I have red hair. Very very red. New penny copper red. And for as long as I can remember people have been talking about it. When I was a little girl strangers would stop my mother in the grocery store to ask about it – “Did it run in our family? Did all of her children have red hair?”. As a teenager women would stop me in the mall (much to my mortification) and ask to cut a piece off for color matching at the salon. In college boys would always make snide remarks – “Does the carpet match the drapes?” or “Are redheads as feisty as people say?”. As an adult the comments continue, albeit in a less offensive way. My hair is my defining characteristic.
My sisters hair is dark auburn, if you want to make her mad say it’s brown. My mother has red hair. She’s the only one of her 4 siblings that has it – they all have dark brown hair. Her mother (my grandmother) had red hair and both of her sisters had brown hair. My great-grandmother was 1 of many, and she was the only one with red hair. You get the point. Since I can remember that’s the other thing people have always said to me – “You B.’s! Always a redheaded! Aren’t you excited to carry your family tradition forward?”. I was. Was being the operative word.