Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Being Red

I am an unapologetic redhead, with the fiery temper and attitude to go along with it.  I was a redhead when I arrived on the scene more years ago than I care to remember.  I have freckles in places seen and unseen.  My freckles think a little sunshine is license to absolutely pollute my pale skin with spots.  Somedays, I start thinkin' I'm a dalmatian!

My red hair and freckles were always a target for bullies when I was in school.  Didn't have much of a choice with either of them so I learned to live with it. I went home crying on numerous days but I think the combination was designed to make me the independent bitch that I am today.  I wear the title Bitch like a badge of honor.  I had to work to get to the point where I didn't care what other people think of me.  Fuck you if you don't like me, my auburn locks or my 'angel kisses'.  Who says I like you anyway?

'Angel kisses'.  That's what a family friend use to call my freckles.  They said that the angels in Heaven must have been very sad when I left to be born, because they kissed me so much before I left.  Each place they kissed became a freckle.  When I was a little girl, being told that always made me feel better when I was being picked on about my 'spots'.

There are hazards to being a true ginger.  I am a perfect candidate for skin cancer.  Back when I was a kid, we didn't worry about sunblock or skin cancer.  I had sun poison more times than I can remember.  My mom kept Noxzema readily available during the summer.  That was what we used to cool the sting of a severe sunburn.  God knows, I still remember what sunburn feels like, even though I haven't been sunburnt in years.  Once we found out about using aloe to help take the bite out of the burn, that is what we used.

Trust me when I tell you, I learned to avoid direct sunlight.  With my sleep issues and the need to stay in the shade, I have gotten called 'vampire' on numerous occasions.  Didn't matter that I actually wore a cross pendant for years, I was convincing (ornery) enough to actually have a few gullible kids believe that I really was a vampire.  I always thought that was funny.  I have been fond of the vampire myth for years, because I felt kindred to them.

Being a redhead also means that as you go gray, your flaming curls (in my case) start to look mousy.  When that began to happen, I introduced myself to Miss Clairol.  She makes sure that my hair stays a wonderful Lucille Ball red.  I love it.  Hated my hair as a kid, love it as an adult.  Funny thing is, there are so many women dyeing their hair red these days.  They don't have the attitude that goes along with being a true red.  They will never get that attitude.  You have to be born a ginger and tortured as a ginger to get that particular attitude.

I am still ghost white pale (well, if you don't count the freckles, of course).  My hair is still bright red, with a little help these days.  I stay out of the sun except to pass from one shaded spot to another.  In the past, these little things would have pissed me off.  They don't anymore.  I revel in the fact other women want something that I was born with, amazing, right?  Guess that makes me special...

...but then, I already knew that.


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