So here I am seated just across the table from where Gloria is. We are not talking. In fact we haven't said a word since the last time she returned from the salon. I know she spent a lot of time (and my money) at the salon getting her hair done. I also know I should say something about her hair. Or about the fact that she spent time (and my own money) getting the latest hairstyle. But having promised myself not to breathe a word, I am going to stay true to my word.

I am not going to compliment Gloria's new hairdo!

I don't get it. But then again I should know better than wanting to understand a woman. Gloria and I haven't known each other for too long for us to let familiarity breed contempt. I don't hate her. I just hate what she wants me to do. There is no way I am going to compliment her new hairstyle. I am not doing this because she used a lot of my money (more than I spend to get my weekly haircut!). No. I am not doing that because of that. I just don't know how to tell you this, okay?

But I hope you will understand (even if you don't agree with everything I tell you) me. Before I tell you about it, let me tell you something I saw happening at the girl next door's house. Everyday I see the girl next door, her mom and her female siblings I can't help but pity her brothers! There are a total of eight women in the girl next door's house and yet none of her three brothers have seen a woman's real hair. Even Penny, who is the youngest of them all (she is ten years old) has never walked around in her real hair. I don't know why they seem to prefer doing this. But I personally think it is wrong. Most salons in Nairobi are giving their clients a raw deal. Soon they will be sewing horse tails on top of two months old babies! It doesn't matter what you tell me. That is why I can't compliment Gloria's new hairstyle. Let her fume all she wants. Let her puff up her cheeks. I don't care if she bursts like a balloon that has been pricked by a sharp needle! I juts don't give twenty-five cents worth of a care!

I grew up around women who were very proud of their own hair. My mom and many aunts wore their hair naturally. They used a hot comb and vegetable oil to straighten it. It is little wonder that Dad had to always buy cooking oil in our house! Those who couldn't afford to do so just cut their hair short. If you have ever met Jackie Nyaminde (Wilbroda on CITIZEN TV) and seen her hair growing wildly then you will know what I mean. We never saw a woman wearing a weave in the whole village in as many decades until they came up with these crazy hairpieces somewhere along River Road in Nairobi. I hear some hairpieces are counterfeits. Just imagine that!

Most hairpieces make a woman look like a dummy in a salon. Or those overly black mannequins they have in clothes shops. I hate hair weaves, with a fiery passion. They make Gloria look like she doesn't want to be told the truth. Some of these hairpieces are so disgusting. I don't know what kind of a hairstylist can let a client walk away with such hairpieces! Some salons in Nairobi are getting a lot of money for massacring women's hair for nothing. Most of it don't sit well on the head. Some don't match the woman's shape of the head. Gloria's, don't even go there!

How can I tell her she has a nice hairstyle when I know the hairpiece belongs to a horse that once lived somewhere in Colorado? I know I don't have an idea whether or not horses are raised in Colorado. But I sure hope you get the point. Gloria's hairpiece isn't worth lying about. It isn't something that I, having grown around women who are proud of their own hair, will afford to pretend I like. The first time Gloria came with what I think used to be a horse's tail I swear I heard a horse neighing (the sound a horse makes as it gallops in those cowboy movies) Since then I associate her new hairpieces with a neighing horse, from Colorado!

The day Gloria will go to the salon, get her hair straightened (not with vegetable oil) or grow dreadlocks, or shave her hair I will compliment her hair. Because I think that will be the truth. Now, I can't just lie. Oh, oh Gloria is going to the bedroom! I haven't said a word. I won't say a word except say that I pity the girl next door's three brothers. At least I got to see a woman's real hair , and creativity with the same, as a young boy!