Friday 16 March 2007

Red alert!

It's time I wrote something about Neve - A.K.A Nevey (to her mum), Genevieve (to Amelie, who insists on using her full name) and Jellybean (to me). A quick check of the 'labels' list on the right of the page shows that so far she's been criminally neglected for blog topics. That's not deliberate, it's just that the total amount of crossover time when she's awake and I'm not at work is quite small - and she's only little. Which means there isn't much to write: at 6 months old, all she really does when I do get to see her is cry, shout, sleep and smile - though she has learnt to multitask already, in that she can cheerfully fill her nappy during any one of those. But in terms of blog anecdotes: so far, not so much to work with with.
But then, one thing does have to be said. Neve is a redhead. There's no escaping it; she's ginger.
This is difficult for me, obviously. I have two friends who are afflicted with the Gerbils Kiss and I have mocked them both for it, on and off, for years now (though both are losing their hair, which must seem like a real double-edged sword). Tempers have been raised. Unpleasant things have been said. Phrases like 'hamster' have been flung about without thought of the consequences. Even as recently this week, Radio 4 had a serious piece on 'ginger related bullying', saying it was as big a problem as racism and sexism, but which, (sensitive soul that I am) actually made me laugh out loud when some of the terms of abuse were listed. Kids can be so inventive.
But - with Nevey here, not only am I a reformed gingerphobe, but its time to stand up and be counted, and to recount our familes secret shame: the dark secret of the Collins line is that we are carriers of the ginger gene.
Neve is not the first, of course: her auntie has long flowing locks of red hair, and they seem to have served her well: well enough to get a modelling contract anyway, which you have to assume is at least partially because of the way she looks. And one of the reasons I don't grow a beard is that it shines red in the sunshine, though to be fair the main reason I don't grow a beard is that it's not a good look on me anyway: the first time I did, my marked resemblence to the Yorkshire Ripper was mentioned by more than one person.
Our biggest remaining gingerphobic issue appears to be the 'raised eyebrow' factor. Nini is dark haired, I am dark haired, and yet Neve is auburn red. I am also out of the country for at least six weeks a year. You can see people putting two and two together and coming up with five, which infuriates Nini, because in her own words, the inference is that she "is some sort of skank"...
My friend Max has been foolish enough to joke about this, and Nini responded by 'unleashing the fury', which scared him to the the point when even now he is slightly edgy around her, and always wary that any kitchen knives are out of reach...Readers should be beware: jokes along this line are taken in very poor taste, and no matter how much she likes you, she will have to cut you, so that you learn...

Yes, ginger is good. On women, anyway. Particularly when coupled with a constant gummy dribbly smile.