Sunday, March 27, 2011

New Series: Bitchfest, Episode 1

I've never been so irritated in my life! I am surprised and mystified by the way people's minds work, all because of this one person. In fact, I am so irritated that I decided to start a new series on my blog, called Bitchfest. I will occasionally rant here about people who are stupid, ignorant and uncultured. Yes, that's just the beginning! I have to get this out of my system, or I'll never be able to do anything else.

So here is the first episode of Bitchfest, titled
How often do you wash your hair? Or how to become an American in one easy step!

All you people out there, how often do you wash your hair? A typical Indian washes their hair 2-3 times a week, often after oiling it. Sometimes oiling it the night before. Sometimes no oil. But growing up, I washed my hair 1-2 times a week (and of course, always for a party or special event). Every country, I think, has its own habits of washing hair. After coming to the US, I learnt that most Americans wash their hair everyday. I never gave this another thought and continued my usual habits.

Last year, I was in conversation with three other girls, two Chinese and one Indian. The conversation turned to hair. Both of us Indians said that we washed our hair twice a week or so, and often oiled it as well. The Chinese women were surprised: they had always washed their hair everyday. Then this other Indian girl, lets call her K, started telling them about how it was bad for hair, and how you should not wash it everyday as this meant more chemicals in hair, etc. etc. and so on. Now, this convinced one of the Chinese girls and then she said she would also wash her hair less often. I remembered this conversation very well.

Now, almost an year later I was meeting K again along with two other girls (not Indian or Chinese). Girls being girls, the conversation again turned to how to keep your hair pretty. And K then said that now she did not get time to wash her hair everyday as she was now working. I stared at her, flabbergasted. So I asked her how often did she wash it now? And she said that she now washed it 2-3 times a week, but earlier she always washed it EVERY day. I was baffled, since this was exactly the opposite of what she had said last year. Since I recalled last year's conversation very well, I asked her again. And again she said that before she started working, she washed her hair every day.

Till last year, she was a fervent supporter of the fact that hair should be washed less often. And she gave lots of examples of the same, trying to convince the two Chinese girls. Then suddenly she learnt that Americans washed their hair everyday. And an year later, that is what she professes she did.

What went on in this woman's mind? That saying she washed her hair everyday would make her American? Or she thought I had completely forgotten last year's conversation? Or that she genuinely had/ has no sense of self and can pretend to be anything she thinks is better? So, she has such an inherent lack of any sense of self that she quickly copies what she perceives as being more superior (in this case, American habit= superior). Washing your hair everyday makes you better? Wow, that is new take on status symbols.

I wonder how this person's mind works. Is being in America so difficult that she employs these weird stratagems? Maybe she feels out of place and is doing this to feel at home. In that case, I would suggest she take pronunciation lessons. That would really help!


Ruchi said...

Hi, I discovered your blog recently and I can totally relate to you. I encounter such people everyday, trying to portray they don't fit in the defined Indian mold and how lucky they are to be here, or let's just say outside of India. And you would be surprised, there are people who I know who are so made that they are Indians that they want to hide it as much as they can. I try to keep such people at an arm's length

Rachna said...

@Ruchi- yes, I have now decided to ignore such people, and root them out of my life! Otherwise I keep fuming and fretting. You are right, the only way to deal with such people is to ignore them.

Sachinky said...

To Ruchi -- I'd like to know what is the "defined Indian mold?" I wasn't aware there was one. I certainly don't fit into one. Not now, not when I lived in India for eighteen years.

Regarding the post, I hate oiling my hair, probably have done it twice in my life, under my mother's orders when I was young. And I wash my hair every day. Have done so every day since eighth grade back when I lived at home in Calcutta. My hair is unruly and manageable. The least I can do is keep it squeaky clean on a daily basis.