I spent quite a few years in retail, and it was as much a learning experience about the nature of people as it was a job. One thing, which I heard more than once, was especially concerning. It most frequently came from women. though I don’t believe this sentiment is exclusive to any manner of gender. It would typically start off with something like, “Mmhmm… I just love that red hair! I love it, love it, love it!” An extremely enthusiastic complement about the color of my hair is always appreciated, but things often took a wild turn from there.
“It’s sad though, you know? Redheads are going extinct. That’s right– because they’re recessive traits. See, it’s like my ex-husband’s hair. It receded, and then it went extinct. It went away, just like he went away when he moved down to West Palm Beach with his secretary in that bright orange Miata. That’s what recessive means.” I would always be kind of shocked because that’s a lot of information I could’ve easily done without. But also, because that’s not how recessive traits work.
What they were essentially telling me, is that they have less than a basic understanding of genetics. Now, despite what anyone may have told you, I’m no geneticist. However, even while being an exemplary awful student in high school science classes, I managed to pick up enough to know something. There are actually tons of other recessive traits besides red hair that are even more prevalent, like any other eye color than brown, or having hair in weird places, or having attached earlobes– my personal favorite of all. Some people might think it’s weird to have a favorite recessive trait, but I think it’s equally as weird to tell strangers they’re going extinct.
I think the problem is that it starts with a base layer of misinformation then gets mixed with a dash of word association. Or maybe they just got told something wrong and simply believed it? Who can say for sure? What I can say for sure, is that we aren’t going extinct. I have a redheaded child for Pete’s sake! There’s a perfectly good reason red hair remains dormant in the gene pool for so long. It simply takes redheads longer to gestate in the multidimensional nether realm before our soul-sucking abilities have developed enough to journey into this particular plane of existence. I’m kind of surprised this isn’t general knowledge by now.
Being able to harvest the souls of non-gingers is no easy feat, and it’s not something just anybody should be able to perform. So, when you say, “I just love that red hair!” Instead of following it with, “Redheads are going extinct,” say “Thank you, kind and honorable member of the Ginger Delegation, for not adding my eternal soul to the mahogany curio cabinet you keep by your bed.” Or don’t follow it up at all. But definitely do still complement our hair, we need the validation as badly as we need your souls.