We ended things on a dour Sunday after several months of depressing discussions, some about my hair and some about other things. The last hair discussion we’d had, almost a week prior, had ended with him giving me a bonus week to reconsider cutting my hair despite my clear response that I wouldn’t.
To him, I would be supporting his mission and work for God by keeping my hair short. And the selfishness of his reasoning startled me much because outside of him, I too had a walk with Christ. I too had a mission, but I simply hadn’t reached that kind of agreement with my Jesus yet and it was frustrating for bot of us now that we were hard bargainers.
Things had spiraled so quick during those final months. I mean, there once was a time he had been the highlight of my days, but now I dreaded every time we had to meet. I cringed at the though of the conversations we seemed to hold, the lack of genuine laughter in this relationship. I’m sure he did do. I dreaded the meets because we had long hung the boots of love and turned every other meeting between us into an evangelistic mission.
We were trying really hard to fix ourselves, but mostly fixing me since I couldn’t seem to catch up fast on health reform among other things.All that put together had left me with this incessant thought that if I ended up with him, I wasn’t ever going to be enough in his eyes and that hurt because, in the beginning, I had been more than sufficient. I had been the real deal. Now I was one of those girlfriends that are not embracing truths quickly.
On the day of the breakup, he made rice and potatoes for lunch. He cooked while I watched and made conversation. On a normal day, he’d probably have dared me to cook so that he ‘can assess if I am wife-material’, then go on and on about how I should refine my cooking some more to be like that of so and so from church. But this day, we were both trying not to throw darts. We were physically present, but our spirits tiptoed around each other like strangers.
You guys remember that extra week extension he’d give me to pray about my decision to not cut my hair? Not once did I pray about it. And I do not say that out of spite but rather because God and I had held all possible conversations around this relationship for almost 8 months and I was… done. Rome was completely down and I needed to hang my dumb tools. It is why I slept soundly all week, saving my tears for the day of the breakup. I was sure I was going to need them.
We went back and forth about the many ways in which we had hurt each other during the recent past months. In my case, I had been ice-cold to him, treating him like a bro in Christ- ish, canceling out on stuff at the last minute, being passive aggressive in conversations… let’s just say that I had a horrible human being. For him, I think he had tripled his preaching efforts about my hair and reformation as well as fixing us.
The words I remember him saying towards the end were; ‘I am willing to take you back…forgive you for everything as long as you revert back to your old hairstyle. And, you’ve been doing this before, what is so difficult about going back? Sigh.
I did not answer him on that back then but let me tell you why it was difficult for me to go back. It is because I had simply run out of the human strength to sustain my short-lived change. I was so tired of doing spiritual things using my fickle effort. I was tired of losing to God, to everyone. I was simply tired.
‘Melodious, you know that I will still love you even after you cut your hair, right?’ He finished. And with those not-so-comforting words, our relationship ended. We were clearly worlds apart. This was less about love than it was about our differences in spiritual wavelength.
And here’s the thing, whether it be in and outside the Lord, women are very deliberate beings when it comes to their hair. It takes some level of conviction to change a hairstyle, talk about cutting it off. And, I don’t know much but if you have to change something, do it for God or for you because sustaining a change that is not borne of God is harder than chewing stone.
My refusing to cut my hair was not for fear of him or anyone else not loving me. It was because I just wasn’t there yet. God and I hadn’t reached that level of understanding. But even that notwithstanding, I never was going to be enough for him. It was always one thing or the other with us. And for that, I will tell you the following words: woman… or man, when it is real, there never is confusion or unnecessary struggle. Human connections never needed us to break a back to sustain. We just entertain all that drama by ourselves.
While we are on the subject of hair, let me tell you a little bit about my hair in college. I hadn’t been braiding my hair for a while after we met with Mr. guy first, I was always so broke that my budget was divided into two things: food and printing class handouts. No less, no more. That meant doing anything to my hair other than straightening was literally a luxury. That was one reason why I took a break from braiding.
Secondly, I had been attending lots of church sessions was beginning to take interest in the teachings about women and their hair. Which is how I decided to test the waters and see how I liked it. But I am old enough yo admit that my experimentation with un-braided hair extended for longer than planned because of the spiritual applause I seemed to be receiving. In our school church, ladies that kept their hair short or un-braided it were held in a certain esteem.
That Sunday, Mr. Guy and I sat in silence, letting our beings drown in the pain of the moment. It was really over this time. I cried my way home, all the freaking way. And when I finally got home, I could not stop. I sat naked on the floor of my room, cried while drinking Coca-Cola from a 1.5-liter bottle. I finished the dumb bottle btw. I was sad about the breakup, alright, but the incredible freedom I felt too made me tremble. And that by itself told me that I was going to be just fine.