I’m pretty open about the fact that my true hair color is nothing but a distant memory. I had red hair when I was a girl, but my paternal grandmother went gray early in her life, and I seem to have followed in her footsteps. If I didn’t dye it, my hair would be a weird yellowy-white. No thanks. And, to be clear, if you have yellowy-white hair, you look fabulous because you are you. By no means is this a slam. My fabulousness, however, is significantly diminished because my skin is glow-in-the-dark white and I would probably just look like the moon. Or a marshmallow head. Again, no thanks. There’s just too much fabulousness going on here for that premature yellowy-white foolishness.

Right. Again, with the tangents, Lori. Stay on course.

So the “no filter” business comes up one Thursday a month when I come to work with my hair freshly re-colored from a Wednesday evening appointment. Or, as I like to put it, “now my hair is all one color again and the skunk stripe is gone.” For now. On those particular Thursdays, my DDE students will look at me with that “something is different about you” expression and then the comments begin.

Here were the “no filter” highlights from this past Thursday:

“Miss, you look like you just dyed the top of your head and then straightened the rest out.” “Yes, actually, that’s pretty much what happened. Good observation.”

“Miss, something is different about your hair. You kind of look like a lion today.”
“Cool. Thanks. I’m okay with that.”

Follow-up “lion” comment from another student: “Yeah, kind of like a lion. Miss, it’s like you’re a different species or something.”
“I don’t know how to respond to that. Give me a moment.” (And then I laughed my head off.)

“Miss, did you do that yourself? Maybe you need someone to help you out. It’s kind of red. I don’t mean that in a bad way or anything. You know, like a friend.”
“Um, no, I paid someone to do this. And I don’t take it in a bad way or anything.”

“Miss, what is with white people doing this?”
“I don’t know. It’s just a dumb adult thing, actually. You can decide if you’ll dye your hair when you get older too.”

And, to be clear, for every silly no-filter comment that I hear on these particular Thursdays, there are twenty kind ones as well. But the no-filter comments are probably what I love the most about my DDE students. They are hilarious and sincere and so lovable. When I tell people I laugh all day at my job, I doubt that they believe me. But seriously now, if someone told you that you looked like a lion, wouldn’t you laugh too?

To the students who forget to filter their hilarious comments: you are appreciated. You make me laugh every day.

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