The ginger life is the life for me
Painting the town red, one soul at a time.
I have been a ginger all of my life and have accepted that I did not choose my hair; my hair chose me. I would not say it has defined my life, but has certainly added a great deal of entertainment. Both my second-eldest sister and I have red hair and growing up my family referred to us as the “Red Birds,” as in, “Red Birds, dinnertime!” Similar to running errands with a very cute puppy, my mother had a very difficult time getting anywhere fast with the Red Birds in tow. Bouncing along in the tandem baby carriage, people would stop her frequently to ask about our hair and ask permission to touch it. That was the best-case scenario, but the alternate was when she had to kindly explain to strangers that they could not reach out and begin stroking our heads as it made us very upset.
After all of these people kept telling me what beautiful hair I had, it began to go to my head (no pun intended). As with most children, one of my greatest fears was that I would be kidnapped. One night I told my Mom that I was afraid someone would climb through my window to kidnap me. My mom explained that this was very unlikely and I combatted with simple ginger logic: “Mom, red heads are precious, the kidnappers want us.” Holding back a smirk, my Mom had to break the news to me that my red hair was not that sought after.
My sister and I will often swap hair stories, as strangers absolutely love coming up to us to discuss our luscious locks and simply cannot continue with their days unless they have asked us if we are twins. I have always wondered what difference it makes if we are twins. Is it some kind of competition that you share at the dinner table? “Well I ran into some twins today, and they were gingers! 50 points to me!”
Along with my oh-so-scarlet hair colour comes another ginger reality: skin tone. Translucent, luminous, glowing, call it what you will #paleisthenewtan. It’s like Edward Cullen, without the sparkle. To combat my natural ivory skin tone I use the three most powerful letters in the human language: SPF. This is something that no ruby red will be caught joking about. We laugh at the moisturizers that provide an SPF of 15, and smirk at those that think they are protected with an SPF of 60. Me? I rock an SPF 90, and I’m betting that most of you didn’t know that even existed. Though it comes out of the bottle like white tar, and your arm turns red from the amount of friction it takes for absorption, it does the trick . . . at least for the first hour. Despite this, over the summer months I do have one goal in mind: the watch tan. That’s right, I try very hard to have that pasty white band just above my left wrist at the end of each summer. This is so that when people take in my glowing complexion I can prove that I used to be an even whiter white. No, you don’t want our problems.
Now, my family did not avoid the beach because of our skin tone. Oh no, we embraced it. My mom protected her precious red birds with another option: the oh-so-popular baggy white T-shirt. That’s right I rocked the rash guards before they were cool. I’m pretty sure Quicksilver and Billabong saw me on the beach and realized they had a profitable product on their hands.
Gingers are a dying breed. I will give you a minute to wipe the tears from your eyes before I move on. Now, if you paid attention to Punnett and his squares you will know that the ginger gene is recessive. Yes, this means that for these crimson locks to continue the partner has to carry the gene as well. Why not just marry another ginger then, you may ask? I will let you in on a little secret: gingers are rarely if ever attracted to other gingers (yes, this includes Ron Weasley) and here is my theory as to why. When you see two gingers in a room you automatically assume they are related. I don’t know why or how, but it is true (no, Caleb De Putter is not my brother, but now you understand what I’m getting at). Thus, if two gingers who are dating are seen out in public everyone else has already come to the conclusion that these two people are related. Well, imagine your shock and disgust when those gingers start kissing. It’s probably something along the lines of disgust, awkward staring, and questions about incestuousness. It is this reaction that we gingers hope to prevent in society. But, if you are a non-ginger guy hoping to begin dating a ginger girl, simply prove that you have a redhead in your lineage and she will be all over that. #gingerbabies
Now, my hair is especially red, especially thick and especially curly. People often seem unable to curb their enthusiasm and ask every question that comes to mind so I thought I would provide a few answers from my perspective, as well as some fun facts:
-Yes, we have souls
-No, I don’t use my hair as a pillow when I go camping
-If you throw a VCR at my head I will indeed feel it
-Although I have never tried, yes I could probably smuggle fruit across the border in my hair (I draw the line at pineapple)
-Famous gingers include Miss Frizzle, Conan O’Brien, Wilma Flintstone, Shaun White, and Jesus, with the right stain glass window
-No, Ronald McDonald is not our father
-We all love Anne of Green Gables, I mean c’mon who doesn’t
-Yes, we all star in our high school play of Little Orphan Annie
-When you call us a “fire crotch” we smile but secretly hope you step on a lego