A few times, I’ve tried dying my hair red. That didn’t turn out so well. In fact, I’m still growing out the results of my last attempt. Stupid non-permanent hair dye. Non-permanent, my eye! (I was going to say,”My butt,” but I didn’t want to be offensive. “My butt” just seems more dramatic, though, because it is much larger than my eye.) Then, there was the summer of the redhead shampoo. That’s probably the closest to true red I’ve ever come. My mother insisted that I had dyed it, but for once, I hadn’t. I used a redhead shampoo that brought out my natural red highlights, and my hair looked red! See, I told you I was a redhead under all this non-descript blondish, brownish, dishwaterish hair. (By the way, just so you know, we who have non-descript, blondish, brownish, dishwaterish hair really hate the terms “dirty blond” and “dishwater blond.” Really. “Dark blond” or even “light brown” are much more pleasant, and we would prefer to be called either of those terms. Thank you.)
Did you know that the Greeks believed that redheads would be turned into vampires when they died? During the Spanish inquisition, redheads were thought to be witches and were burned at the stake. (I’m rethinking this desire to be a redhead.) The Russians believed that red hair was a sign of a bad temper and craziness. (Maybe I really am a redhead!) What other group of people has so many myths about them? I mean, sure, blonds have their jokes, but that’s about it. I’d rather by the source of a legend than the butt of a joke. (Wow. I’m really using the word “butt” a lot today. Good thing I don’t have toddlers at home.)
Redheads are just special to me. They have a certain fire that normal people don’t have. They are spunky, and I like spunky. Come to think of it, I think the Goose might have some red under her hair somewhere.
My best friend, Willow, has two red headed boys. With red hair comes pale skin. We used to joke that we should meet at the park at midnight for play dates so her boys wouldn’t get burned. That worked for me too, because I’m a red head in spirit and in skin tone. (It’s my delusion. Let me have it.)
I don’t know why I’ve always been so drawn to red hair. Maybe it’s because it’s unusual for someone to be a true redhead, and it’s virtually impossible to dye your hair to a natural looking red. I mean, fushia? That’s easily achieved. Purplish red? I see plenty of women sporting that look. But, true red hair is really, really hard to get from a package. I guess that’s why I have always wanted it, because I can’t have it.
A dear friend of mine is a natural red head. She has long, flowing red hair. What’s more, she’s older than I am, and her hair is still red. That is very unusual as red heads tend to grey very early. She does not dye her hair. It’s all natural, baby!
This dear friend is about to face the fight of her life. She will go through radiation and will very possibly lose that beautiful red hair. One thing I know she won’t lose is that redhead spirit. Even in the hospital, she is her normal, witty, sarcastic self, which is why she and I get along so well. I have told her that the red hair is her super power that will get her through this. I believe it is.
There is a special spirit in redheads. It really goes beyond spunk and borders on fire, just like their hair. I believe God only gave certain people red hair because he knew only they could handle the responsibility. If he had given it to everyone, this world would be mass chaos! Think of the red heads you know. I would bet they are full of passion and energy and sometimes anger. That’s why we have stereotype that red heads have short tempers. Many times, it’s true!
Think of some red heads from history:
Judas Iscariot, the disciple who betrayed Jesus, is thought to be redheaded. He had passion, even if it was directed in the wrong direction.
Napoleon Bonaparte was a redhead. Anyone who can declare himself as emperor of a country has to have some chutzpah!
Lizzie Borden, the infamous hatchet murderess, was also redheaded. I’m seeing a pattern of strong personalities, here.
On the flip side, you have Carol Burnett and Lucille Ball, two of the funniest women in American TV history. If you google “Famous Redheads,” you will quickly find a list of incredible people. (Some were incredibly good, and some were incredibly bad. Either way, they were still incredible.)
Maybe that’s why I’m drawn to redheads, because they are incredible people. The rest of you aren’t bad either, but there is just something about the red. Since I can’t be a true redhead, I guess I’ll just keep looking at my friend’s hair longingly, and come to think of it, maybe I’ll go to the store and get some of that redhead shampoo. -Al