Friday, May 22, 2009

Consideration, Bad Haircuts, and Wimps

Yes this looks stupid, but I'll gel it differently next week when it's out of style.

 Recently some coworkers and I were enjoying lunch outside the office, catching this deli at the crest of their lunch rush.  Office folks crowded every table outside.  The thought of sitting outside on a cool day in Miami, especially in April when we know there might not be another one for some time, proved just too strong.  One of us waited outside to shark for empty tables while the rest of us ordered.  Eventually, the lot of us squeezed around a pair of two tops we pushed together to make one big table.  While we ate, a two-top opened behind us and a four-top opened to our left (in restaurant-speak, a two-top seats 2, a four-top seats 4, etc.).

 With his fauxhawk and sideburns, designer jeans hanging just so, with her tank top and flower skirt, eyes invisible behind Jackie-O sunglasses, I took them as college students.  Maybe they had flirted in class or had coffee with groups of friends, but they were alone together for the first time.  They ordered, they took their drinks and the little buzzer that goes off when the order’s up, and they came outside.

 Jackie O’Shades sat at the four-top, crossed her legs, eased back into her chair, and started sidewalk watching.  Faux Hawk, drinks in hand, balked.

 “Shouldn’t we sit over there?” he said.

 O’Shades squinted (at least I think she did; tough to say for sure, behind the sunglasses) at the two-top Faux Hawk indicated with a chin point.


 “Well, they’re pretty busy,” Faux Hawk said. “We don’t need all that room.”

 “Oh,” Shades said, “you’re one of those.”

 This stopped Faux Hawk in nervous mid-fidget.   She might have called it "a lunch thing" or whatever, but he clearly wanted it to be a date.

 “One of what?”

 “Oh, you know,” she sniffed.

 At this point the conversation at our table bumped up in volume, so I missed whatever she had to say for herself.  I wonder what her response could have been.   Considerate?  Thoughtful?  Kind?  Exactly what was Faux Hawk, and why was she making it sound like a disease?

 Whatever the answer, it must not have satisfied him.  She moved to the two top and he set the drinks down, telling her to stay while he went inside to wait for the food.  She still thought she had a shot.  It was in the arch of her back as she lounged, adjusting her skirt, looking at him over her glasses.  Equally obvious was how quickly he moved her into the “no” column.

 I think, Good for you, Fauxhawk.

 It’s a sentiment I never thought I’d express.

 My hatred for the fauxhawk cannot be overstated.  First of all, I am from the People of the Flint.   A half-breed Mohawk, but still a Mohawk.  From time to time, members of my family have shaved their hair into a Mohawk to express pride in our heritage (or maybe just to see how it felt, using Native Pride as an excuse).  If you’re light-skinned, male, young, a Mohawk is a choice to take yourself out of normal society, whatever that is.  Of course it’s hair.  It’ll grow back.  So it’s a temporary sojourn into a minority that many wear daily.  Being a woman, a senior, wheelchair bound, dark-skinned, these you don’t outgrow.

 That was the point of Punk.  Shave your head and leave a strip of hair or a row of spikes, and that was your hair wherever you went.  Your job, the subway, your home - you were always punk.  It was jarring, shocking, immediately removing you from straight society.

The fauxhawk is the hipster equivalent of the "business up front and party in the back" mudflap, you’re a wannabe punk on Saturday but you can comb your hair flat for church on Saturday.   It’s a hairstyle for wimps.

 I’d like to make a case for wimps as the worst word for weakling we can conjure in the English language.  This is, of course, the dark horse candidate given the preference most people have for pussy (ie, “What are you, some kind of pussy?  Just drink the shot / punch the cop / jump.”

 Pussy became synonymous with weakling because in some men’s minds, a pussy is synonymous with a woman.  Not only is this not true (I have proof), but how either a pussy or a woman became synonymous with weakness is anyone’s guess.   Can we get past this, please?  A pussy is a strong organ. It can take a pounding all night long and still ask for more.  Hell, it can take multiple poundings from dozens of cocks and walk away with a little chafing (I've seen videos).  Meanwhile, where is the mighty cock that can fuck dozens of pussies in one night?  Kick a cock in the balls and watch it wilt.

 In fact, forget wimp and weakling.  Let's go with cock.

 “You won't steal that candy bar?  What’s the matter, you some kind of cock?”

 I guess that just trades one wrong for another.  Turning women’s gender into a pejorative is wrong; that doesn’t make the reverse right.  So why not just leave language alone?  Wimp, weakling, they work just fine.  I think at some point language will evolve past the nonsense we live with now.  

 I’m starting with pussy.  That doesn’t make me a wimp.

Back to the fauxhawk.  If this hairstyle appeals to you, please, by any means at your disposal, step outside yourself for a moment.  You want something on your head that looks like a cock’s comb.   Fine.   You like being different, and I can respect that.  Shave your head into a Mohawk.  Much as I hate people appropriating a piece of my history for fashion or sociological statement, at least it shows strength of conviction.

 A fauxhawk might be fashionable. But it will never, never be cool.  Unlike, say, this guy.

Yes this looks stupid, but at least I have the strength of my conviction.

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