How to Read a Redhead!

My wife is a redhead. We went to New York last month and several strangers commented about how thick and beautiful her hair is. Sometimes when I ask Mary Ellen what she is planning for the next morning, she’ll say, “Washing my hair.” Then I say, “Okay, how about tomorrow afternoon?” And she says, “Drying my hair.” Because I have less hair (way less), I can achieve both of those tasks in about 90 seconds. Mary Ellen will admit that she has a few gray hairs on her head. I also have a few gray hairs, but that’s all I have.

Are redheads different in temperament and personality? Research conducted at a Kentucky university reports that women with red hair required more drugs to alleviate pain and more anesthesia for surgeries. The study was tough to carry out because it is difficult to tell when a person is fully anesthetized. It’s also difficult to determine who is a natural redhead.

Why would anyone study something like this? Where would they get the idea that hair color has anything to do with what determines someone’s personality? Gee, the next thing you know, some jerk will start telling jokes about blondes.

The researchers asked brunettes and redheads to voluntarily allow themselves to be hooked up to electrodes so scientists could shock them with a gradually increasing intensity while at the same time allowing the subjects to increase the dosage of pain relievers being self-administered.

This experiment, which I thought had been outlawed by some international treaty after WWII, apparently proved that redheads did, in fact, require a lot more meds to withstand the pain. Either that, or they enjoyed the high they were getting, and they saw no reason to end the session.  Both groups—but brunettes even more so—were grumpy and vocal about the pain.  This was not reported by the scientists because they didn’t want to give electric shock experiments a bad name.

I didn’t share the article with my wife, since I wanted to do a little independent study of my own. My friend’s wife is a brunette, so he and I came up with some test situations. Based on an entire weekend of exhaustive research, we discovered some differences between redheads and brunettes…at least from the husband’s standpoint.

According to our findings, a man with a redheaded wife:

  1. Requires a 20-percent more expensive restaurant to get out of the dog house.
  2. Needs 15 percent more pleading to play Pickleball on the weekend.
  3. Will be 12 percent later for the symphony.
  4. Is 14 percent more likely to say the wrong thing at a party.
  5. Will tell 80 percent fewer jokes about people with freckles.
  6. Will spend 35 percent more time saying to clerks at Christmastime: “My wife can’t wear that color.”
  7. If he’s smart, is 100 percent less likely to accuse her of being “fiery” when she gets angry.

I have not shown these results to Mary Ellen, but I plan to mention them briefly over breakfast tomorrow. No, wait—she won’t have time to look at them. Tomorrow’s the day she washes her hair.

– Dick Wolfsie spent his career sharing his humor, stories and video essays on television, radio and in newspapers. His columns appear weekly in The Paper of Montgomery County. E-mail Dick at [email protected]