This probably should have been the first post, given the name of the blog and all!
1. Many people tell me that my “species” is dying out. It seems that everyone has recently read or heard it somewhere. I can almost always finish their sentence for them, once I see that look come into their eyes. They’re dying to reveal that salacious detail about redheads, but they’re not quite sure how I’ll handle the terrible truth. I guess I let them down; I’ve already been notified countless times of my pending extinction!
2. Many people give me voluntary genetics lessons. Recessive genes are tricky things, it seems, since everyone’s version of how they work is different. One person said that only women can pass it on!
3. Many people must tell me their family history of redheads – who is and who isn’t. I feel sorry for the poor kids and grandkids who “should have been” redheads but were not! Are they told that, I wonder, or is it a family secret that gets shared only with redheads when the mood strikes?
4. Fake redheads generally don’t like me.
5. Some hair stylists always ask me if I want to dye my hair. Others say they wouldn’t do it if I asked.
6. Old ladies in the grocery store joke about wanting to trade their white globular perms for my red hair.
7. Old ladies in the grocery often tell me that they used to have hair like mine!
8. I’ve been asked more than once to participate in Anne of Green Gables lookalike competitions (yes, such a thing exists!).
9. It’s assumed that I love Anne Shirley (yes!) and Pippi Longstocking (no!). Queen Elizabeth I, Galileo, Napoleon, Thomas Jefferson, and Vincent Van Gogh are a few famous others.
10. Redheads are generally not attracted to redheads, yet I ended up marrying one. That must have something to do with why the gene is dying out. Now, with our two kids, we’re a smaller version of the Weasleys (from Harry Potter).
11. Hair colour becomes the defining feature that people latch onto. “Red,” “capelli rossi,” “ruiva,” “ginger,” and “carrot-top” are all names I’ve answered to over the years.
12. Did you know that redheads are harder to sedate (why do I find that especially amusing?!) and require 20-30% more anesthesia during surgery? (based on a recent study done by the University of Louisville)
13. In ancient Egypt, redheads were considered so unlucky that they were burned alive. In Greek myths, they turn into vampires upon death. In medieval Europe, red hair and green eyes were the marks of a witch.
14. All the redhead stereotypes are true, at least in my case!
One of the funniest experiences I’ve had, thanks to my hair, was on a ferry crossing from Cape Breton Island to Newfoundland. I was watching a fiddle show from the back of a large room when suddenly I got summoned to the front. “Hey, you look like you should know how to step dance! Get up here and show us something!” the leader hollered. Now, I don’t have a drop of East Coast blood in my body and I’ve never step danced in my life, but I do love to fiddle. I told him that I was from Ontario but I’d be happy to play a medley or two. Before I knew it, I was jamming away with a fabulous group of musicians as we sailed across the Cabot Strait.