This is part 2 of “What Men Really Think About Natural Hair”. Click here if you haven’t read part 1. It’s critical that you read part 1 before you read part 2.
While running up the stairs, Patrick trips and falls over the last step of the staircase and crashes into a lamp. This lamp sits on top of a table given to Keisha by her late grandmother – crash! The lamp comes crashing down and makes an explosive sound as it breaks into a dozen pieces.
Patrick, who bruised his shin during the fall, gathers his composure and begins to pick up the pieces of the broken lamp.
Keisha was getting out of the shower at the time, but after hearing the loud crashing sound, she put on her bath robe, satin cap, and house shoes and begins rushing towards the sound of the crash.
Once she arrived, she immediately noticed the broken lamp pieces scattered across the floor like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. Patrick is still on his knees picking up the pieces.
Keisha asked Patrick, “What happened?”
Patrick, still breathing heavily from the fall, told Keisha, “I tripped and fell running up the stairs.”
Keisha, curiously asks, “Why were you running?”
Patrick, who hasn’t lost sight of the reason he was initially hurried, told Keisha, “I was just doing some research on your decision to go natural and I think you’re making a bad decision.”
Keisha’s countenance began to change as Patrick continued, “I love the way you wear your hair now. I mean – you look so pretty with your current hair do. Those natural hair styles aren’t very attractive. Why would you want to do that to yourself?”
Keisha’s heart begins to beat a little faster and she slowly begins to respond to Patrick’s question. Keisha, who is about to tell Patrick that she has already big chopped says, “It’s too”, but before she can respond Patrick quickly cuts her off and says, “One of the sites that I visited had a whole community of these women.”
Keisha’s feelings are clearly hurt as this point, but she quickly interjects, “These women?”
Patrick says, “Yeah, you know – there was a group of these afro-wearing militant chicks that reminded me of the civil rights movement.”
Keisha is quickly becoming angry as Patrick continues to talk about his natural hair research and how he doesn’t like the hairstyles that he has seen online. His comments were unintentionally insulting and hurtful to Keisha. She thought that Patrick might need some time to adjust, but was starting to feel like he was simply being unreasonable.
Patrick continued, “How will you be viewed at work?” “These natural hairstyles aren’t very professional.” “Do you really plan to walk around town with an afro all the time?”
Keisha, fuming at this point, slowly turns away and begins to walk towards the bathroom. Emotions are running at an all-time high. The tension was so thick you could cut it with a knife.
Keisha, who was beginning to develop a headache, continued towards the bathroom to grab a couple of Advil tablets.
Patrick was offended by Keisha’s decision to suddenly walk away during their discussion, so he follows behind her.
Keisha enters the bathroom, rapidly opens the medicine cabinet and grabs the bottle of Advil.
Before she has the opportunity to take the Advil, Patrick walks into the bathroom and notices hair cutting shears resting on top of the bathroom counter.
Patrick, who worked full time as a crime scene detective for the local police department, reluctantly started connecting the dots. He grabbed the shears and noticed a few fresh hair clippings on the blade.
At this point, Patrick is in full blown work mode.
He begins to analyze the bathroom, as if it were a crime scene. His eyes are rapidly moving from left to right, up and down the walls, and across the bathroom floor. He’s processing evidence at the speed of a super computer. His heart begins to pound and he tightens his grip on the hair cutting shears – bending and eventually breaking them into two pieces.
Keisha tosses a bathroom cup into the trash can after she takes two Advil tablets. Patrick’s eyes follow the bathroom cup as if it were in slow motion.
Then, Patrick says, “Keisha you’ve already cut your hair off! Haven’t you?”
Keisha, shaking her head slowly, takes a deep breath and licks her lips. There was a short awkward pause that lasted for only a few moments. To Patrick it felt like an eternity. The silence was deafening.
Keisha, who was looking down towards the floor, looks up and makes eye contact with Patrick. Still she doesn’t respond – for fear of saying something that she might regret.
Instead, Keisha quickly removes her satin cap and Patrick’s expression fades. He stands there, motionless – as dead. Keisha sees his lifeless facial expression and asks Patrick, “Do you see me differently now?”
Patrick said, “Of course. Now you don’t have any hair.”
Keisha said, “Patrick you’re acting like a jerk. You should be more considerate of my feelings and my health.”
Patrick, who was known for using much stronger language, curiously asked, “You’re health? What the heck does this have to do with your health?”
Keisha, still angry about the intensity of this situation, says “Patrick! I get severe, painful scalp burns every time I get a relaxer. There are literally sores in my head caused by the harmful chemicals included in relaxers. I can’t continue to put myself through this kind of torture. I’m actually surprised by your behavior. I thought that you loved me and cared for me deeply. Apparently, our relationship was more superficial than I thought. I’ve been relaxing my hair for 27 years, putting up with these painful sores and scars in my head. Now, you’re implying that you’re not attracted to me anymore, simply because of the way I decide to wear my hair.”
Keisha told Patrick, “Come here. Rub right here and touch over here. Do you feel that? Those are the sores that I’ve been dealing with for many years.”
Keisha, who was beginning to speak very loudly, continued “Come look at the evidence – Patrick!”
Keisha continued to rant, but at this point Patrick had tuned her out. He was finally coming to the realization that he was acting like a jerk – although he could think of some stronger words to describe himself. He never realized what his wife had been going through.
Patrick, saddened deeply by his actions, apologized to Keisha. He told her that he truly never meant to hurt her. He simply didn’t understand and was wrong for overreacting. Patrick continued to explain his ridiculous behavior and Keisha eventually understood.
Don’t forget that Patrick truly loved his wife, and mutually Keisha loved Patrick.
What Do Men Really Think About Natural Hair?
So, you ask, what do men really think about natural hair? Honestly, most men – just like Patrick – don’t really understand what black women have been going through for many years. And finally, if you would like to learn more about the lives of Patrick and Keisha, please check out part 3 of “What Men Really Think about Natural Hair”.