I just had the most interesting experience.
I was at the gas station, buying a drink for my husband and I and I noticed there was an older black woman in there, just behind me with her hair somewhat undone and looking a bit of a mess, but otherwise conventional (relaxed, but short, damaged, and looking like she tried to pull it back but just let the shorter hairs stick up and out in all directions, etc.)
I head out to the car and as I'm starting to get in, she walks up to me and says "Excuse me, but can I give you my business card in my car? I own a hair shop down the street."
Now Tucson, AZ is not a huge town by my standards, since I grew up in Philly. And it's a college town to boot. I've seen other dreadlocked people in the streets, but no other *black* people with thick, backcombed dreads like mine. Whatever, dreads are dreads, right?
I looked at the woman and said "Uhm....you can, but I have dreads," and I tugged on one. "And I'm not taking them out...so.."
So nodded, got in her car and drove off.
Now I wonder what made her think *my* hair was such a mess that I needed a beautician who couldn't keep her own hair straight.
Interesting indeed. I can't wait to return to Philly. At least there I have friends who can point and laugh at people's collective prejudices with me.