We Fucking Redheads

 

I am quite old.  Almost as old as I would ever want to be.  I like finite goals.  Sometimes.

I went on a trip.  It was a long weekend.  It was an out of  this world experience.  It was a place I imagined, but the reality trumped my imaginings.  I didn’t worry about how I would look in all these new places.  I didn’t look to see how old that guy was riding that Harley.  I didn’t even bother to notice if he was fat.  I worried about my shoes and which socks were the most comfortable with which shoes and I worried about whether I would be hot or cold.  I do not remember at this point if I was ever hot or cold during the vacation. I must admit to all of you who are so quick to hold me accountable for my every word that  I do remember gently harping at my semi-saintly daughter about the settings on the car heater thing.

But one day I looked in the mirror and instead of peering closely to see if the new deep wrinkle minimizer or the new skin tightening cream were working, I said to myself, “Yup.  Still red.  Looks good.”

Lately there are a lot of blogs and websites and Pinterest sites, not just postings, about redheads.  I was asked to participate in a documentary about redheads, but I haven’t sent in the tape yet.  I may or may not do that. The word ‘ginger’ is thrown around a lot.  I do not know if it is an insult.  Look at Prince Harry for God’s sake.  I wanted it to be my nickname when I was six cuz I was named Virginia and a redhead, but that didn’t take.  Thank God.  I think it started when someone said redheads would be extinct in 150 years.  From the look of my subdivision that is not likely.  Someone commented that people were deciding it should be an insult and not let others get away with calling them that, pushing the Politically Correct agenda and commenting on the combination of letters in the word, emphasizing that the attention being drawn to redheads was deliberate and hinting that certain ethnicities were deliberately promoting the agenda which is ridiculous because I think just about every ethnicity, except maybe Asian, has redheads.  Anyway, it is fun to participate, especially when they go after the dye jobs.  Not that I could blame someone for that. But I did have a point to this ramble when I started out.

One of the questions on the interview for the documentary was about whether you felt that redheads were distinctive in any way, or felt distinctive.  I don’t know how old I was when I realized I was a redhead.  I don’t think I ever realized it.  I think I just was.  I think I am a redhead before I am a caucasian or even a human.  I don’t know if I am a redhead before I am a female.  I think maybe that distinction is equal.  I also think it is synergistic. I am sure it has defined me and I am glad that I am now old enough to not even want to check out the guy on the Harley, now that the white part of my hair is growing to a larger percentage. I am pretty sure that if I was in the mood to check out any guy or had any interest of that sort, I would probably resort to dye, or as my wholly-sainted grandmother said, “tinting”.  When she got sick her hair grew out white as snow.  She stayed a redhead til her last conscious moment.

I searched for an illustration for this post with the term “scribe”.  There were hundreds.  One was a female.  She has red hair.  Honestly, I feel that it is something someone who is not a redhead can never understand.

When I was three and my brother was teaching me the letters he learned at school, I knew I was smart and clever and me.  Once, exactly once, and this I recall distinctly, I hollered at my mom for giving someone more attention than I got.  It was when her fifteen year old god daughter got pregnant, and she couldn’t stop talking about darling Peggy and what trouble she was in and how could that happen, etc.  I said that it was really weird that someone had to do the thing she thought was the most horrible of all, getting knocked up outside of marriage, in order to get her attention.  She never said another word about Peggy.  Every time I had a friend  that was red-headed, there was this distinctive camaraderie but also this unstated but painfully obvious sense of competition.  I had a fight with Judy Schilf who was a redhead when I was about eight and she drew blood.  It was historical.  I hung around with another redhead, Marie Daugherty, and that sense of competition was very obviously not there.  Probably cuz my ten year old brother was in love with her so there was nothing to compete over.

I never wanted to be anyone but me.  I had a friend who wished she was a boy. (I think I covered this subject elsewhere.)  I never even wanted to be or wished I was a movie star, Shirley Temple or Lucille Ball, for example, that is how fucking old I am, unless the movie star could be me, Ditty, The Movie Star. Yeah. I could’ve handled that.

“You fucking redheads.  You blink on and off like a fucking Christmas tree.”

I don’t believe you only go around once.  I think you get lots of chances to get it right.  God is a good Christian and He firmly believes in recycling.  But I think I must have earned good karma in my past life in order to live with this distinction I so cherish.  This time around, I don’t know.  Maybe I lived up to the Plan, or maybe I will come back as a house sparrow.  Or something else rather drab and colorless, but really kind of cute in its own way.

****

I was so concerned that I haven’t blogged in so long.  But thanks to the very loyal plumbers in New Zealand, my wonderful numbers have held up very well in my absence.  Big, big, sincere Thank You, guys.  Even if you are not a plumber in New Zealand.  Or a redhead.

Photo Attribution:  www.camlann.org

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s