When I was at the library yesterday( yes AT the library after six months without being able to go there) I saw this children’s book displayed. It brought back several times in my life when touch was an issue. (No, I am not talking about MeToo, don’t worry.)
When I was pregnant people seemed to feel free to not only comment on but occasionally pat my stomach. I have no idea why. Somehow pregnant women seem to invite all sorts of questions and comments. I must admit that I fall victim to the same impulse, though I have never been tempted to touch another woman’s stomach. I do seem to blurt out things that are really none of my business such as “when are you due?” and “you look like you are carrying a boy.”
The book narrated by a little girl with big poofy hair suggests that people seem to come up and touch it without asking. She says they need to ask. Of course that raises the question of why they want to touch it in the first place. In this instance, probably her hair is unfamiliar to the kids around her and they are curious about it.
I had a similar experience years ago in a African-American women’s hair salon where I was waiting as a friend had her hair done. I was the only white woman in the place. As I have mentioned, I have very thin wavy light brown hair. One of the stylists came over and asked if she could touch my hair. Agreeably I said “sure.” She said she had never touched hair like mine and would have no idea how to work with it.
We are all curious beings. We just need to ask before touching.