The morning sun washing over the front brocade of the balcony woke us up early. Bridget danced about, her heart was set on going to the beach and discovering turtles. I was still sceptical about seeing any oceanic life, but I had no plans on denying B her curiosity. At least, that was not the plan initially.
The plans initially did not call for my education that morning. An education I suppose I had cuffed away in the subconscious nether realms of my mind somewhere. A lesson in the politics of US Black Women, hair, and the wedding ceremony.
In the images I have uploaded and put on public display here, B has this really intricate hairstyle. A note on performative culture, right? So, I am not really a “high maintenance” type of guy. As far as style is concerned, I walk on the back of my heels in public. I cut my own hair and I do my own facial grooming. The most I do outside of that is probably getting manicures and pedicures. I do not do the whole eyebrow plucking thing, I do not get waxed. I may shave under my arms and remove pubic hairs, but even those grooming procedures are done by me with no too much ado.
My performance of masculinity is pretty much scripted by my own desires to be left the phukkk alone mixed with working class US Black men. My friends might say I am the “cool” one and from time to time like the suit and tie look. I would agree that I do like to play dress up, when allowed, but my most casual look is cargo shorts, a tank top, and some worn casual shoes.
“Oh my gawd!!! My hair fell down!!!”
Now, as socialization goes, I pretty much did all the guy things. I was never the toughest guy of my group, but I went through all the rituals and passed my life’s version of rites of passage. My response to something falling down is to pick it up. Yeah, okay, whatever. There is a reason why Black Women pay so much for intricate hairstyles.
So, first of all(this is like the US Black person call to arms, right?), the style completely fell. Now, B has locks and so the braided parts of the locks stayed, but the way they were wrapped decided it was time to not be wrapped. Basically. Alright, for a dude that barely puts his entire shoe on when going in public, a hairstyle not playing fancy just means, go bald. For a Woman on her Wedding Day, however, time just stood still and the gates of hell just decided to open.
Her first resort for rescue was poor me. I am not totally unawares of the glorious power that is the witching worldcraft of Black Women’s hair– I had a little sister growing up. However, there is a huge difference between quickly braided pigtails and barrettes, and a professionally styled coif of locks. Hell, there are professional hairstylists that could not pull off the feat with accuracy.
We were not able to replicate the original look, so she called her hair stylist. Initially, her stylist attempted brief her by talking her through it. When that did not work, her stylist did a Google video conference. While persistent and creative in assistance, B was still not satisfied with the outcome.
In the end, B decided to call one of her associates. While using a Google video, they were able to put something together that appeased B. Not being one for the dramatics, I was just happy she was happy.
We met with her mother & uncles alongside a walkway adjacent the beach. B was a beautiful bride. She smiled her radiant, “everything is good in the world” smile, and I was enchanted by it. As she and I strolled alongside the man that would consecrate our bond publicly, I thought how fitting a gorgeous setting like this was for this particular chapter of our story.
The wedding went off without a hitch. Maui is a beautiful island and the sun setting on us against a roaring wave of current and tide against the beach was intoxicating. Despite what I might state about the island’s racial climate and social warmth, the island itself is divine fingerprinting. B and I exchanged vows, hers definitely my new favorite poem. Afterwards, we took pictures and took in the expanse of the moment.