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Comic: How To Pay a Compliment
cap, captain miss america
Man, I suck! I totally forgot to post my comic on time. Here it is a little late. All the things that happened in this comic are true things that happened to me-- and the timing is appropriate since an instance of the "wrong way" happened today! Oh, people. Someday I will start grabbing your hair back if I didn't suspect you of having icky germs.

The first eight mailings for No Place for a Black Ace went out today! So you should expect them to start coming in your mailboxes early next week. You can still sign up if you haven't yet.

Mirrored from Antagonia.net.

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A yankee? I only know it as the term for American, and if it means that in this context, holy shit.

Lol at "do you wash it".

Yankees are "northeners", as opposed to southerners, which is the accent this lady is trying very hard to have. :)

Thank you! I've heard the southern accent before, at least.

It's what people from the Southeast US call people from the Northeast!

And people ask that a lot. That and "how do you get it to grow that way?" and "is it natural?" and "it smells clean!"

"It smells clean"? What the hell is that supposed to mean? I mean, like, okay, yay, it smells clean, but why is that something that needs to be vocalized?

I think it is a registration of shock at the fact that my hair is clean like theirs. A few times people have actually taken my hair and held it up to my nose to smell it. Once when I was about fifteen a lady did it in a restaurant and asked me if I used shampoo or if that was how I always smelled.

"No, this smell is actually a defense mechanism. If my hair smells like that it means it's about to reach out and drag some more wretched stupid person to their doom."

Shh! kittehkat already thinks my hair is going to do that.

I like telling my boyfriend his hair smells clean. But of course that's something different than what people do with you :p

I just love the smell of freshly washed hair, so "your hair smells clean" is just a compliment. He hates getting "real" compliments (like "you're so smart/beautiful/handy"), so I end up complimenting him on things he doesn't have to do anything special for. Compliments like "your hair smells clean", "your skin is so soft" or "your mouse scrolls so neatly" are completely non-threatening to him, so I give those :p

I'm a big hair-smeller with boyfriends. Wouldn't ever do it with anyone else though! :p

Hmm, I didn't know that!

So odd. Why wouldn't it smell clean? Why are people smelling your hair?! It's like curly hair brings out the crazies.

I think it's less so curly hair and more hair that doesn't fit into certain people's definition of "whiteness." I have a lot of white, curly-haired friends whose hair conforms more to what people normally consider white hair who don't experience this, or at least don't experience it regularly, but several of my black and Latina friends do. People sometimes ask me if I'm white or what my ethnicity is, and I think it's because they're not used to seeing white people with hair like mine, so they assume I am either not white or part white, and use that as a frame of reference for how they treat me. And of course people who aren't white aren't capable of washing their hair and don't deserve to have people respect their boundaries.

Dear God. Are you of color and your icon's nonindicative or are people just this freaking clueless about anything that has a texture?

Nope! I am white. But my hair is much closer to what a lot of people would consider mixed hair than typical white hair in texture and thickness and curliness. I don't know any other white people with hair like mine-- my mom has curly hair, but hers is more like white-people-curly-hair. A lot of people also ask me if I'm white, so apparently hair is enough of a "not white" indicator to confuse people who like to put people in neat little boxes. So I do think that this is still racialized behavior-- at least, it seems like that to me.

Ahhh, makes sense - it just sounded so much like a ton of 'don't touch my hair' stories I'd heard from black people who go 'natural'. Which makes the Southern woman extra special too. Either way, wow, some people are morons.

I'd suggest telling them it's not clean and you are swimming with AIDS herpes lice, but that doesn't solve things. Man, I'm so sorry.

Oh it is nothing to be sorry about! People are just fucktarded. And some of the time it is like holy crap you really just said that, didn't you? Like the last lady.

I understand. My hair is curly but when I straighten it people don't recognize me.

I said this out loud but I don't get how that happens! Your hair is not curly enough for you to look totally different!

Man I totally sympathise! I get those reactions on a fairly regular basis as well (though maybe not the 'wow-do-you-wash-it' part) now that I've grown my hair out. And yes I also get the questions about my ethnicity too (friends of my boyfriend were dead sure that I was part African - imagine their surprise when they learned I was only half Italian and half Serbian).
It's good to see that I'm not the only one :)

I am guilty of rubbing people's heads a lot. IT IS BAD I SHOULD STOP I KNOW NO ONE LIKES IT. I really haven't done it much in recent years, since befriending someone who shoots you glances of DEATH if you rub her head. That has kind of soured the experience. ;)

Haha - people are weirdos! I wonder if your hair doesn't have magical powers that cause people to lose all sense of decorum and personal space.

Also - thank you for my snowflake sugar cookie v-gift!

Thank you for the cookie! I really needed the smile today :-)

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