Statistics say that only 1-2% of the worldwide population is redheaded. Being a redhead automatically makes you a member of an elite club. Nobody else around you knows about the club, but when you encounter another redhead you both smile or wink or nod. You never miss another fellow redhead when they walk into the room.
Geneticists say every person with red hair is distantly related to everyone else with red hair. I’m happy to think my family tree includes Prince Harry, but also somewhere dangling off a tree branch is CarrotTop.
It makes me understand all the problems the Duchess of York has had. Redheaded people have a reputation for being unusual and eccentric. It must be true. Marrying a prince but then angering a queen – sounds like my life.
I remember going through several stages in my life. When I was very young, strangers would tell me I must be the “little red-haired girl” that Charlie Brown was in love with. Later, with much shorter hair, I was constantly mistaken for Molly Ringwald. As a, shall we say, mature woman, I’ve recently been afraid I would be mistaken for Kathy Griffin. Lately I see that won’t happen due to the fact that she is surgically morphing into someone else. I think she is on a path to eventually look like Joan Rivers. And Joan will eventually look like Phyllis Diller. Isn’t Hollywood wonderful? They really do “create” stars. (For those of you too young, please Google Phyllis Diller.)
Growing up, I was fortunate enough to watch Lucille Ball on TV. What an incredible comedian she was! I was convinced that I was adopted. Lucy and Desi must have had their hands full creating a television dynasty and couldn’t take care of me. I also loved watching the Queen of Technicolor, Maureen O’Hara in any movie she was in. She made me want to own my redheadedness. No one on cinema was ever so beautiful. So much of my life, I was sad to have the hair color I had. Then later these women made me proud and happy to be so different.
I have been mercilessly insulted many times in my life solely due to my hair color. Before I had kids, my husband and I loved to go to the comedy clubs. When you have red hair you can never hide in a crowd. One night, a comedian yelled directly at me, “That’s not the color of your hair – redheads simply have their brains rusting.” As an example, he pointed at me and demanded that I name the five Great Lakes. I did not remember them then, but now I can say them in my sleep.
I even had a man flirt with me in a store once. And say, “You’re really pretty for a red-head.” I felt insulted for me and all of my fellow club members. I shot back, “And for an idiot you’re not that smart.”
I’m convinced my husband married me due to his infatuation with Batgirl from the old Batman TV show in the 1960s. I’ve tried repeatedly to make him understand that Batgirl wore a red wig. Somehow to him it doesn’t matter. She is still the sexy redheaded crime fighter. Hopefully he is happy to have a funny, silly, redheaded writer that doesn’t need a wig to be wonderful.