My son has longish hair. Not so much because he wants to have long hair, but because he’s in a phase (I hope it’s a phase) right now where the idea of having something cut off him is very scary. I cut his nails when he’s sleeping. I also cut him bangs while he slept so his hair won’t fall in his eyes. His 17 year old punk sister loves his “Ramones Hairdo” and of course he loves that his big sister said he looked cool.
His grandparents and uncle are less fond of his long hair. They periodically tell him he should have it cut. As a reason they give him “But everyone will think you are a girl”. This leaves my little guy completely unconvinced. And I will admit that look he gives them that says “why am I supposed to care?” makes me proud. Just this weekend I heard him give the best reply: “I am 4 years old”. Sometimes grown ups need a small reminder that little kids are just little kids.
My parents and brother worry way too much about what people think. I grew up with “What will people think” and “What will people say”. But where my brother took it to heart, I just more and more wondered why the hell I should care about what people I didn’t even know would think or say.
Of course, when you hear a message like that over and over it does rub off some on you. Luckily I had a lesson in not caring what people would think at 18, which will probably stay with me all my life.
I was in the south of the Netherlands and I had it in my mind to walk into a Coffeeshop for the first time. For those who didn’t know yet, a Coffeeshop in the Netherlands is not like a Starbucks. It’s what they call the stores that sell weed. (And most serve pretty good coffee as well).
I had smoked Marijuana before, but still I was nervous. I was standing outside looking around trying to work up the courage to walk into the shop, when a old man slowly walked by me. He was grey, nicely dressed and walked with a cane. He greeted me with a friendly nod. Immediately my mind asked me what a gentleman like that would think of me if he saw me walking into a Coffeeshop. And as I watched him and wondered about the way he would judge me, the old man happily walked into the sex shop next door of the Coffeeshop, without so much as a glance around.
When I was done laughing at myself, I confidently entered the Coffeeshop with a smile still plastered on my face. What does a friendly old gentleman think of me for wanting to smoke a joint? Nothing. His mind is occupied by all the nice porn he is planning to get.