Saturday, November 3, 2012

Red Hot Romance

Yesterday, marked a milestone in my life. After months of emails, Facebook and late night phone calls, Red and I finally met in person on May 2. That was six months ago. You can read about that meeting here.
For any new followers who may not know who I am referring to, Red is the author of the blog Doesn't Speak Klingon. Several months before meeting, something sparked between us in the comment sections of each others' blog posts. I am not going to tell the entire story here, but Red has a page dedicated to this story on her blog. Click here if you would like to get caught up.

We've had trouble deciding what to tell people when they ask how long we've been together. We have been commenting on each others blogs since early January. The comment from me that started everything happened on February 13. Over the course of the next few months, we started emailing, exchanging gifts through the mail and making phone calls. However, the first actual face to face was May 2. Since we had pretty much decided we were falling for each other before then, we like to say we have been together longer than that, but most other people don't go for it.

Regardless of which date should be used to accurately measure the duration of our relationship, we have been together long enough that we need to look at ourselves and each other seriously. We have each learned a lot about the other over the last several months and surely have much more to learn. Being head over heels for this woman causes me to want to know as much about her as I can and I often feel that our occasional weekends and nightly phone calls just aren't enough.

In an attempt to learn more, I turned to the source I use for most of my learning: the internet.

One of the first things a person meeting Red for the first time will notice is her red hair, which is the reason she goes by Red. She never actually said that. I just assume it's the reason. Since her hair color is such a prominent part of her first impression, I did a little research to see if there is anything I need to know about redheads to help me get to know her better.

Scotland has the highest proportion
of redheads in the world (13%)
When I refer to her as a rare beauty, I have statistics to back it up. Red is the rarest hair color in the world. Only 1-2% of the entire world's population has this color naturally. Despite the rarity of this color, many redheads have influenced history out of proportion to their numbers according to Cort Cass. In his book, The Red Head Handbook, he listed several famous redheads: Roman emperor Nero, Helen of Troy, Cleopatra, the ancient god of love Aphrodite, Queen Elizabeth I, Napoleon Bonaparte, Oliver Cromwell, Emily Dickinson, Antonio Vivaldi, Thomas Jefferson, Vincent van Gogh, Mark Twain, James Joyce, Winston Churchill, Malcolm X, Galileo, and King David. This tells me that red heads aspire to greatness.

There are many stereotypes about redheads. One that I have heard my entire life is that they have hot tempers. My daughter and I even took a poll once asking people what redheads are known for. Over 90% answered that it was their tempers. However, there are other stereotypes as well.

  • According to a Clairol Color Attitude survey, 71% of redheads think that the word “bold” describes them, which is 24 points ahead of blonds.
  • While 49% of those polled in that same Clairol Color Attitude survey thought blonds were na├»ve, only 15% thought redheads were.
  • Redheaded women are often associated with sexual prowess. Yay, me! In fact, according to Playboy magazine, "Redheads are like other women -- only more so."

There has always been something special about redheads. They were recognized as unique even in the days of the ancient Egyptians. Look what I found in this book:

It hasn't always been good to be a red head.
The ones who weren't sacrificed were buried alive.

  • During the 16th and 17th century witch hunts, many women were burned at the stake simply because they had red hair.
  • In ancient Rome, red headed slaves cost more than slaves with other colored hair.
  • The ancient Greeks believed that redheads would turn to vampires after they died.
  • In Michelangelo’s Temptation and in St. Paul's Cathedral, Eve is initially depicted as having brown and blond hair, respectively. But in both artistic renditions, after she eats the apple and she and Adam are driven from the Garden of Eden, Eve is depicted as a redhead.
  • Hitler banned the marriage of redheads to prevent "deviant offspring."
  • Mark Twain once said that, "while the rest of the human race are descended from monkeys, redheads derive from cats."


I know that I have always thought of redheads differently, but it's pretty clear that it is not just me. Redheads have been viewed as different almost since the beginning of time. So far, I have only listed stereotypes, but there are several facts about them that do make them a little different.
  • Redheads do not experience a graying of their hair as they age. It typically goes blond and then turns to white.
  • Red hair holds its pigment more than other colors, making it harder to dye.
  • Red hair is a recessive trait, which mean that a redhead must inherit a red hair gene from each parent.
  • Redheaded women report bruising more easily than women of other colored hair.

I feel that I have learned a lot about the woman I have been spending so much time with and I know that when Red reads this she will adamantly proclaim that there is more to her than just her hair, but I won't take it personally. It's not her fault. It's in her genes.

28 comments:

  1. Well, as for the anniversary, I say make it whatever you want. I know you don't care what people think anyway. :) I am glad that you and Red connected. Sounds like you are quite happy.

    I can attest to the fact that redheads don't gray. My dad is living proof. His did just what you stated. It turned blonde and has slowly been fading to white since then. :) There are quite a few redheads running through our family. On both my side and Alex's. I have a feeling my little 3 year old current blonde will end up a redhead. She was born with auburn hair and still has one large red streak in the back of her hair. :) We like red.

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    1. I like to throw the date back to the February comment that started it all. Keep an eye on your daughter if she is a redhead. Kirsten has a penchant for trouble.

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  2. You sound quite infatuated with Red; good for you. Perhaps you've sound your soulmate. I hope so.

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    1. Thank you. We are enjoying each other.

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  3. I agree with Brandi. Your date is whenever the hell you two decide it is! This post was awesome. Red heads are awesome! I learned a few things about us that I didn't even know.

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    1. Good. It looks like I have passed the redhead test. If the redheads enjoyed this post, then I can be proud of it.

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  4. Happy anniversary to you and Red! She sounds wonderful.

    I loved all the redhead trivia. Who knew? Very cool.

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  5. Happy Anniversary :) I think you should count how long you've been together from whenever you want! I definitely think you can fall for someone without having met them first. The meeting just cemented things.

    Good job on your research...you are a very committed man :)

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    1. I think you can also. I had already told everyone about her and listened as they made fun of me for my imaginary girlfriend. Once we actually met, it just kept getting better.

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  6. I'm so happy for you and Red, you two sound like you're very happy, minus the distance thing of course. Happy Anniversary!

    I knew quite a lot of that stuff about red heads, but it's still interesting to see it all together. I think most of us definitely FEEL like we're different as well as being perceived by others as different. I'm red headed as well as left handed, I wonder what the numbers on that combination are. :) haha

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thank you. We are happy.

      Hopefully, I have shown you that you have every reason to feel different, but not weird. Well, maybe a little weird.

      Delete
  7. Aww! It's so sweet the way you talk about her!

    Also, just a random little fact... When dying your hair red, it's also the hardest color to keep. I have personal experience with that and a couple hair stylist have told me that. I guess that makes natural redheads all the more special.

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    1. I didn't know that one, but...yes, more special.

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  8. I just complimented a girl at the grocery store yesterday on her beautiful red hair the shade of a warm copper. Loved learning all the fascinating things about redheads, but more importantly, it sure sounds like you have found your 'one'. Very very cool.

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    1. Red hair is awesome. Hopefully, every redhead knows how special that hair is.

      And yes...very very cool

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  9. Another fun fact: The red hair gene is actually a MUTATION of the blond gene! So you could say we're mutant blondes...if you wanted to say that. No wonder ginger-phobia is real!

    Double-bonus for quoting Mark Twain. But I always thought he had white hair. Who knew?

    You truly are an evil genius to research all this "in honor of" this anniversary. You know you have to raise the bar from now on, right? ;-)

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    1. I'M DATING A MUTANT!?! Do you have any special powers you haven't shown me yet?

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  10. Happy Anniversary (?) you two! That is fascinating about redheads. But I thought you weren't supposed to put her picture on your blog? I know she's just drawn that way, but she looks pretty bad. ;)

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    1. Thank you. I didn't ask before the picture, but she hasn't complained, so I think I got away with it.

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  11. Gosh. For the first time in my life I wish I had red hair! Even before reading this most researched treatise on red hair, I was worried about them. I read that since the world is becoming so much smaller and people of different races and cultures procreating -- with that being good and all -- the bad is that the recessive red head gene is having trouble surviving. Have six months to you and Red. Remember the redhead gene pool is counting on you!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I know I have already said this, but red hair is awesome.

      I came across that as well. Many geneticists believe that they will be extinct within the next years. They don't believe the gene will be completely gone, but it will become so rare, that they will almost never be seen.

      We will not be contributing to be gene pool. I've already had my kids and don't want anymore.

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  12. I think you just redefined the concept of a love letter (in a good way).

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    1. Thank you. I should do this more often.

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  13. 7th grade biology teacher once said that red heads have the least dense and most brittle of bones. It was the only time I didn't secretely wish I had red hair.

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    1. I heard something like that before also.

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  14. I can attest to the easy bruising. I once had a school nurse claim there was something wrong with me since I bruised up after her toddler pinched me.
    You realize that once the gene is "extinct" a redhead will rule the world because she not only will be exotic but strong willed, and intelligent!

    Hestia

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I've seen the bruising. I have red headed friends who will get a nasty bruise and not even know where it came from.

      When there are almost no redheads they will hold a much enlightened place in society. Hopefully, you will all remember those of us who treated you well.

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