This item originally appeared in the Jan. 15, 2004, issue of The Tech Talk.
I'd rather be dead than red on the head." That phrase rings in my head even after 10 years. It was the greeting one of my distant older cousins used to give me at family reunions, which, thank goodness, never happened too often. His name was Tyler, and he always thought that phrase was hilarious. I did too, until the 17th time. After that, well, that was enough.
Yes, I, Rhiannon Faye Weber, am a redhead. I have been one all of my 22 years of life. I got it from my dad's side of the family. Funny thing is we're not Irish or Scottish or Celtic. According to my second-grade family tree project, I have French, Italian and German blood running through me.
I'm proud to be a redhead. We only make up 2 percent of the population in the United States, according to studies.
Some people would kill to have red hair, or at least pay a lot of money. Go to the hair-coloring aisle at your local grocery store and you're sure to find at least 20 different shades of red hair color in a bottle. When people come up to me and ask me what kind of color I put in my naturally red hair, I say Herbal Essences, number 82 just for kicks.
One thing I've always wondered is why do people assume that redheads are always moody and have bad tempers?
Maybe it's the color red itself. Red things always have a negative connotation. See the color red on a faucet, it means hot. Red lights, nobody likes red lights (especially if you've just run one and then you see flashing red lights). And what about those red-eye plane flights? Terrible. Caught red-handed, work through the red tape, the British Redcoats, the red-light district? The list goes on and on.
I personally have never had a bad temper. Well, unless you count the time I threw a rake at my sister's head. Or the time I kicked my neighbor, Jason, in the crotch. Then there was the time I kicked Jason's younger brother in the stomach and left my foot print, size six-and-a-half, thank you. Must I also mention the time I stabbed my younger sister in the head with a straw, leaving a perfectly circular scab mark on her forehead?
OK, maybe I do have a little temper, but, hey, who doesn't?
Let's not forget those lovely brown spots that accompany most redheads' faces, otherwise known as freckles.
I admit when I was younger I used to be self-conscious about them. In an attempt to make me feel better, people used to tell me they were angel kisses. All I remember thinking was with the amount of freckles I have, the angels must consider my face a sort of Lover's Lane -- a place where they could fly over, park on my nose and cheeks and make out for hours.
I once thought about publishing a book on how to naturally remove freckles. I discovered the process one day while sitting in Mrs. Kelly's fifth-grade social studies class. The book would have consisted of three sentences: "Scratch freckled area till skin breaks. Let area scab up. Peel off scab." It really does work, that is if you don't mind a little self-mutilation.
Then there was my first soccer team, the Fireballs. I was nominated the official team mascot. Apparently the vote had been held at a secret practice I had failed to attend.
I did date a red-headed guy once. That relationship lasted about as long as this paragraph.
Two of my favorite jokes I've heard:
How do you get a redhead to argue with you? Say Something.
Why aren't there more redhead jokes? Maybe because someone told them to a redhead.
Rhiannon Weber is a senior journalism major from Prairieville and serves as a news editor for The Tech Talk.