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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

177

Maybe They Like Having Their Hair Played With?

I take the bus to work every day. Every now and then I come across a completely normal-looking woman who touches other people's hair. By touching, I mean caressing it lovingly over and over, staring at it longingly, and smelling it, too. She sits behind women with long hair so nobody seems to notice. Once she was doing this to a woman who was at the front of the bus. (I was at the back.) I really wanted to tell her but was far too embarrassed to shout across the crowd of people standing between us. We both got off at the next stop, and I hesitantly asked if she knew the lady who was touching her hair. She seemed shocked and said she had no idea what was happening, as she was distracted with her MP3 player and thinking about something else. Nobody says anything. I don't think anyone knows the etiquette of dealing with a crazy woman who likes touching strangers' hair. Next time I see it, what should I do? A part of me is worried that the crazy hair lady will try to do something deranged to me.

Dame Gothel is riding the bus!? You can read Prudence's super-short response here (it's waaay down at the bottom).



177 Comments / Post A Comment

Scandyhoovian

DON'T TOUCH MY HAIR UNLESS I ASK YOU TO! WHAT!

Also, I'm really baffled by the woman who thinks 15 pounds of being overweight is going to make her sister-in-law look HORRENDOUSLY AWFUL in a bridesmaid's dress? It's 15 pounds! And surely the dress comes in multiple sizes! Quit being so awful!

Bittersweet

@Scandyhoovian People who are allowed to touch my hair:
1. My husband
2. My daughter
3. My hairdresser
4. My mother, maybe, if we're having a mom/daughter moment

datalass

@Scandyhoovian I had the same thought. I'm short and, even so, when my weight has fluctuated by 15 pounds, no one even noticed.

Scandyhoovian

@datalass I'm just wondering what in the hell kind of dress she's putting her bridesmaids in? "It only looks good on skinny people"? Is it the thing from the 5th Element? 'Cause that's gonna be one memorable wedding photo...

harebell

@datalass Realistically, 15 pounds is pretty noticeable. But not in a "oh my god, horrors!" kind of a way. Just, noticeable. In a perfectly fine fashion. (Poor sister-in-law lady getting harassed!).

harebell

@harebell oh, I just went and actually read the story involved, which I thought was about weight gain, but it's not, and it is truly terrible! Ick ick ick. Please ignore my comment above.

likethestore

Oh great, now I'm going to be looking over my shoulder every time I'm on the bus.

wharrgarbl

Hooooooooow do you not notice someone's playing with your hair? Or do I just have a ridiculously sensitive scalp?

MissMushkila

@wharrgarbl I have really long, thick hair, and this terrified me because I could totally imagine it happening and me not noticing anything. My hair is constantly brushing against things, getting in the way, etc. Unless she is like pulling on their hair - which it doesn't sound like.

datalass

@wharrgarbl If she's being gentle, I could imagine it. I've occasionally caught my own reflection in the bus/metro window and been surprised to discover that the person behind me is gripping the bar on the back of the seat and that my hair is actually touching their hand(s). It's the kind of thing that I would have thought I'd feel (because my scalp is irritatingly sensitive in general) and yet I don't seem to.

Jinxie

@wharrgarbl I got stuck on an especially crowded train on my way to work this morning. There were a ton of folks (unintentionally, I think) ALL up in my grill simply because there was no space so if someone wanted to play with my hair I doubt I would've noticed.

liverwortlaura

@wharrgarbl It's kind of amazing what bodily sensations you can convince yourself you're NOT having. I had my breast fondled on the train a few years ago, and kept thinking, "huh, something must be poking my side," until I saw dude's hand. On my breast. (in my defense - I was wearing a soft-shell jacket?) So I can easily imagine women thinking their hair might be touched, but willing themselves to think it's just the wind?

wharrgarbl

@all So basically what you're telling me is that I was far more deeply traumatized by getting a huge wasp caught in my hair as a child than I had suspected.

Ophelia

@wharrgarbl OHMYGODMETOO. I still duck and cover when bees come close. Trauma.

wharrgarbl

@Ophelia And every time they move you can feel their horrible legs pulling individual strands in their struggle to free themselves! And they might sting you while they're caught, but if they get out of your hair they will definitely sting you! And you're just stuck sitting there going "Why is this happening to me I don't understand, even getting a bird caught in my hair was not like this, why do my parents continue to allow me to have hair, this is horrible?"!

ohyeahmetoo

@wharrgarbl whoa me too! but it was just a bee. but i'm allergic to bees.

Ophelia

@wharrgarbl I would like your comment, but I'm too busy hyperventilating.

MagicBeanie

@wharrgarbl I had this happen once at an outdoor theater event. We had folding chairs and I had my 4' hair over the back of mine so it wouldn't get caught under me. I didn't notice that the older ladies behind me were touching my hair until I caught that they were TALKING ABOUT IT while playing with it. I literally had to pull my hair out of their hands. WTF, people.

This is why I wear my hair up in a severe bun almost all the time now. Well, that and TX heat, but yeah.

Verity

@MagicBeanie What is it about elderly women and hair? I have red hair, and had it stroked by unknown elderly women in the street on numerous occasions as a child. DO NOT WANT.

(I am sure it is only a small proportion of elderly women who do this, but they are the only group who I have noticed doing it.)

wharrgarbl

@Ophelia Getting a whole wild bird caught in my hair was legitimately way less devastating than the wasp. The wasp was just a horror-show.

Vera Knoop

@wharrgarbl BRB shaving my head

parallel-lines

God, it's like the Merry Go Round scene in Hannibal!

dale

This makes me somewhat glad I usually have it up in a clip or ponytail. :-/

redheaded&crazy

I like people touching my hair! But, you know, not strangers.

hairouna

As a lady with a big ole 'fro, the ninja hair touchers are my worst nightmare. I really like having my hair petted by people I KNOW and LOVE. You have to be a member of both categories or you'll get slapped. No exceptions (except for cute babies), but the sheer amount of people who reach for my hair is staggering.

wharrgarbl

@hairouna I still don't get how people can not comprehend/respect the fact that going for someone's hair is just Not A Done Thing. Like, come on, guys. This isn't rocket science. Keep your hands to yourselves unless you know someone's cool with you getting touchy.

iceberg

@hairouna But why did you grow that type of hair if you didn't want people to touch it?

I'M JOKING, PEOPLE ARE THE WORST.

Seems like there are certain characteristics that people just decide allow them to override common decency.

hairouna

@iceberg Some people actually do ask and then get upset when I say "no". There's a level of entitlement to other people's (especially ladies') bodies that is disturbing. It's like when a lady gets pregnant and all of a sudden everyone just lunges towards her belly. BOUNDARIES!

iceberg

@hairouna Haha I almost put that in my comment (preggo belly touching) but really it only happened once to me, not really comparable to what you're talking about!!! Ugh I cannot IMAGINE the thought process that is like, but I asked nicely, why does this complete stranger not want my hands that have been gods-know-where all up on her?

wharrgarbl

@hairouna

Dear people,

If you want to touch someone else, and you ask nicely, and they tell you no, and you get bent out of shape, you are a bad person.

Hugs and kisses,
Common Sense

Blushingflwr

@wharrgarbl It's because they're asking as a formality, and they expect the answer to be yes. It's like when you phrase your order to a server as "can I get the chicken?". You don't expect him to say "no, actually, you can't". Or if you ask someone "mind if I sit" and they say "yes, actually, I do" for any reason other than that they're holding the seat for someone else.

wharrgarbl

@Blushingflwr Yes, I know. Only this is about physical access to another human being's body, so, you know. Bad person.

hairouna

@iceberg And it's amazing that it doesn't fall along demographic lines. Old Upper East side lady and dude on a bus in Brooklyn, both of them are mortally offended that they can't run their fingers through my hair. I just can't understand it. I go through a lot of effort to NOT touch strangers. I live in NYC we are not supposed to make eye contact or touch, them's the rules!

soul toast

@hairouna They want to run their fingers through your hair? Ewwww! (Not your hair, I'm sure it's lovely. Ew to strangers' hands.)
My sister has super curly hair and even she avoids touching it too much because the oils from her hands can mess up the way she's styled it.

hairouna

@soul toast I'll avoid going into a long obsessive post about the evolution of my hair care practices. But at this point in fro-ownership I have it down to a fine and lazy art. So much so, that the more it is messed up the better it looks. So I actually have my hands in my hair a lot. And if I had a dude-friend he would be invited to play too. It is one of my favorite things.

JadedStone

There is an old lady client at work who is constantly trying to run her fingers through my hair. I've taken to wearing it up when she comes in.
ugh.
Granted, this is the same woman who rubbed my leg cause she liked my pants and squeezed my ATM cause it looked soft. GAH.

JadedStone

@Jade OH MAN. TOTALLY FORGOT AWESOME STORY UNTIL THIS MOMENT AND IT EXPLAINS SO MUCH:

When I was 12 we were taking a hover boat thing from hong kong to china. (family vacation thing) I fell asleep and woke to a Chinese boy running his fingers through my brownish blonde hair. He'd never seen brown hair, apparently. To this day I won't go on long airplane/boat trips without a hat.

WhiskeySour

@Jade I'm sorry to have to ask (maybe I'm just dense today) but what is your ATM? I've never heard that turn of phrase before.

hairouna

@Jade I'm trying to comprehend how that lady thought that squeezing any part of you was okay and I'm just coming up blank. I don't know what an ATM is either but OMG whatever it is can she please keep herself to herself.

meetapossum

@Jade I had my leg rubbed by a little boy on the train going up to the Getty museum in LA. Not enjoyable!

JadedStone

@WhiskeySour That is my stupid phone playing the autocorrect game and my not catching it.

My ARM. Not ATM. Sigh.

WhiskeySour

@Jade Oh! Still creepy and NO TOUCHING! But a lot less worse than every Urban Dictionary-esque possibility I was considering!

Hellcat

@meetapossum I was walking up a mountain once (OK, that sounds so weird--I mean maybe not technically a mountain, but a very big hill of a fishing village island in Mexico (and curse me for not remembering the place's name... Patzcuaro? I don't think that's it), the kind that spirals around with places to eat and vendors and all that stuff. Anyway, I kept feeling a hand on my bum as I walked, like kind of holding onto the top of the pocket and nothing pervy really, and I just figured it was the guy I was with. Finally, I saw that it was a little tiny boy! I laughed and his very embarrassed dad apologized profusely and explained that his wife always wears faded Levi's (he kindly didn't mention filthy and/or ill-fitting though) and the boy must not have been watching where he was going and gotten confused.

I also have a friend who, while in a long line to get into a show or something, thinks it's funny to sort of rub his ass on whichever one of us is behind him. Joke was on him one day when he realized we were all in front of him. The big bouncer, to his credit, was forgiving if a bit confused.

Xanthophyllippa

@WhiskeySour I just assumed that she actually meant ATM, and it looked squishy, and this woman was somewhere along the autism/Asperger's spectrum who was extremely tactile and not very socially comfortable.

@Jade I had a lot of people in China ask to touch my long, blonde, curly hair (and a few little kids who didn't ask). Also, a young woman sighed wistfully and told me I had beautiful eyes, and that she'd never seen blue eyes before but wished hers were blue, too. But she did not try to touch them.

Hellcat

@Xanthophyllippa My tall, blond, Nordic friend visited Japan a few years ago, and said that a lot of people wanted to take pictures with him. He was first confused, then he hoped he was being mistaken for a celebrity, but then felt like a zoo creature, even though he was cooperative about it. And now maybe he graces the photo albums of complete strangers.

Xanthophyllippa

@Hellcat Yes! And they probably show the picture to all their friends, who are like, WOW. My friend and I had a lot of younger/teenage women giggle and ask to take pictures with us; one group even said, "we are learning English; will you come talk to us and then let us take pictures?" We laughed and said sure. Then a woman came up to us and whispered in pretty good English that her husband had always wanted to meet an American woman, and would we stand for a picture with him? We said yes, and he blushed and was clearly so happy that we even gave him hugs afterward.

One day I was out with another friend - she's 6'2", I'm 5'0", and we're both blonde and blue-eyed - and we heard some giggling. When we turned around, there was a guy on a motorcycle with his girlfriend riding on the back, and they'd been taking pictures of us. We posed, and then lifted up our cameras and they posed, so now my album has this awesome photo of a Chinese guy in a very James Dean pose and his vaguely goth girlfriend, both making the peace sign.

EternalFootwoman

@Jade Once I was on the train and kept swatting at the fly I thought was landing on the back of my arm. After the third time, I turned to look and saw the woman behind me reaching through the seats to stroke my tattoo! She must have noticed my look because she stopped and mumbled something about how nice the art was. It's skin, creepy lady. It feels the same as everyone else's skin.

Emmylou Who

@Xanthophyllippa My 6'tall sister, who has a giant mass of ringlet like curly blonde hair, currently lives in China. She has had strands of her hair ripped out of her head mutliple times while out in bars. Her Mandarin speaking friends and coworkers have taken to acting as her "bodyguard" for both hair pullers and frantic photo takers. She's kind of oblivious to both (she also lived in Egypt where the same thing happened), but they are all sick of the commotion her American-ness is constantly causing.

digsapony

@Jade A few years ago I had very short, fluffy bleached blonde hair like duck down. I was on a bus with my friend and became aware that the two smal children sitting behind me were kneeling on their seats and gently petting my hair. This went on for most of the journey. Most of me thought it was sweet but I did wonder why their mother didn't tell them to stop it. Personal space is an important lesson.

Xanthophyllippa

@Jade When small children are the perpetrators of some sort of annoying behavior, I turn around and say, in my very best I-am-about-to-cry voice, "Please don't do that. It makes me sad." Then I stare at them until they stop.

Jinxie

I can't believe Prudie's response is, essentially, "just ignore the hair toucher and maybe make sure you always sit behind her". (Wait, actually, I can TOTALLY believe Prudie's advice is terrible, because it's Prudie and "gives terrible advice" is sort of her thing.) Why not "tell the lady to stop touching other ladies' hair"? Or, if you're feeling less confrontational, "Tell the bus driver that a regular passenger is being super creepy." Taking public transit every day is difficult enough without having to tolerate stuff that's relatively easily dealt with.

muddgirl

@Jinxie Seriously, (I haven't read that far but) how is the answer not "Very loudly say STOP TOUCHING THAT LADY'S HAIR!" Everyone on the bus is thinking it. Just say it.

Judith Slutler

@Jinxie Right!? Someone needs to stand up for public decency on that hellbus.

liverwortlaura

@Emmanuelle Cunt THIS is the absolute best way to deal with any and all shenanigans on public transit. Guy touches your leg? say, "EXCUSE ME, your hand is ON MY LEG" loud enough that EVERYONE LOOKS. Takes guts, yes. totally worth it.

Scandyhoovian

@Jinxie Prudence is so very hit and miss, especially when it comes to other people's space and boundaries, for some reason? Her advice on sex and drinking often reads like "Keep Your Sins Away From Me" to me.

But then other times, I really like what she has to say, particularly when it comes to parenting -- where she almost always firmly puts her foot down in "parenting is up to the parents that are raising that child, and you don't get to meddle in that."

Jinxie

@Scandyhoovian I know! The fact that she's sometimes alright is what keeps me coming back. "Maybe this time!" I think, "maybe she'll get this one right!" but more often than not I read and my optimism turns to D:

Bebe

@liverwortlaura I dealt with a public masturbator that way once! He had pulled his penis out on the bus and was stroking it. Meanwhile, he was the 3rd public masturbator I'd seen on public transportation in as many months (CTA, represent!), and by then, I'd just had it with these guys. So I yelled, very loudly, "SIR - YOU NEED TO PUT YOUR PENIS AWAY. THAT IS NOT APPROPRIATE!" We were just about to stop so he jumped up and ran off the bus immediately. I may have accidentally given him an even bigger thrill, but at the time it felt great to actually say something.

Ophelia

@liverwortlaura It's like that woman on the NYC subway who verbally reamed out the guy who grabbed her ass a few years ago? She was AWESOME.

WaityKatie

@Ophelia Oh yes. Oh fucking yes.

liverwortlaura

@Bebe God, CTA is the worst (see fondling story upthread). BUT YOU ARE MY HERO. I also very loudly, verbally exposed the man who fondled me. But the vast majority of women who men touch or expose themselves to don't say ANYTHING. So every time I hear a story like this, it makes my heart sing (my heart would sing more if I never heard another one of these stories again, but you get what I mean)

Punk-assBookJockey

@Bebe OMG you don't ride the 52 bus do you? Because I saw that exact thing happen on the 52 once probably about a year ago and a lady basically said that to him. She was(you were) awesome.

The Lady of Shalott

@Bebe Yes, shout! Shout at people! Once I was in a public library and a guy came up to me in the stacks with a trenchcoat on, said "So....you have a boyfriend?" and grabbed the edges of his coat, and I said "STOP BOTHERING ME AND LEAVE ME ALONE." He scuttled off. I spent the next ten minutes looking for the library security, but the librarians told me he had gone to lunch and wouldn't be back for a half-hour. Secure.

Hellcat

@Bebe I love that you managed to be stern yet polite!

frigwiggin

Another good reason to go get my buzz cut refreshed soon! So far I haven't had any strangers try to touch my head, although friends have asked nicely first. (And I don't blame them, I was petting myself constantly when it was first buzzed. Heeheeheeeeeee so fuzzy.)

maybe partying will help

@frigwiggin

Honestly, I'm pretty sure that the reason that I cut my hair off at a relatively early age (13) and kept it in a variation of a pixie up to the present day is that in middle school this horrible girl on the bus indulged in a form of bullying which was just her pulling my hair and then acting like nothing was happening/snickering when I turned around.

Now no one will ever touch my hair again! BECAUSE IT ISN'T THERE. /bwahahahaaaa

Except my gent. He can pet my head no matter how long or short my hair is. Dat's nice.

frigwiggin

@maybe partying will help

Dat is, as you say, nice. Mmmmmm.

swirrlygrrl

@frigwiggin I do love rubbing a brush cut!!! With permission of course. I find my leg hair, when mostly grown out, gives a similar pleasure, though it's better with the lots of head hair version.

EternalFootwoman

@frigwiggin The buzz cut did seriously cut down on strangers touching my hair (it was waist-length and spiraly-curly before I buzzed it), which is interesting because touching it is the first thing my friends and family want to do when they see me. Maybe buzzed women are more intimidating?

frigwiggin

Ohhhh my goooooood, the "friend" who donated money to a pro-life organization after the LW's baby's death...ohhhhhh myyyyyyy gooooooood.

iceberg

@frigwiggin I KNOW RIGHT? Cleanse with fire.

frigwiggin

@frigwiggin Also the interview question. I think I sprained my jaw from ohhhhhh myyyyyy goooooood-ing too hard.

WhiskeySour

@frigwiggin WHY? Why would somebody do that? It's just...GAH!

wharrgarbl

@WhiskeySour Because they're assholes. In both cases. Cleansing fires, let the wind take the ashes.

WhiskeySour

@wharrgarbl Yes, the friend is clearly an asshole. But I generally think most people, even (especially) the assholes see themselves as the hero or heroine in his or her own life and like to think they're doing the right thing. So I guess I'm trying to figure out the thought process. Like, "Hey my friend's baby just died. (Insert thought process here.) I know, I'm going to donate to a pro-life organization in the baby's name!"

Judith Slutler

@frigwiggin And the postdoc with the nosy-ass colleague who comments on her food choices... wut

Scandyhoovian

@frigwiggin I can't imagine any "imagine yourself in that scenario" situation in which I would not end up punching that pro-life donation-maker and then never speaking to her again.

wharrgarbl

@WhiskeySour I think a lot of times it's more "Look how much better I am than you" than "I'm the hero of my own story." Or they've heard so many bullshit "And then eeeeeeeverybody converted!" stories that they were expecting their tremendously assholish move to result in an epiphany about mumble mumble god's plan. And of course, some people are just genuinely fucked in the head, and you'd need a funhouse mirror to get their perspective on things. My money would be on option 2 in the "I donated to my anti-choice bros in your dead baby's name" case.

WhiskeySour

@wharrgarbl I just realized a couple of additional rage-inducers to this. The "friend" gets a tax deduction for her donation in the child's name. And the parent of the child is now probably on the mailing and call lists related to this organization. Ugh.

OhMarie

@WhiskeySour I was playing this game too! My theory is that the "toddler dead from a long and painful illness" might mean that it was congenital, and therefore it's like a don't abort your baby with this condition thing.

Also this person is terrible.

Xanthophyllippa

@WhiskeySour YES! This is why I was considering making a donation to a pro-life organization as a going-away gift for a colleague who has gone out of her way to be openly disrespectful towards me and whom I therefore (unsurprisingly) hate.

@Emmanuelle Cunt Also YES! That was HORRIBLE advice from Prudie. No matter how the LW sucks up to that asshat, he'll never be on her side, and she won't be able to work productively if he keeps making dickweeded comments about her diet. The food-shaming might stop if she takes Prudie's approach, but he'll just find something else to comment on. Oh, and Prudie -- "sexual" doesn't just mean "he said I had a fuckable ass" -- a number of workplaces (mine included) consider unsolicited remarks about one's appearance or body to be sexual harassment, and it wouldn't be an impossible stretch to suggest that continued comments about what a woman is eating could be construed as such. Especially if he doesn't pull that shit on the male postdocs.

frigwiggin

RE: adopted brother question: "Once and a while?" Why do people not stop and think about whether the turns of phrase they're messing up make sense in their incorrect form?

meetapossum

@frigwiggin They should proofread their work, for all intensive purposes.

Scandyhoovian

@meetapossum They should of done it before they sent it two Prudence.

(Not that that's a turn of phrase, but... well. It's still obnoxious. My favorite is 'doggy dog world.')

meetapossum

@Scandyhoovian All these malapropisms are really beyond my apprehension.

Ophelia

@meetapossum Ugh, god, you guys, this thread is making my eye twitch.

meetapossum

@Ophelia I've been waiting with baited breath for a thread like this.

frigwiggin

@meetapossum We've all just been taking proper language use for granite, really.

Pound of Salt

@Scandyhoovian Haha I've never heard "doggy dog world" but that's just amazing. Better, really.

datalass

@Scandyhoovian Secretly, I love it when someone says 'doggy dog world' because it takes something meant to be cut-throat and ruthless and instead invokes, basically, puppy bowl.

datalass

@meetapossum Irregardless, these phrases are what our language is comprised of, supposably.

liverwortlaura

@datalass I had a coworker that always complained about being the "escaped goat" in her family......... which was really fun to visualize.

KatieBarTheDoor

@scandyhoovian Its too bad these people often don't do what their suppose to do.

churlishgreen

@frigwiggin slightly off-topic but related: a senior partner in my husband's law firm uses phrases such as "sword of Da-MOCK-lee-us" and words such as "perjergative" (pejorative). Because his malapropisms are so hilarious, we have adopted some of them ourselves, and probably sound like idiots when overheard...

frigwiggin

@churlishgreen I know someone who says "coup de grace" with no regard to its French pronunciation. "COOP DEE GRAAAYYCE." Multiple times. I don't know why it comes up so often.

Ophelia

@churlishgreen We also have started pronouncing some correct words kind of like they're GW Bush malapropisms? Itinerary, for example, just sounds totally wrong when you say it like W.

dj pomegranate

@Ophelia I cannot say "strategy" anymore. My default is now "strategery." Thanks, SNL/GWB!

wee_ramekin

@all Ugh, I am so wary of all these malapropisms. It makes me weary of anyone who claims to be educated and then uses one.

brooklebee

@frigwiggin Alot of the time people don't think before they open they're mouths.

frigwiggin

@brooklebee You guys are just taking my breathe away. I'm on tender hooks waiting for the next one!

tea tray in the sky.

@churlishgreen My roommate used to say "Valentimes Day". I hated her all February ("Febuary").

Xanthophyllippa

@tea tray in the sky. I love Febuary! The liberry puts up decorations for Valentimes Day.

Also, @all of you: If this writing teacher has nightmares tonight, it's YOUR FAULT.

meetapossum

@tea tray in the sky. Are you sure it wasn't a Teen Girl Squad reference?

Tiiiiiiines tiiiiiiiiines

meetapossum

@meetapossum I said "cimmanon" instead of "cinnamon" for a long time. I had to pay pacific attention each time I said it to correct myself.

tea tray in the sky.

@meetapossum Ah! The first time she said it, I DID think it was a Teen Girl Squad reference and responded with "I have a crush on every boy" only to get a blank stare. We never grew to understand each other.

swirrlygrrl

@tea tray in the sky. Arrowed!!!

EternalFootwoman

@tea tray in the sky. Um, I sadly don't understand what's wrong with
"Febuary". The "r" is silent, yes?

I have a friend who says "all of the sudden" and it drives me nuts.

meetapossum

@EternalFootwoman That's a whole nother problem.

Killerpants

@frigwiggin Tender hooks! Ha. I have a lovely, smart, articulate friend who always pronounces caveat "cah-veet." It's actually kind of cute at this point.

Ellie

@EternalFootwoman My experience is that most people do say "Febuary" and that it's an accepted pronunciation. I pronounce the R but I'm a bit of a snob and pronounce the T in "often," etc.

meetapossum

@Ellie That reminds me that my friend made fun of the way I pronounce "button" the other day. Sorry, I grew up in New Jersey and use a glottal stop! Buh-in forever!

EternalFootwoman

@Ellie A brief bit of Internet research tells me that the silent "r" in February is one of those things that's become acceptable only because so many people say it that way. I am ashamed--but! I've literally never heard anyone say the "r" except in jest. Nevertheless. Shame.

katekari

@frigwiggin This whole thread is a real sword in my thigh.

Xanthophyllippa

@EternalFootwoman @Ellie I say both Rs in February! I don't think it's a silent R as much as it is an elided consonant.

EternalFootwoman

@Xanthophyllippa Today's panicked O-God-I-say-it-wrong-and-people-think-I'm-uneducated reading makes me agree that it's an elided consonant in practice. But I always thought it was a silent "r" that you weren't supposed to say. How have I never heard anyone say Feb-ru-ary for real?

At least I have six months to practice before Feb-ru-ary comes around.

tea tray in the sky.

@Ellie I don't think you're supposed to pronounce the T in "often"? I mean, I think it's become accepted usage just because of prevalence, but I'd think purists leave it out. But I'm a pedant who pronounces both Rs in "February", so. Need to get out mooooore

JaneDoe

@swirrlygrrl
Shakespeared!!!

Ophelia

The one about the cousins who are in love...a friend of mine from college has parents who are 2nd cousins. We joke that he has a family wreath, instead of a family tree.

BuffyBot

@Ophelia My step-dad is my mom's first cousin. I'm not a fan of it.

hairouna

@Ophelia My great-grands on mom's side were first cousins. My mom's cousin married my father's sister, so I joke that my aunt married my cousin. My country, it is tiny.

rhapsody in bleu

@Ophelia: My ancestors on my father's side are all Anabaptists of one stripe or another (mostly Old Order Mennonite), and, like the Amish, they marry inside the faith. Soooooo, LOTS of interfamily relationships. My dad is actually also my cousin. I made sure I married far, far out of the family tree.

BadWolf

@BuffyBot My mom's parents were first cousins. I almost never tell anyone. They didn't meet till they were adults, which was just after almost everyone else in their family died in the concentration camps, so maybe they get a pass. But really.

BuffyBot

@BadWolf Mine were so close, we knew him as "uncle." It's a rough adjustment, especially since he' really creepy and doesn't like wearing clothes around us.

BadWolf

@BuffyBot ...Wow. Good heavens. That sounds unbelievably rough.

Megasus

@BuffyBot well if any of your siblings are under 18 I would be calling the police SO FAST

BuffyBot

I had a 5th grade teacher who had long hair but then cut it and he then took to touching our hair. We left the principal an anonymous note that it made us uncomfortable but nothing was done about it. A few years later I heard he was fired for inappropriately touching a student's legs.

BadWolf

@BuffyBot Oh, my god, your terrible story made me think of mine! In high school, I had waist-length hair. I went to an Orthodox Jewish school where almost all my married female teachers wore wigs. One day, in 9th grade Early Prophets class, my teacher, who was wandering around the room as she read aloud from her I Kings, paused by my desk and started absentmindedly stroking my hair. And then! She looked up from the book, and said, "BadWolf, you have such lovely hair! If you cut it, please tell me, I want to have it for a sheitel [wig]."

This, however, was considered totally normal, and no one understood why I was grossed out.

dj pomegranate

@BadWolf Aaaaaaahh this is the story of the day. "If you cut it, please tell me, I want to have it!" Aaaahhh!

Munich Pixie Dream Girl

This happened to me when I was about 9 on a bus in A.C. I was sitting next to my mom and this woman began stroking my hair, saying "pretty hair. Such pretty hair." My mom, who is is super nice and one of the least confrontational people I know, grabbed the woman's wrist, and said "Please do NOT touch my daughter's hair." I was super blonde at the time, and I guess the woman had never seen anything like it? Still one of the weirdest bus rides of my life.

Hellcat

@lostinthesupermarket It is reminding me of Rhoda in The Bad Seed (not your hair, but the lady's behavior), when she'd stroke her mom's face in some kind of hypnotic, plotting way.

sophi

@lostinthesupermarket I had really bright blonde hair when I was little (it has now mellowed to a much darker blonde), and when we lived in Saudi Arabia, people would try to touch it all the time, since they had never seen anything like it before!

Stevie

WHAT ABOUT THE REVERSE? I often sit or stand on a crowded subway, and I hate when some stranger's long hair is brushing against any part of my bare skin (upper arm, face, etc.) It's disgusting and I don't know how to handle it, so I usually just move/try to cover the skin/make faces. Can I say something?

liverwortlaura

@Stevie this is also true! I am horrible at saying things that don't immediately affect my safety (too loud headphones, speaker phones, etc.)

Judith Slutler

@Stevie I don't know, but this reminds me of my best friend in middle school who had the most amazing coppery red waist-length hair... and any time you got within a 1 foot radius of it, it would attack you with a staticky vengeance.

I don't think I ever said anything to her about it. Just kept casually brushing her static-electric hair casually off of my arms and back.

PatatasBravas

@Stevie Yes you can! It is not at all rude to ask someone to move their hair.

I mean, some people will probably escalate their rude in response, but it's worth a shot to ask nicely.

fabel

@Stevie My hair has assaulted strangers before & it's not even like, super long or anything? Usually I'll notice & go "Oh, sorry" but now I'm wondering if there's any time I hadn't (noticed)...

Pound of Salt

@Stevie Yeah, what is it about other people's hair that it can seem so gross? What weird evolution thing happened there?

liverwortlaura

@Pound of Salt I know lots of people get grossed out by the idea of hair, which seems just a cultural thing - but I think the sensation of feeling someone's hair might be more universal, similar to walking through spiderwebs (I'll probably catch hell for this, because I'm sure there's people out there who love strangers' hair brushing their arms or a face full of spider silk.)

Hellcat

@Stevie I do not like this either, even if it is the most beautiful hair in the world. Maybe it goes hand in hand with the fact that I will go nuts trying to find whatever loose piece of my own hair is tickling the back of my arm (somehow, I can tell when it's an unattached strand and not just part of the rest of it, which doesn't bother me too much).

Xanthophyllippa

@Hellcat I spent an hour today slapping and groping at the back of my left arm trying to get that one strand of hair to stop sticking to me. Finally I went into the bathroom to do a closer inspection and realized that the hair was on my shirt - or, rather, IN my shirt. Somehow a hair had gotten embedded in the fabric and was sticking out in just the right way to trace wispy circles on my arm.

Hellcat

@Xanthophyllippa It is maddening! And it is never not happening to me, I swear.

Pound of Salt

@liverwortlaura How DARE you make assumptions about pinners' attitudes towards a faceful of spider silk!

But really ugh shudder

liverwortlaura

@Pound of Salt I inhaled (like, swallowed) a spiderweb once, and.... yeah, as bad as you could imagine. It stuck to the back of my throat and I couldn't get rid of the feeling for...days?

Pound of Salt

@liverwortlaura OH MY GOD THE HACKING

dollguts

@Emmanuelle Cunt I have staticky red copper waistlength hair! And I am constantly being told off because it has floated away into someone's handbag and caused some sort of ruckus.
Also, I love when people play with my hair. Absolutely love it. I ask people to do it.

People I know, that is.

Heat Signature

I used to really love touching other girls' hair as a child, then I grew up and realized that other people's hair is gross (except for my son's and my husband's).

Bebe

My husband often compares me to a cat because I love, love, love having him "pet" my hair. I love getting my hair washed/blown dried, love having someone else brush my hair. HOWEVER, that story is totally creeping me the out.

datalass

@Bebe Yeah, I love having someone wash my hair but the thought of some random stranger touching it makes me heave.

coconuts

I wouldn't be cool with some random person touching my hair but I LOVE it when people touch my hair. Caress it, braid it, do whatever you want to it.

Susanna

I used to mod on a site for people with long hair and we had lots of hassle from hair fetishists of all sorts. They stole photos and put them on fetish sites. Filmed people in the street and sold the DVDs. Tried in wheedle their way into peoples' confidence.

It could be extra sinister too – some of them were into nonconsensual stuff like jizzing in sleeping women's braids or cutting off hair or shaving heads. If you ever see a YouTube video featuring a sad looking woman having her hair shaved off and it's got hundreds of thousands of views, you'll know why.

frigwiggin

@Susanna whaaaaaaaat

(I wanted to say something that actually contributed to the conversation, but all I can say is whaaaaaaaaaaat)

sophi

@Susanna I've been growing my hair out for a few years, and I've always maintained that if I decide to cut it, I definitely am going to sell it to a fetishist. I mean, better than they get their kicks from someone willing than from some poor unsuspecting person, right?

Susanna

@Susanna Definitely! and they'll probably pay your more than a wig manufacturer (who need totally virgin hair). Don't forget to video it happening.

Pocket Witch

I can talk about hair for eternity and a half!
- If people ask me for permission to touch my hair, I'm okay with it.
- Perfect response to "Wow, your hair is so long!" and similar comments (kindly meant, but I've never before known quite what to say): "Thanks! I grew it myself."
- And I just cut two feet off my hair. It's still long, but not so long that I can't reach the ends to brush them.

Elsajeni

@Pocket Witch "Thanks! I grew them myself!" is also what I say when my husband compliments my tits.

meetapossum

@Elsajeni I like to use the phrase, "Thanks, I've always been rather attached to them myself."

sophi

A few months ago, I went out with some friends and hit my head really bad on a metal pole that was right behind my chair. My friend started giving me a head massage to make it hurt less and at one point she was like, oh wow your hair smells really good, and a guy who had been sitting with us who we didn't know at all and who had been flirting with me all night leaned forward so he could get a whiff? No, you are not allowed to smell my hair! My friend had to practically smack him away.

TimChuma

Reminds me of some nut who complained on an public message board about a woman twirling her hair in the computer lab and the woman posted back that he was the one acting like a nut cackling in the middle of a computer lab and glaring at people for no reason.

In all honesty I thought this was going to be another "hair pulling" type episode.

josep

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linkaccu

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1963248500@twitter

There were a ton of folks (unintentionally, I think) ALL up in my grill simply because there was no space so if someone wanted to play with my hair I doubt I would've noticed. mountain house

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