Saturday, September 27, 2014

The "B" Word

Depends what your definition of "fun" is, I guess.

At my great-niece's birthday party this summer, my brother-in-law looked at me with concern for some moments before he finally asked, "What happened to your hair? Where did the red go?"

I wish I knew.

Ever since my teens, it seems, I can remember my mother telling me how lucky I was to have red tresses, because redheads don't go grey. Well, although I don't seem destined for the sort of lush silvery gray hair that adorns some heads, since the arrival of my half-century birthday, my hair most definitely is turning a whiter shade of pale. Each time I get a haircut, I lose more of my red coloring. And, worst of all, new acquaintances have taken to calling me the B-word -- Blonde.


I suppose there is nothing wrong with being blonde, if you're born that way. But so much of my identity is wrapped up in my red-headedness, and others' perceptions of what red-headedness means, that lately I feel a psychic sort of loss. Being a redhead has brought me much attention, both wanted and not. Many women have expressed envy of my tresses, one former workmate even going so far as to have her hairdresser attempt to duplicate my color. (But if you aren't a natural redhead, you won't look like a natural redhead no matter how talented your colorist -- sorry!) Men's reactions have varied, the worst being inquiries as  to whether the output from follicles on various body regions matches that from othe follicles on my head. To be fair, I suppose many fair-haired women have been the recipient of that line, to which the only correct response is "You'll never know." 

If blondes have more fun, the mythology around us redheads has us enjoying sex more  -- and more often, having short tempers, being agents of Satan, and according to the ancient Greeks, turning into vampires after we die. 

THAT sounds like more fun to me!