by Madeline Iva
Rumored to have three times the sex drive. Scientifically proven to be more sensitive to pain. Rare–if you’re not in Scotland. Generating their own Vitamin D. Yes, I’m talking about Red Heads and the power of red heads.
This week we’re talking about All Things Scottish to celebrate the publication of Liz Everly’s latest book LIKE HONEY. This book takes place in Scotland on a honey farm, and captures a lot of the beauty of the land, and the appeal of the Scottish men.
I find everything about Scotland appealing in theory…except for red heads. Two highly scarring events in my teen years left me highly ambivalent towards red heads.
In eighth grade I had a friend named Dawn. Had being the operative word. In eighth grade I also had my first massive boy crush–on a guy named Chris. Chris was an eighth grade version of Keanu Reeves. Not much to say for himself, but tall with black hair/black eyes and pale skin. Did I mention he was tall? My pubescent heart went pitter pat every time he smiled. He had perfect teeth.
In my group of friends I thought Dawn was the plainest of us all. Kinda ugly even. Thick yellowish plastic glasses, small rodent teeth, and big goggly blue-gray eyes. Sorta short, sorta blah, she no neck really, but she had milky pale skin and YES, super long curly red hair (Gah!).
Now, I was no stunner myself at this age. I had greasy short hair, braces, acne, and was over all rather bloated. Still, I didn’t think that I was too repulsive. I mean, considering the warty general population of eighth grade overall. I had good posture. I was also *ahem* aware of my supreme intelligence and killer charm.
Perhaps looking back I vastly underrated my own aggressive attitude and hostile demeanor. Most of the time I looked and acted like an outraged piranha. Still, I thought I had it going on compared to Dawn. Also I saw Chris first.
Or at least I dominating his attention in our first period biology class no matter who was watching.
They were definitely watching and disapproving. Nevertheless, I was mysteriously compelled to attempt to charm Chris, aiming my conversational skills right between his eyes. In a bold, daring move I even got a ten dollar roll of quarters off my mother and showed up after school at the arcade Chris and his geeky buddies visited. I’m not sure what I thought I would achieve. It was an unconscious urge, a driving compulsion for propinquity.
Dawn somehow got wind of my arcade coup, and urged on by my friends, ah, frenemies, they descended upon me, Chris, and all his pac man playing buddies. Over the next two hours it slowly dawned on me that this was an unspoken declaration of war. During biology every first period after that, I would sit across from Chris and now Dawn would pop over and sit next to me. I would talk. Chris remained silent unless prodded to speak. Dawn cultivated this fit of maidenly meekness which made me ill, and I got no indication at all which one of us he liked.
I have no idea how things really went down at the dance between Dawn and Chris. I was told they slow danced together and my unspoken hopes were crushed. Let us draw a curtain over this dismal scene. I held my head high and carried on.
Come April our year books were passed out. Dawn’s friends/my frenemies made sure to haul out Dawn’s yearbook when she was conveniently absent, just to grind my lesson in misery deep. They pointed out where Chris had written in Dawn’s yearbook “Don’t worry about her. I don’t like her, I like you and your long red hair.” 🙁
Foiled by a red head.
The knock to my heart and confidence was so severe, I was never quite the same. Which is probably a good thing. Certainly I’ve toned down my piranha act a notch or two. Dawn and Chris broke up almost immediately that summer and I went on to develop better taste in men.
My next helpless crush started in ninth grade. He was seven years older than me. He had hair like fire and a beard like satan. It turns out that I too, was susceptible to gingery hotness.
I eventually got over that crush as well. (Because he liked someone else better than me–Gah!)
A true red head is pretty rare–if you’re not in Scotland. Thank goodness.
Twice burned, I’m now involuntarily shy about red heads. A little red goes a long way. Auburn hair is a much safer bet, and I will admit to liking a bit of burning red in the soft brown hair of my one true love.
What do you think, fair readers? Better red than dead? Sound off below. And if you haven’t followed our blog, please do.