Okay, here is the second part of my sharing of the old writings. This one is one of my favorites, so please enjoy it!
Redhead’s in Public
The first time I realized that being a redhead counted as being a different, was when I was about five years old. I was at church with my grandfather. Every Sunday was church, no and’s, if’, or but’s about it, we had to go every Sunday, but this time it was different. I sat with him throughout the service. This was in fact a very different thing, since most children went to Sunday school. Most of the service went on without a problem. Then came passing of the peace, (which is kind of like a seventh inning stretch but for church folks). Passing of the peace is an act of passing God’s peace to your neighbor or “pew buddy”. It involves shaking hands and saying a lot of “God bless”, but no one is usually sneezing. Anyway, as my grandpa and I went to shake hands and bless our neighbors, I noticed something very odd. Every little blue haired lady, every old school gents, and a lot people looking for the Holy Grail, started touching my hair; not the little hand that stretched out for their giant hands for me to bless them. No, it was red hair that they were more interested in. Not the pretty Sunday dress that my grandfather made me wear, or the little shiny black shoes on; it was nicely brushed hair (which was actually brushed for once) in their grubby giant hands. This was one of many times I have come to the reasoning that I am different and it is all because of being a redhead in public.
Later on in my life, I was in grade school I believe; I had another memorable encounter with a non-redhead. I was maybe eight years old and it was play time at school. One little kid came up to be in the reading section, where I was reading the great novel of our times – minding my own business, mind you. The kid looked at me and said, “Your hair is weird.” I looked at him (or her, I really can’t remember the gender of the child) and shrugged my shoulders. His partner in crime came up behind me while I was staring at the other child and cut a huge chunk out of hair. It scared me for life. I had to beg the teacher to let me go home and see if my grandfather could glue my beautiful red hair back to me – it didn’t work. I wasn’t the only redhead target for the bullies. There was a redheaded little boy in the same grade but the room next door. I remember seeing him walking out of the classroom with the principal. I later found out that a few of the kids where telling him that his head was on “fire”. This poor redhead friend started to panic (because his mother taught him that fire was bad) and started to run around his classroom crying. Once he calmed down, he realized that the kids were making jokes about his red hair.
Still not getting the complete picture here? Okay, during my middle and high school years, any class that could bring it up, would bring it out the fact that I’m a redhead. In Spanish class, every teacher would make sure that the class knew that I was a pelirrojo. In any science class, it would be brought up to any one’s attention that redheads have more has far more of the pigment pheomelanin than any other hair color and the least amount of hair follicles compared to the other hair colors; or, the fact that the redhead gene in on chromosome 16. Also, they would mention how rare redheads are and that is a very recessive gene – both parents are required to have a copy of it to pass it on. In math we always had to find the ratio of redheads to the “normal population” since redhead account to maybe one to maybe two percent of the total world population. In history or any social studies class, it was made very clear that Queen Elizabeth I was a red head and that some Neanderthals were also known to have red hair. Occasionally, around Halloween, we were taught that some people believed that redheads were devil workers and cut their hair and killed them. Once in high school, I had to take an acting class (the other option would have been a speech class which I could only imagine the pain); every time we did any acting, I always had to do something relating to Lucie Ball. One way or another, my red hair was the center of attention instead of my brain power. Besides, in psych class, we were taught that red heads have bad or fiery tempers, which generally is not true. I will have to admit that I have showed my fiery temper when my hair comes before me as a person.
Growing up, I have slowly realized that being a red head has some perks and bad feelings with it. I can stick out in any group. For example, I go to a Mexican restaurants and I stick out. I can bet a lot of money that I will be the only redhead. Anywhere I go, people ask me if I know and leprechauns or if I know the Irish gig; neither do I actually know about. Others ask if my parents have red hair and I reply with a no and they always follow up with the question, “Where did you get it then?” I have replied once that I pulled it out of somewhere not so sunny area and that story didn’t end well. One thing that I am proud of is that I am always known as ‘The Redhead’. I am rarely forgotten (as long as I mention I am the redhead). It means I am hardly confused for any other people with my name and I am a super hero for sarcasm.
Recently through, there have been times that redheads have taken a few more hits below the belt. In two separated studies during the 2000’s, researchers have found that redheads are more sensitive to thermal pain, that red heads need more anesthetic medications; but, the reasoning is all about something crazy to do with vitamin K. On a bring side, redheads need less pain medication than any other hair colors. On top of that, redheads always tend to bruise easier, and again, researchers’ have discovered this is also a fact. Most recently through, redheaded egg or sperm donors and been REJECTED from actually donating new material or the eggs and sperms that already been donated are being dumped from some huge biological storage companies. Almost every online news channel has been talking about it. The companies behind this are saying that there is not enough need or that the costumers do not want any redheaded children. This was a huge hit for many redheads around the world. It’s a sad day for us as humans.
Either way you look at this, redheads are people too. We are a dying breed. Redhead need to bind together and bring back the glory days. My suggestion is that redheads need to start mating like crazy before we die out. Here are a just as a few tips to treat us like normal humans follow; please follow them. We don’t always like our hair man-handled like it’s a new born baby. Having red hair doesn’t always been we have bad tempers. Those rumors were all started after people started to man handling our hair! Don’t get confused over where our hair comes from, or be shocked by some creative answers you may get. Do not, under any circumstance, misjudge a redhead for being a Neanderthal and especially for the short redheads, do not call them a leprechaun. Most of all, when you see a little redheaded child in her Sunday best, trying to pass the peace, please take her hand, not a chunk of her hair!