The Blacker The Berry
Late summer last year I matched with a guy off Bumble. We chatted and convo went good. He asked me about my hair in my profile, as each pic featured a different hairstyle: Braids, Bob, Curly, Long and wavy. He asked if it was all mine and initially i wanted to give him the side-eye, but i decided to indulge him and seized the opportunity to educate him on hair regime for black women.
I came clean and said well Yes/No. Yes, They are all my hair because I paid for them and have my receipts, but No they aren’t mine because they are not shooting from my hair follicles. He was very intrigued and asked more questions, i.e how is it done? how often? how painful? ease of removal? how long it takes?
I was just like oh gosh, Ta lon ron mi she/ Who send me message. I told him it was complicated and way too long a convo to have over text. He said we should talk about it, and just like that we exchanged numbers and 5 mins later my phone rang.
Over the phone I explained to him how a weave installation worked, braiding of hair into rows or bee-hive pattern, literal sewing in of extensions ( tracks), then i explained how wigs worked, and then shared the difference between Natural hair vs. Relaxed hair. If you don’t know please go and ask Google. He sounded like he was in awe of the whole process, and was thankful i educated him on the process.
Anywhoo we decided to meet up, and Mr. suggested we go berry picking. Apparently there was a local place to pick berries right under my nose. I was interested since i had never done it. On D Day, i made my way to the location. PS: i did not know what to expect. Mr, showed up with 2 bowls, one was a used cool whip container, and immediately the immigrant in me gave my kudos, i always thought only immigrants recycled used/empty containers.
It didn't take too long for him to deduce i had not done this before based on how hesitant i was to reach for the blackberries that were being protected by thorns. It wasn't my fault, i was under-dressed, haven worn jeans and a tank top, my arms were fully exposed and the thorns wanted to leave their mark. The worst part was my hair kept getting snagged on the thorns.
In my mind I was saying a prayer that the damn thorn should not pull my wig and embarrass me. ( side note: ladies SECURE THE WIG).
In the midst of all that, he was kind enough to offer pointers, in less than 30 mins he had filled his bowl, and I was not even half way done. He poured half of his batch and told me not to worry about. It. While picking we bounced questions back and forth and got to learn about each other. He was an outdoorsy man and me the city girl. He had discovered the berry bush a while back and made it a summer ritual to pick blackberries every year. He was a social worker who worked with refugees.
After we finished berry picking, he split the loot In half and told me I deserved it because I stuck it out. He asked if I would like to reward my efforts with ice cream...and I’m like hello! Say no more.We went to a local ice cream shop and had ice cream, and then took a walk around the neighborhood where he pointed out some historical facts and some of his fave spots. As the sun set, we headed back to our cars and said our goodbyes with 0 discussion on meeting again.
It was just how it was supposed to be, beautiful, brief and fun. When i told my friends about it some laughed and said he was being cheap, but i felt differently. Dates don't have to be this expensive expenditure. In fact my best dates were at dive bars, hole in the wall restaurants, parks, games, etc. Experiences while not expensive were thoughtful. Maybe i am just a sucker for simple yet thoughtful things. As the weather is warming up feel free to plan a berry picking date yourself, just make sure you dress for it.
I still have the recycled cool whip tupperware from that berry picking trip. As an immigrant, empty container no dey go to waste.