I know some folks think we should be content with the hair colour God gave us, but that ship sailed years ago. When I first started experimenting with my mousy hair in Grade Ten, my dad said, “If God wanted you to have blond hair, you’d have been born with it.”
To that I replied, “If God wanted me to go around naked, I’d have been born that way.”
I was such a treat to raise.
Having red hair has been on my bucket list for years. After all, so many terrific redheads have graced our world. If you want to be known for comedy, red hair is a splendid idea. As a kid, I faithfully watched Red Skelton on a black and white TV. If his name hadn’t been “Red,” I’d have never known the source of his talent.
And who’s funnier than Lucille Ball or Carol Burnette or Conan O’Brien?
Important people in history who had red hair include Esau and King David from the Bible, Eric the Red, Napoleon Bonaparte, and Queen Elizabeth I of England. And speaking of royals, what about Prince Harry? Did you know Mark Twain, Sir Winston Churchill, and Vladimir Lenin all sported red hair?
In the music world, who could forget Geri Halliwell (a.k.a. Ginger Spice), Bernadette Peters, and Willie Nelson? Or one of my favorite artists, Vincent Van Gogh?
The list of red-headed movie stars is inexhaustible, including Lindsay Lohan, Kate Winslet, and Nicole Kidman.
In sports, we have Rusty Staub, Brian Campbell, and Heather Moyse. I had to Google those because … well… sports, shmorts.
Let’s not forget our favorite fictional characters like Little Orphan Annie and Charlie Brown’s little red-haired girl and Anne of Green Gables (“Red hair is my lifelong sorrow.”)
There’s something mysteriously attractive about a red-haired woman, isn’t there? Lucille Ball said, “Once in his life, every man is entitled to fall madly in love with a gorgeous redhead.”
My reason for wanting red hair is not to be famous or to have some man fall in love with me, madly or otherwise. I just want to try it. Will it bring out the green flecks in my eyes which romance novelists always describe but which I’ve never actually seen on anyone, let alone myself? Will my personality change? Will I suddenly develop a quick temper? Will people call me “Carrots” or “Ginger” or “Woody Woodpecker?” Will I become as smart as my red-haired friend Gayle or as beautiful as her daughters Alison and Veronica, or as witty as my writing buddy, Michael? Will I need to start avoiding the sun?
I've been chicken to try it, but time is marching on. I knew if I waited too much longer, I might end up looking like Endora, the meddling mother-in-law from Bewitched.
But wait. There’s a play coming up. Elaine Harper, the character I portray, does not necessarily have red hair, but she certainly could. And if I dyed my hair red and it looked ridiculous, I could say “it’s just for a play.”
And besides, it’s only hair.