Propriety Depends on the Circumstances

This is a picture of my daughter. Doesn't she has a lot of natural curly hair? I was watching her correct her daughter's table manners. Her admonition that she didn't want her to embarrass herself when she was out in public, gave me a flash back.

I was in high school visiting a girl friend, for the weekend. It was breakfast and we were getting ready to go out. I placed my hair elastics, scrungies, and barrettes on the table, and proceed to brush and comb my hair.

My girl friend's mother said, "Faith, we do not brush our hair at the kitchen table."

I was mortified.

I didn't know. I was even more mortified that I didn't know. Geesh. Common sense would have told me that my hair would go in everyone's food.

How come I didn't know this was because the kitchen table is where my mother fixed my hair, when I was growing up. We all sat at the table for haircuts. I sat at the table while my mother braided my hair.

Our house was a two-family house. Our flat had the entrance door coming into the kitchen. Off the kitchen were two long narrow rooms. One was a pantry and one was the bathroom. A family only having one bathroom was common then. Since everyone needed to use the bathroom to get ready, the pantry was used too. The pantry consisted of a sink and cupboards. Food was kept in the pantry. Because a sink was in the pantry, my father shaved there. We girls washed our hair in that sink.

Sigh...this is why hair grooming around food wasn't considered taboo, to me.

My daughter is correct. You do embarrass yourself when you don't know the rules of propriety.


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