Wednesday, February 17, 2010

redheaded wildlife

Yesterday afternoon I was walking home from school with all three kids and our redheaded neighbor who people often confuse with Ainsleigh's twin (he DOES have the same color hair, so I get it). We're in the homestretch and I see, a few houses down, a couple men. The view from the corner of my eye signals my brain that these are door-to-door salesman and with post-traumatic-kirby-presentation-that-takes-all-day-stress syndrome starting to set in, I immediately begin coaching myself to politely but firmly say "NO thank you" and shut the door, while simultaneously cursing myself for not having made the "No Solicitors" sign the affable Alice suggested.

I casually pick up the pace, which is easy to do because the stroller pushes like a dream and the kids end up walking twice the distance from the school to home with all the running up and back and all over.

"Ma'am? MA'AM?! Can I say something?" Uh, sure. My eyes go into shifty-overdrive. What does he want? Whatever he has, I don't need it. No I will not donate *even* $10. That's great you're out of prison and selling magazines to support yourself, but no I'm not interested. I don't care what kind of security systems you're selling - I have nothing of value to steal! These are all the scenarios playing out at hyper speed in my brain.

"You all...have RED HAIR!" this Gregor Mendel crowed.

I blinked in slow motion, my mouth slightly open as I inhaled and exhaled, very slowly, the way I've been practicing responding to my children when they ask or say something stupid.

"I mean...that's are that," he seemed to be losing confidence.

Knowing I was about to walk in the house and help Ainsleigh with her homework for what would probably be (and was nearly) the next hour, I decided to open my patience reserves and just nod and shrug, rather than ask snidely, "Hey, are your parents African American, too? Isn't that AMAZING?!" I guess I understand. I kind of feel the same way when I see a fox with her cubs, running around the open space. Come to think of it, maybe that's why these guys never did show up on my doorstep. You gotta keep your distance, and all.


Lisa said...

Hahaha, I like your "in your head" response better. "Yeah, it's like, we all have the same GENES or something! Holy COW!!"

OneTiredEma said...

Red hair is a showstopper. I have one and another with strawberry blond hair. I'm used to the remarks by now....of course I am not one myself (nor is my husband), so the inevitable question is "where did it come from???" My husband used to delight in telling people "the mailman," which appalled me to no end. (The real answer is my grandmother.)

Andrea said...

I get the same thing with B's curly hair, people always stop to comment on it and asked where he gets it. My standard answer is the mailman :)