I had hair which could only be described as ordinary. A number of years ago a friend told me it was mouse-colored. I retaliated by making a sculpture of a very large rat and leaving it beside her fireplace when she was gone. We remained friends.
During my early tap dancing days Grandma gave me a perm to replicate Shirley Temple’s adorable curly top, but each time I went to stay with Aunt Georgia she would take me to the barber shop to have a Dutch cut. You know, like the little Dutch Boy on the paint can.
My cousin was born when I was ten years old. We had recently moved from California to Connecticut, and the family was ecstatic to have a baby after so many years with just me. Grandma sent pictures of the new little one, all dimply and cute, and with the treasured red hair! Some people have all the luck!
By the 4th grade my hair grew and I wore pigtails which hung to my waist. I hated them so much that one day I grabbed a pair of scissors and whacked them off. It was so ugly my mother gave me another home perm and was so curly that I stayed home from school for 3 days to avoid the ridicule.
In high school, I rinsed my hair in a bucket of chamomile tea to turn it red, but it didn’t work, so I bleached it blonde, and found that blondes do have more fun!
My hair has been bleached, colored, hidden under a wig and otherwise mistreated, but strangely I never knowingly dyed it red. Once. through an accident of home care, it turned into a brilliant copper frizz, much like Harpo Marx, and I recognized that red was not my most attractive color.
A Freudian psychologist could probably make a lot of my lifelong dissatisfaction with my hair. I have always felt that since we have it, we may as well have fun with it. A grandson once asked me if it were blonde or grey. I told him to take his pick.