Today, I went for lunch at a local sandwich place (I do this almost every day, as there about a zillion of these joints in this area) and as I was headed for an empty table, I was intercepted by a pleasant woman in her late 40s wearing a "business suit" who pointed at a table of five other, similarly clad women of a similar age, and said, "Hi! OK, we all LOVE your hair, and we've been staring at you the whole time you've been in line... will you sit by us? We want to talk to you."
I was kind of embarrassed, but I said, "Thank you... yes, of course, I'll talk to you guys."
I sat across from them, and they just pumped me for information about me, my hair and dreads in general for about a half-hour.
After 14 years of dreadlocks, I can pretty much answer most questions any undreaded person might ask about our hair. They had all the usual questions:
"Is that really your hair?"
"How do you get your hair to do that?"
"Do you wash it?"
"What do you do if you don't want them anymore?"
"How do you sleep with those?"
"What do they feel like on your skin?"
"Aren't those heavy?"
"How do you wash that?"
And, of course, there were all the attendant follow-up questions about what kind of work I do (I'm a magazine editor) and what my bosses think of me (they hired me, right?), what does my girlfriend/wife think (she likes the hair, duh squared), if my hair gets in the way during sex (it doesn't) and if I think I'll ever cut them (who knows? Maybe.)
Anyway, after lunch, they all thanked me and said goodbye, smiling. I can't help but think I may have somehow helped a small group of otherwise sheltered ladies learn a little more about something they would have very likely never considered investigating on their own.
So, right now, there are about six nice suburban South Jersey ladies who now know a LOT more about dreadlocks then they did when they went to work this morning.
And now, since I know text-only entries are frowned upon, here is a pic taken by my lovely girlfriend from this past weekend.