Redhead, nurse, sister, daughter, aunt, newly-ex-wife, sucker for lost animals, currently owned by Percy the cat and Spencer the dog. In the middle of some major changes–trying to figure out what I want so I can figure out how to get there.

On Being a Redhead

Researchers have decided that redheads will go the way of the
dinosaurs in the next 100 years. abc.com had this to say, “According
to renowned geneticist Steven Jones, because of migration and populations
mixing, redheads may be extinct in 100 years.”
This got me
thinking about how I feel about being a redhead. It is certainly a big part of
how I identify myself–and would be a part of how others identify me no matter
how I saw myself.
~~~~~~~”While the rest of the species is descended from
apes, redheads are descended from cats.”-Mark Twain
There are many things
about growing up redhead that make it difficult. Since kids are horrid and will
tease any one for any thing–having a shock of red hair made me an easy target.
(That and the fact I was terribly shy, amazingly dorky, and the second biggest
nerd in the class–which I stayed with from 3rd to 8th grade.) Carrot top, I’d
rather be dead than red in the head, Ronald McDonald are the ones that come to
mind. Adults felt is was acceptable to touch my hair without invitation or
permission. “Where did you get that hair?” seemed appropriate questions
(fostered by the fact that everyone else in my family has brown hair). The
answer is a great aunt I never met and my paternal
Grandmother.
~~~~~~~”You’d find it easier to be bad than good if you had
red hair,” said Anne reproachfully. “People who haven’t red hair don’t know what
trouble is.”
-Anne to Marilla in Anne of Green Gables
As I grew older,
I loved the red hair for the same reasons I hated it as a kid. It was different,
it got me noticed. Individuality becomes a plus rather than a minus once you get
past the teasing phase.
~~~~~~~~”I would always hesitate to recommend as
a life’s companion a young lady with quite such a vivid shade of red hair. Red
hair, sir, in my opinion, is dangerous.”
-Jeeves in Very Good, Jeeves by P.G.
Wodehouse
I think that most redheads are tough and fiesty. Is this
because we had to endure the childhood taunts, or is it due to the simple fact
that we are red?
I have had doctors tell me that redheads have a higher
pain tolerance than other headed people. I have also been told that we are more
of a risk for invasive procedures because we bleed more.
It is tough for
a redhead to get lost in a crowd. This is both a blessing and a curse. We leave
an impression, and for a chick who has trouble remembering names anyway, that
can create difficulty. I’ll never forget my first day of college. I was standing
in the quad and another freshman ran up to me. “Sophie! How great to see you!”
The girl had short brown hair, and I had no idea who she was. Turned out she was
my best friend in second grade–when she had blonde hair which was always worn
in long braids. I didn’t have a chance, but due to my red locks. she knew me at
age 18 after not having seen me since age 8.
Obviously, as evidenced by
the title of my blog, I completely embrace and LOVE the fact that I am red. I
got my first gray hairs when I was 30 and I was terrified that I wouldn’t be red
any more. At 45, I’m only sporting a small gray streak near the front of my
head that almost everyone thinks is “highlights.” I love that part as well.
So, it seems I will remain red for a few
more years, at least. Good thing I’m okay with that.
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Comments on: "On Being a Redhead" (4)

  1. Angela Noelle said:

    Oh no, that would be so sad! I think red hair is so beautiful. We actually just watched a MythBusters episode about whether red heads have a lower pain tolerance, and according to their experiment, they endured pain for almost twice as long as the other group!

    Love the Anne-girl quote 🙂

  2. Sally Kolks said:

    That’s funny! My Dad has red hair and he always said the first child to produce a red headed heir will inherit everything. My sister Amy beat me to it. She has two red headed children. Not me. I love your hair color. I always wanted to be a red head since I saw “Sixteen Candles.”

    P.S. None of my 7 siblings have red hair.

  3. jungletwins said:

    I love this post. I grew up as a redhead, though my hair has since gone a boring brown. My daughter Maddie has very bright blond/red hair. I hope I can teach her to own it- red heads rock.

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