I'm told that as a young man my grandfather had quite a fondness for redheaded women. As far as I know, that was the only thing guaranteed to make my grandmother upset with him. I was very close to
my grandmother. She told me everything. Back then, in the days before there was a TV or telephone at home, adults spent a lot of time talking. I mean they really talked a lot, often in uncensored detail about relatives, the weather, the good old days, and God. There wasn't a lot of talk about politics, unless it was an election year. Poor folks suffered as much under one administration as another, so there was a disdain of politicians in general. Anyway, even though grey-haired and too old to enjoy talking about her age, my grandmother would still get angry when the subject of redheaded women came up. I imagine my grandfather, who died before I was born, learned to keep a straight face when confronted with a comely ginger female passing by. That is, if he wanted to avoid trouble. Women in those days knew how to use skillets and rolling pins to great effect. Though a peace loving woman, grandmother Vaughn's eyes could cut through lies like a butcher knife. You wouldn't like her angry side. She also had access to a wickedly sharp axe. You don't mess with a woman like that.
One of my earliest memories of a redhead was a cute girl at my elementary school. I won't use her name for fear of reprisal, plus I'm old now. Maybe I really don't remember her name. Age, it's the greatest excuse of all. Now, at the time I was a handsome, if not modest, lad. Skinny as a rail and
with a grin that would charm butter from a rock, I somehow wasn't popular with the girls. At the time,
I blamed it on the overabundance of taller boys in class. "Knuckle dragging Neanderthals," would have been a reasonable description but would have gotten me a fist in mouth. Even Neanderthals knew an insult when they heard it. Nonetheless, I had an appreciative eye for females, even then. Every time one of the girls raised a hand to answer a question, go to the chalkboard, or even ask permission to go to the bathroom, I was all eyes. Hair, clothing, legs, socks, everything was worthy of notice. A gatherer of knowledge, little did I know that this particular topic, females, would be a lifelong study. At any rate, this lovely redheaded girl, granted her leave, jumped up and headed to the door, even as my eyes saw her petticoat fall to the floor. How it happened, I don't know. A wardrobe malfunction, decades ahead of the current trend had happened, blessing me with what may have been my first exposure to women's underwear outside of a Sears catalog. That is, women's underwear direct from the freckled skin of a redheaded girl. Eat your heart out, Charlie Brown. Though humiliated by the experience, I'm certain this particular ginger girl would have known the lusty look in my eyes as nothing but grateful. Redheaded women have been sex symbols to me ever since then.
I'll gloss over my later years in high school and college. First off, I met my beloved Pamela not too
many years after I got out of high school, so women of that era are a sore subject. Second, while I was
taking college courses via mail (yes, I predate computer college courses), I was already married and a
proud father of two kids. The only redhead in the picture then was the one who showed up in a red
convertible in one of my recurring dreams. That doesn't count. My beloved Pamela used to slap my face when the Solid Gold Dancers, the female ones, would shimmy across our little black and white TV screen. I'm not about to see what punishment my dream redhead would bring.
According to my sweet but prejudiced wife, our marriage has been plagued by redheads from the beginning. Perhaps the redhead thing has been even worse than our Carly Simon/Elvis Presley controversy. No matter, we're together and I'm not letting her go. Still, for years now, I've asked my beloved wife, as a personal favor to me, to dye her hair red. Steadfastly, she always refused. Now at first she was angered, perhaps justifiably so. After all, she's never asked me to put on stilts and a linen jumpsuit to give her a thrill. Of course, she knows I draw the line at stilts. I'm way too old to safely take a fall from those things. I'd probably get mad if she asked me to wear sunglasses and rhinestones to bed. I see her point. Always, though, I hoped she would see things my way. I am persistent in some things.
Thus, I happily sit here in my chair, years later, typing away, knowing that my darling has been to the hairdresser and is coming home to me sporting, wait for it, yes, red hair. Was it her deep love and affection for me that brought on this change of heart? Is she feeling guilty about my deceased antique butter mold? Perhaps my pleading and begging was enhanced by the old guilt maker phrase, "You know, I'm getting older. Going red for my funeral will be too late." Guilt, it works well on young and old alike. As I await my first legally sanctioned union with a redhead, my lusty thoughts come to a grinding halt. Blast it! We've got grandson number one tonight. I hope the kid falls asleep early because Grandma and Grandpa have some business to do.