on and off, I’m looking at everyone wondering if they are whispering about me.  I think that’s one of the biggest take aways for me.  I want to be able to wear and style myself how I want, when I want, without having to spend my day worrying about what type of feedback I’m going to get.  If I want to wear my hair straight, curly, or otherwise just a mess, I should feel like I can without worrying about the social consequences.  If I want to wear make up or not, I shouldn’t feel like any less of an attractive or valuable woman.  But there’s that little voice inside of me that disagrees.  I got compliments for two weeks.  I was even complimented on my figure (which seemingly hasn’t changed over the past month or so).  Today, nothing.  Is it a coincidence?  Is it a factor of what I’m wearing (I can’t imagine it is as, as state previously, I’m wearing an outfit that I’ve worn once a week for the past three weeks)?  Is it the lack of mascara?  Again, I don’t think so.  My use of make up was inconsistent at best across the past two weeks.  The only thing I consistently altered was my hair.

It’s a curious feeling, what I’m feeling right now.  I can’t adequately describe it.  I feel more genuine and more like myself than I have in the past two weeks, but I also feel slightly awkward and unsure of myself and I’m worried about comments I wasn’t worried about before starting this journey.

Un, deux, trois, quatre

Saturday.  I wore my hair curly again to see if my therapist would notice a difference.  He didn’t.  Or if he did, he didn’t comment on it.

I wore it curly later that night too for a night out at the bar.  I even kept it down the whole night…in a crowded bar…with dancing.  I’m impressed with myself.  And I had bright purple lipstick on and it stayed on all night.  I really am impressed with myself.  I don’t do that.  I don’t go out.  I don’t wear lipstick.  I don’t keep my hair down when I go out.  I am a very hot person.  A sweaty neck is the last thing you want when you are out.

It was a fun night and I got some compliments from the ladies I was out with.  It was a fun night.

Number 10: Paces FIRE!

Full disclosure, I’m writing this on Monday and day 10 was Friday.  Friday my last day with curly hair.  The comments made fall in line with everything else that had already been said.  I even got a lot of comments on my weight, as if my hair being done suddenly made people think I had lost weight.  Perhaps it had.  Big curly hair could make my head look smaller, which could make people look like I’ve lost weight.  Nothing else to add really I guess.

Number 9: Look ’em in the eye, aim no higher…

Today was a good, but weird, day.  Second day curly hair (I just wet my hands and gently wet my hair, put a small amount of extra product in, and used the diffuser to set it).  The nice thing about wearing my hair curly two days in a row without washing it, is that, if it set well on the first day, the small addition of more product and setting it with cold air, makes the curls even nicer.

I’m telling you, I’ve worn my hair curly for four days now and today around 10 coworkers said something to me.  That’s a huge number, comparatively to every other day…even when I wore it straight.  The large number of people really loved my hair today and told me I should wear it like this all the time.  One of my co-workers, with stunning curls, even asked me what product I use.  I couldn’t believe it.  So interesting.

But here’s the problem…1/4 days had my curly hair looking good enough to bring more than 1 or 2 people out of the woodwork.  My hair never does the same thing twice when it’s curly.  Everything from the water quality, to the shampoo I use, to the humidity in the air, affects how my hair looks that day.  It happened to look great today.  The other downside to constant curly hair to me is that, especially today, it feels like it has product in it.  I like being able to run my fingers through my hair.  I’d want a partner to want their fingers through my hair.  It’s not really feasible when my hair has this much product in it.  Thankfully, I use hair “lotions” so my hair doesn’t maintain that “wet curl”/”crunchy” look, but it’s also not “run you fingers through my hair” soft.

It was weird how many people came up to me today.  I feel like all of them.  All of the people came up to me to tell me to wear my hair like this.

Anyways…Number 10 tomorrow!  I’ll do a bonus 11 and 12.  11 to catalogue my therapist’s reaction and 12 to catalogue the reactions when I go back to normal (despite it all, I still consider this to not be my norm) Monday.

Number 8: Your last chance to negotiate…

Send in your seconds, see if they can set the record straight.  I feel like my second again today.  My hair curled really well today, which I am grateful for.  It’s actually interesting, because it curled so well today, people are treating it as if it’s the very first time I’ve worn it curly.

“Wow!  Your hair is so curly!  Is that what happens if you just let it dry?”

“Your hair is so curly!  I love it!”

“Is that your natural curl?  It’s so pretty!”

All comments I’ve sort of gotten the last few days, but the emphasis and the intonation in which they are being spoken seems vastly different than Monday or Tuesday.  I told you, wearing my hair curly is a risk.  I never know how it’s really going to turn out until it’s fully dry, and there’s NO WAY I’m waking up early enough in the mornings to have time for it to fully dry before I get to work.  I got up and did my hair at 6:15 this morning.  It wasn’t fully dry until maybe 8:30.  No way I’m getting up at 4 something just to do my hair.

I forgot make-up again today though.  Even though doing my hair (seemingly) became routine quickly and easily, putting on make-up still hasn’t.  Throughout this process though, no one has mentioned my use of mascara anyway.  Maybe the glasses block their view.  Maybe they don’t see it.  Maybe they don’t really care.

In thinking about this experiment, and it’s glorious end just within site, I think it will be incredibly interesting to hear people’s reactions when (I’d say “if”, but let’s be honest here) I come to work on Monday with my hair back to it’s normal frizzy, undefined curly mess.

*Update*

I got a lot of comments today.  More than I remember.  My hair held up all day, which was nice.

Number 7: Confess your sins…

Curly hair.  It’s curlier today.  By the time I got home yesterday, around 6pm, my hair wasn’t curly anymore.  It had straightened out almost completely by the end of the day.  I didn’t fully wash it this morning, I just ran it under the sink, put more product in it and used the diffuser to blow dry it.

The same co-worker who complimented me first yesterday complimented me again today saying, “Curly again!  I love it!”.  I appreciated the compliment.  One other person mentioned that it’s a curly week for me and said it looks good like this.

No other comments today.  It’s strange how “normal” changes in appearance become to people.

It was pretty frizzy by the end of the day and I ended up wearing it half up for most of the day.  Not a bad look for me overall.

I’m so tired today.  I have a migraine.  I’m not fully here.  I want to be.  I’m so short tempered today.  I need to check myself.