One Sunday night in May, I suddenly got an itch to remove the hair extensions I had on. I mentioned this to my husband whom I had been chatting with. He reminded me that it would soon be morning and suggested that I wait till the next day to go to the salon.
For some reason, anytime I get tired of hair extensions or braids of any sort, I’m usually very impatient to remove them. This time was no different. I had been home all day but the thought of a new hairdo had not crossed my mind. Suddenly, by past 10 pm, it became a do-or-die affair. I just had to get that hair off my head.
So, I whined and cajoled…. I was very hot, I had a case of dandruff so my scalp was itchy and I wanted to wash it that night, I wanted my own hair… Every excuse, I gave it till I wore the Mister down.
Now, the poor guy had never removed hair extensions before. So, he didn’t know how to. I re-assured him that it was easy and proceeded to teach him how to do it without me losing all of my own hair. At that point, he reminded me that it would be better to allow someone who was an expert in hair matters to do the job for me. He also asked if I wouldn’t just prefer to wait till the next day to cross my legs in comfort, while someone took care of my hair at the salon.
Like a spoiled brat child, I said, “No, I want to do it now.”
So, he asked that I get a razor blade for him and I gleefully sat on the living room floor, while he got down to work. After a few minutes of struggling with the hair, he went for a pair of scissors to snip off those bits of thread holding all that fake hair in place. I was scared he’d chop off some of my hair at that point and I expressed that. He said the scissors was more tasking to use but got the job done better.
Now, I know my guy; if he said that, then he meant it. There was no way he was going to snip off my hair. So, I relaxed.
Considering where I was seated, it wasn’t long before I got a crick in my neck. At a point, my neck hurt so much he had to stop to let me get some relief. I wondered if I shouldn’t have listened to him and just enjoyed the hair treatment at the salon.
After a while, he wondered out loud, why women put themselves through the stress of all the beauty regimen we insist is a part of our lives. Then, he concluded that we did it for them (men). Because, in his opinion, we wanted them to think we were beautiful. I was quick to retort that I did it for me… Yeah, yeah…
Soon, he complained that the hair extensions had been sewn too tight to my hair and wondered how someone could have done such a thing. I cheekily told him to stop complaining and let him know that it was actually a man that had done the work.
“That’s why it wasn’t done right,” he retorted.
I’m guessing that means that women do better at hairdressing than men. So, I’m taking that as a compliment to the women folk.
I did have some dandruff (yes, those annoying, flaky bits of skin) and he commented that the weight of all that extra hair and the heat it was bound to generate was definitely enough to make the micro-organisms responsible for that condition to thrive.
No be me find trouble? All this plenty grammar on top my head?
A salon attendant would definitely not have been running a commentary about my scalp… at least, not to my hearing.
When he said, “I go chop my eye tomorrow,” it hit me, that he had to go to work the next day. To beat the traffic, he had to leave home very early. That meant that he should have been fast asleep in our bed, a long time before then. Yet, he had chosen to do something I could have done the next day even though I would never had held it against him if he had simply told me to stop whining. I might have sulked for a few minutes but I would have quickly gotten over it.
At that point, it struck me that he was simply expressing, without words, that he loves me. He didn’t have to say a word but, it was clear to me in that instant.
I thought of how often we expect people to love us in the manner we’d prefer, while forgetting that they may speak a different love language than we do.
One may have the gift of the gab and may know how to speak all manner of mushy stuff while the other might be one of those strong, silent types that just don’t seem able to express their feelings, even if their lives depended on it. They may give sacrificially, instead, and never count the cost of their sacrifices.
One may love to touch and would give a hug for any and every reason while the other may love getting hugs but never thinks to do more than an arm across the shoulder of their loved one, once in a while. This may be because they don’t know how to express their love through touch or because doing so, makes them shy.
One may constantly have the need to hear affirmations of love while the other believes that they don’t have to say what the other person already knows.
One may express love by pressing for details of whatever has got their loved one unhappy while the other just wants to be shown love by being left alone to figure out in their heads, the solution to their problem, before talking about it.
Everyone communicates love in their own way and when two different people have found their hearts entwined, it is great when their minds also understand that the differences in them might make them express love through different ways. However, regardless of what the mind knows or is willing to accommodate, both parties should be willing to, at least, understand the language the other speaks. That makes communication a lot easier.
If you stopped speaking your own language because the next person didn’t speak the same language, over time, you lose a huge part of who you are. This is because your language becomes extinct as you evolve to someone else. On the other hand, using the excuse, “I’m not built this way” for every teeny weeny thing, even when you know that you would give someone immense pleasure, just isn’t cool.
The deal is in being able to strike a balance between what languages we already speak and those we have the capacity to learn and/or are willing, to learn.
In the journey of this thing called love, I am no expert. However, to a large extent, I have learnt the language my man speaks. But, once in a while, I find that I still have a lot to learn about him.
However, if he ever agrees to do my hair again, I would immediately know he’s silently saying, “I love you.” I will tell him that, right back. But, I’ll be sure to say it out loud so that he would have no doubts that I understood him clearly.
He finally finished my hair by almost 1 am. Needless to say, both of us were exhausted by then but, I slept thinking, Yay!!! He loves me!