love needs to be reinvented

It’s 2005 and I am 7, and my mom does my hair up in little braids with bright beads and barrettes that match my clothes. My teachers complain that they’re distracting. My mother tries to reason with them that braids are just about the only to manage my hair. They don’t care. The seed is sown.

It’s 2006 and I start getting my hair pressed. My Sundays are spent with aloe vera leaves pressed to the burns on my neck. I start to hate rain and develop a fear of heat tools that lasts to this day.

It’s 2008 and all the girls at school brush each other’s hair. Becky asks if she can brush mine. I want to fit in so I tell her yes. I want to disappear when she runs away yelling to the class that I have grease in my hair.

It’s 2008 when I ask my mom why my hair isn’t like the other girls’. She tells me it’s just how I am, and that my black hair is nothing to be ashamed of. I want to tell her she’s wrong.

It’s 2009 and I sit on the floor in my living room crying as the chemicals burn my scalp but I don’t move until twenty minutes have passed. After its been flat ironed it’s silky and straight - but it’s not straight or silky enough, not white girl straight. I touch the chemical burns on my scalp and wish I had left the perm on longer.

It’s 2010 and I’m three weeks late on my perm. That awful, bushy new growth is starting to grow under my perfect straight hair. I hate it. I think it’s ugly and dirty and I wish it’d just go away. I remind my mom to grab the extra strength relaxer.

It’s 2011 and I’m going through my scene phase. I want nothing more than to tease my hair and put it into backcombed pigtails and clip dream catchers into it. But I can’t. It bushes out at the slightest hint of moisture and tangled in the bat of an eye. I hate my hair in both its natural and treated forms.

It’s 2013 and my hair can’t take anymore. It’s damaged beyond repair and I’m forced to cut all thirteen inches off. I’m left with the natural hair I’ve hated my whole life. I cry for weeks.

It’s 2013 and my first healthy curl has appeared. I think it looks pretty. For Christmas I wish for more.

It’s 2015 and I have a fro as big and round as the sun. My curls frame my face like laurels. I put on my hoop earrings and love how I look.

It’s 2015 and I feel the need to reinvent myself. I cut it all off again, from twelve inches to three. I cry for days.

It’s 2016 and my curls are more defined than ever. My natural hair is my glory. I style them into a flat top or a coiff or whatever I feel like. I consider growing them out again.

Your hair journey will not always be pretty. It will not always be healthy. You will not remember all of it fondly. But no matter how rough or how long, it will always be worth it.

This is mostly for the Roman/Roman-adjacent folks, but…

The more I practice, and the more I inhabit my spirituality as an individual, the more I conclude that I am a Very Bad Roman™.

I can’t entirely tell if that’s because the groups I see trying to do the whole ROMANITAS thing are just terrible and too focused on the shallow exercise of some of the social virtues and getting caught up in appearances and pretending to be Very Important, though I expect that’s a Thing because it’s exhausting. 

But really, this is also me just acknowledging that I’m a loud, queer, brightly-colored person with steel in his face who loves profanity, doesn’t identify as Roman really because he’s busy having a real nationality with real life-or-death politics happening around him, and practices witchcraft in addition to his religion.

Having a Roman name for this work context is useful and important to me – I chose it carefully, just as I chose other names I’ve used when I worked primarily in other pantheons – but wow.

(Part of me also wonders if this is one of those moments where I’m getting a signal that the lesson I’m learning doing this work has been seen to, and that regional drift is about to occur, but I don’t love that idea.  I don’t need to reinvent.  I’m a fucking polytheist.  Then again, Dealing with that might be work I should be doing too…)

Argh.  Thoughts welcome.

tony having to stand on his toes to kiss pepper when she’s in heels  ◡‿◡✿

Bethyl

I’m feeling very motivating/motivated today, so I just wanted to discuss a few things I thought of while in spin class (other than not falling off my bike). Here goes…

If Bethyl is ever going to happen, and have it really be FELT by the audience, we need to see Daryl in pain over Beth’s “death”. I know, it’s manipulative of TPTB to do that to both Daryl and the audience, but I think maybe it HAD to be done for Bethyl to work, and be accepted. If Beth and Daryl had reunited in Coda, would we really feel it? Bethyl fans would of course. Sure, he had been searching for her since Alone, ran all night into the next day, and then chased after clues which led him to Grady. But there would have still been room to make the argument that Beth was Sophia 2.0. Even if he was successful. Would the general audience really have FELT that Daryl was in love with Beth? I don’t know…

Moreover, by seeing Daryl agonize over Beth’s “death”, the audience can really feel the pain he is in. Which leads to that much greater of a payout when we find out she is alive, or rather, when HE finds out she is alive. Does that make sense? Daryl is the kind of character who doesn’t get the happy ending. He is “an undesired one” (in Norman’s own words). He is not the guy that gets the girl. Who is more deserving of such a miracle reunion that Daryl? 

If TPTB know what’s good for them, they would understand that although TWD is a show about death, destruction and loss…it can’t JUST be about death, destruction and loss. We need MORE than that. We need a love story. AMC needs that love story. It sells. Sure, it’s wouldn’t be the main storyline of the show, but it has to be weaved into the narrative somewhere otherwise, what’s the point of all this? Survival? Why not just read the comics? And who better to be involved in that love story than Daryl? And nobody can say C%^yl is going to happen, because if it was going to, it would have already…BOTTOM LINE. I’m sorry, but this show needs to reinvent itself in more ways than one, and I think maybe ALL OF THIS, everything we’ve been through…maybe AMC has us exactly where they want us. 

KEEP CALM AND BETHYL ON…

(and I hope I made sense..)