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‘Does the Carpet Match the Drapes?’ + Other Ways to Piss Off a Ginger

ginger problems
Photo: Kristi Martin

It’s St. Patrick’s Day, and in honor of the day of the wearin’ o’ the green I’m going to offer a little insight into redhead life and help you avoid earning the ire of gingers.

The Irish people have the highest population of redheads, followed closely by the Scottish. But no one thinks anything about the latter. I have been asked countless times “So, you’re Irish?”

I tend to answer stereotypical accusations with stereotypical answers.

“I really don’t know,” I say. “I’m too busy drinking Guinness and Jameson to trace my lineage.”

Kind of like you’re too busy drinking Old Milwaukee or Wild Turkey to figure out from which redneck state you’re descended.

I was born with red fuzz atop my head, so I’ve dealt with ginger woes for all 33 years of my life. As an adult, I’ve come to embrace the “unicorn” hair color. The teasing I’ve endured since childhood has never really stopped – it’s only gotten more sexual.

By far the most annoying is: “Does the carpet match the drapes?” I think I was a junior in high school the first time this question was posed to me. Sadly, it hasn’t stopped, which only reinforces my belief that men never mature beyond 16.

On the other end of the spectrum, old ladies in the grocery store are just as bad. As a kid, they’d say, “What a cute redheaded little girl.” Now, they tell me I should be making my own red-headed little girls.

Obviously, a cart full of Hot Pockets, frozen pizzas, Cheetos and Diet Coke suggests I’m the motherly type.

But the main gingerism I fail to understand is why, oh why would anyone want to piss off a ginger? Yes, the temper matches the hair, and yes, we are soul stealers (legions of exes will concur).

So if you believe in the old adage “red on the head, fire in the hole,” beware: because if you play with fire, you just might get burned.

Kristi Martin is an award-winning journalist, professional blogger, music junkie and native of northwest Louisiana. Follow her on Twitter @writtennred.

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