Is it safe to say that I’m quite happy to have my hair back? I think so. Since saying farewell to the braids a few days ago, I’ve re-entered the world of twist outs and Bantu knot outs, as evidenced above.
Viva la petite (and growing!) fro.
Here’s the real, no-holds barred truth about Your Square Peg: she sweats like a chocolate pig. There’s no other way to say it.
Ever since I woke up one morning a million years ago and discovered the monster known as–shudder–puberty, the sweat glands opened up, got to work, and decided to work overtime every single day. So when it comes to controlling that interesting region under the arms, I’ve been using Secret antiperspirant ever since I can remember, especially after my mother discreetly told me that borrowing my father’s deodorant (true story) was no longer acceptable. (I was 12. And it smelled nice. Strange children grow up to be sassy square pegs, so join me in embracing the strange, won’t you?)
Sidenote: I’ve long heard the conversations around me about not wearing deodorant because of all the chemicals. I appreciate it, and until I do research and find something organic and chemical free to control the sweat monster, sticking with the standard.
You know how Secret (and other antiperspirants) advertise the whole “invisible solid” thing on their products? Which should calm your fears about wearing dark clothes and not having white stains staring back at you in the mirror? Here’s a secret: This. Isn’t. True. This has never been true. You know it as much as I do. Nevertheless, I stuck with Secret through the years, wearing dark blouses very carefully and slowly, lest I disturb the Force, and kept it moving. But one gets tired of holding her breath as she pulls on her clothes. Enter Dove Dry Spray, which I happened to notice on the shelf one afternoon last week. The following words on the bottle caught my eye: wetness protection. After engaging in the usual Square Peg side eye that I give any product, I decided to give it a try. It goes on dry, it boasted 48-hour odor protection, as well–why not, right?
Well, I don’t call it a Product from Heaven just because. It’s awesome. For one thing, I wasn’t lied to: this thing goes on instantly dry, it gives this chocolate square
pig peg actual wetness protection, and I’ve yet to see any of those pesky white stains on my clothes. I love it so. And that scent…so heavenly.
So there you go: yet another Product from Heaven that I’ve stumbled on while meandering in the aisles of a store. Maybe I should just move in?
Ladies: care to share what you do when it comes to antiperspirant?
This speaks to me.
When I was younger, especially in my teens and a large part of my twenties, I was desperate for someone in my life who could pull me through. Through those moments when loving myself was non-factor. When I would look in the mirror and loathe the girl looking back at me. When I refused to believe that I would ever be happy. When I was just so, so lost.
That me then, needed me now. And she has her.
Given the chance, I plan on being the present and future me (wholly loving of herself and finally happy) for anyone else who needs it.
I spy an obvious theme.
(All images courtesy of my best friend, Pinterest.)
I can patiently wait in line for tickets to see a Broadway show.
I can patiently wait in line at the grocery store. (Especially when I have literally one item and the woman in front of me has 26, even though we’re in the 12 items or less lane.)
I can patiently wait to meet the man that will one day become my future. (Well, with some grumbling while I wait, but you get my drift.)
What I cannot abide by, what causes me to fidget and side eye my own self, are protective styles. If you’re not a naturalista, protective styles are ‘dos that protect the ends and keep the hair tucked away and protected from the over-manipulation that can come from constantly styling, washing, and generally having our hands in our hair. Braids, twists, wigs, etc., are the various choices one has when wanting to protect their natural hair. Personally, I tend to stick to the two-strand twist side of protective styles when it comes to my own hair. But when I want to protect the whole giant head for a longer period of time, I tend to choose individual braids, kinky twists, or Senegalese twists, which I am currently wearing and have been since late September.
Late September. It’s now mid-November.
You understand me, don’t you? Certain protective styles drive me crazy. After a number of weeks/months, I long for my ‘fro the way I long for that piece of bread on your plate. I long for my strands the way I long to ask Idris Elba why, as husband and wife, we’re still not living together. Yes, these styles force me to remain patient and stick to my yearly goal of protecting my hair in the autumn/cold months. But I can’t be patient. I simply can’t. It’s recommended to keep braid styles in for no more than 8 weeks. I stick to that recommendation like glue. And when the 8th week comes, I nearly cartwheel down random hallways in excitement for finally having my hair back. Because I love my natural hair. I love sinking my hands into it and feeling the coils and the curls. Essentially, I’m the kind of gal who needs to abide by protective styles because of how much I touch this hair. But I’m working on leaving it alone, not being all up in its biz so much. Baby steps.
Anyway, the braids come out this weekend, thanks to the efforts of my long-suffering sissy, who has agreed to take them out for me. I can’t promise that I won’t hold a parade as a result.
Naturalistas out there: how do you handle the wait when your hair is all nice and tucked away? Or am I the only one who needs to attend a 12-step program for this issue?
First off, thanks to everyone who read, liked, and/or commented on The Wedding and the Web. Sharing is caring, and it’s always my pleasure to share my writing on This Square Peg.
Now. Here’s an assortment of outfits and ensembles I’ve worn in the past few weeks. We said sharing is caring, riiiight? By the way, I don’t have the ability to pat myself off on the back (ask every gym teacher who tried to get me to tumble), but I have to admit: I’m proud of the direction I’m going in with my style. It’s constantly evolving. With the weight loss, I was focused on simply not wearing clothes two sizes too big. Now I’m just having fun with it. Fun is good.
OK, so this blouse is basically my new best friend. Do you see it? That rockin’ zipper on the top? The way it parts in half? I wore it to the OK Corral one day and I was so feeling myself, as one should. Paired it with a pair of pants that actually fit me. Blouse and pants from Rugged Wearhouse, a local store that I’ve been ignoring until now. Yes, it owns me.
Another day at the OK Corral, another selfie session in a well-lit washroom. I loved the simplicity and comfort of this outfit. Lots of gray and black, so I threw on some patterned tights and some sparkly silver and gold flats. Skirt from Dress Barn, blouse from Mom’s Closet of Dreams, and gray sweater from Ross.
You see that African blazer? I tried it on and it fit like a glove and I was poised to put it back because, well, your girl isn’t used to things fitting like a sweet glove and then my good friend basically yelled at the top of her lungs for me to buy it. I’m occasionally obedient, so I did just that. And as you can tell from the smile on my face, I loved it something awful. Got it from a pop-up shop that Zuvaa Marketplace put on a few weekends ago. (What a great idea, huh?) What I love even more is its versatility: I can wear it with a skirt, with jeans, a dress. So for this wonderful, faith-strengthening event that I attended, I paired the blazer with a leather pencil skirt that I scored for a great price from Amazon dot com a few months ago, Jessica Simpson tights, and a pair of booties that I’ve had forever from DSW.
I rarely wear suits to the OK Corral. The dress code is business casual; I tend to stick to simple fare. But on this particular day, I wanted to look like Angela Bower from Who’s the Boss? (Without the massive 80s shoulder pads, of course.) So I wore this pantsuit that I had purchased from Ross some months ago and paired it with a simple blouse. Done and done. The house in Connecticut and the cute, Italian housekeeper would have been nice, though.
Worn for last week’s casual Friyay. Not much to add, other than officially deciding that I’m done with the cheesy hand-on-hip pose.
That’s the rundown for my looks these past few weeks. Onwards, as always…
It was a lovely wedding. There was an orchestra and ice swans and roses flown in from Marseilles. My sister Charlotte was rhapsody in white; my other sisters and I wore lovely gowns in various shades of blue. Even Irene Vine, as she cried in the front row, allowed Danny to pat her hand and comfort her. The webs were all around us: between family, husbands and wives, parents and children, sisters.
Notably, a curious new web seemed to be forming. Its long, shiny string drifted from the front of ballroom, where I stood, over into the audience where Andy Flood sat in the fourth row. He openly watched me during the ceremony, a fact that intrigued and delighted me more than the silver flask peeking out from the top of Carmen’s dress.
At the end of the ceremony, Andy stopped upon reaching me in the receiving line and handed me, not a red rose from Marseilles, but a yellow daffodil. “Your favorite, remember? From the flower shop on Baker Street,” he whispered in my ear. “May I have the first dance at the reception?”
“Yes,” I whispered back, after which I watched him move through the crowd until he exited the lobby.
I gazed at the flower. How long ago had I mentioned that I adored the yellow daffodils at the flower shop on Baker Street? That I bought myself a bouquet once a month? It had to be ages ago. But it didn’t matter. He was listening. He had always been listening.
“Nervous about tomorrow?” Andy Flood asked as he walked into the break room that morning.
I stood by the counter, stirring my coffee and deliberating over my resolution from a few nights ago. “Actually, no. I’m kind of looking forward to it.”
“Good. I’m glad.”
“Mostly because of what Carmen may do.”
I watched him laugh. Andy Flood laughed at everything I said. He conversed with me every morning, every afternoon. He was kind and flexible, especially about the general craziness of this wedding time for me, all the time, really. He respected my dedication to my family, as he said, but seemed to be aware of the necessity of setting a few boundaries without communicating this in an outright, intrusive manner. Andy Flood was a terrific guy. I hoped whomever he had this crush on would be fortunate enough to find that out.
“So, Catherine, I’m pretty curious about this royal wedding. Can I crash?”
“Absolutely. Just be prepared to wear a server’s uniform. My mother will be eyeing that guest list like a hawk.”
“Hmm. Well, how about I just come? As your date?” He approached the counter and poured a cup of coffee.
I blinked a few hundred times. “My date?”
Andy nodded, regarding me, his demeanor unreadable. I waited for a punch line that never came. “But,” I croaked, “why?”
My mind, slightly scrambled, searched for a response. “I’m—I mean—what do you—?”
“Black tie, right?”
I nodded slowly.
“I’ll be there. Email me the address.” With that, he smiled at me and left the break room.
Taken aback, I rushed to the ladies room and called Carmen.
“And Hot Lips Marta Weeks told you he has a crush on someone in the office?” she asked me a few minutes later.
“Yes, but—” It couldn’t be. Could it?
“Wake up, Catherine Vine,” Carmen said, as if reading my mind. “It’s you. You’re the crush.”
“But, why?” I asked for the second time that day.
“Why not, silly? Look, we’ve been conditioned to accept the opposite for far too long, but here it is: you matter, too. To this family, to Andy Flood. You matter. We all do. Deep down, even Bob and Irene Vine know and believe that. That’s the plain truth. All right, call me later; I’m trying to sew a flask into this gown.” With that, she ended the call.
Why not? I asked myself for the remainder of the day.
At the co-ed bridal shower a few evenings later, I watched Sanford and Charlotte twirl around on the dance floor. Our parents had rented a much smaller ballroom in a smaller hotel for the event, but it was no less swanky, as it was a black-tie affair. Caroline, Danny, Carmen, and I sat at a table. We were surprised that Danny had agreed to come, but were nonetheless happy he was there.
“You know what?” Carmen began, accepting her fifth glass of champagne from the server. “That chauvinist pig really does love her. Look at them.”
I already was. Sanford whispered in her ear; he intermittently dipped her, to her delight; he made her laugh. There were times, too, unbeknownst to Charlotte, that Sanford simply gazed at his wife-to-be, stupefied and proud all at the same time. I swallowed thickly. My sister was not solely our parents’ miracle, but his, as well.
Caroline glanced pitifully at me, as did Danny. My heart sank. Did I truly believe that my sister hadn’t mentioned my feelings for Sanford to her husband?
“When she was 7, I think, she told me that she was a princess, but she couldn’t marry a prince because she was—she was sick all the time,” Carmen continued, slowly swirling her champagne around in the glass and gazing at the bubbles. “Remember how she was in and out of the hospital for all the bronchial stuff? But, I told her, ‘you can marry a prince, Charlotte. Your prince will love you and take care of you.’” With tears now glistening in her eyes, Carmen downed the contents of the glass and hailed a server for another. Caroline vigorously shook her head at the server and flagged another server down for several cups of coffee.
With Carmen’s words volleying about in my mind, I returned my attention to the couple, really to Charlotte. She was vision in a mermaid-style, black gown, her dark hair cascading down her shoulders in loose ringlets. She no longer dealt with bronchial and respiratory issues, although my mother still forced her to wear a coat during the cool San Diego evenings. At 26, she was a healthy, vibrant woman. Coddling her was no longer necessary, but I knew it wouldn’t stop, certainly not from Bob and Irene Vine. To them, Charlotte Mary Vine was still that baby in the NICU, struggling to breathe. But I had to put a stop to certain things; to babying her, to my parents’ requests that I baby her, to my feelings for her almost-husband. Let the princess alone, I told myself. Leave her to her prince, and do it quickly.
“Cath, would you like to dance?” Danny asked.
Slightly thankful for the interruption to my thoughts, I nodded and left Caroline to mind a belligerent-because-of-coffee Carmen. We walked out onto the dance floor and began to sway to a light jazz number.
“Easier said than done,” Danny said, “but I’m sure you know that you need to get over him.”
“I know. I’m resolved to do just that.”
“Good. But how?”
“Loyalty to my sister and just moving on with my life. It won’t happen overnight, but I’m confident,” I said firmly.
Danny nodded. “I believe you. What made you fall for him in the first place?”
“We were teenagers. But he seemed to care about what I thought about things, my opinions. Something about that stayed with me and didn’t want to let go.” I pondered it over some more. “He listened to me. No one seemed to be listening to me.”
“Someone will, Cath. I know that, we all know that. You’re worth listening to.”
I smiled at my brother-in-law. One day, my parents would understand that their eldest had indeed married up.
Food, Culture and lashings of Fashion
LOVE FASHION. LIVE WILD
Embracing the adventurous spirit: A life and travel blog
travel, poetry, and all things lovely...
Just because you're CHUNKY, doesn't mean you have to be FRUMPY!
Enhancing beauty with one brush at a time
Twitter: HannahK_xx Instagram: Hannahkx92 Snapchat: Hannahkx93
“Fabrics don't make exquisite dresses, stitches do.” ― TS
natural hair, fashion & the random musings of a brooklyn girl
I’m just your garden variety uniquely average simply complex introverted social butterfly.
Capturing the beauty of the human spirit -- in mid-air -- around the world
Embrace The Wonder
Celebrity News & Style for Black Women
Writing the story of my life one day at a time.
'Fro love lives here :) - AB x MeeMee
** OFFICIAL Site of Artist Ray Ferrer **