“Let me go onnnnnnn like I blister in the sun” little did the Violent Femmes know they were describing gingers with those particular lyrics! Perhaps I’m just particularly aware given my own redheaded disposition or it just might be that there really has just been more topical articles popping into my newsfeed of late, but I’ve been thinking more about gingerness. I’ve heard every sh*tty joke known to man and every stereotype to boot. I don’t necessarily think I fall under any of the stereotypes other than the rage. I reckon that has more to do with my generally being a grumpy little shit than the shade of my head though!
It’s been on your mind too, though. I’ve been receiving an influx of messages lately on the topic. A few of you aren’t feeling entirely at ease with your carrot tops due to comments and jeers. I never really thought I was the kind of person that someone outside my family or friends would come to for advice. Especially given a lot of my content focuses on the lighter, more humorous side of life and complaining about people on the bus. I’m really touched that you feel that you can. It’s a great responsibility. I think Bloggers often lose sight of the impact they have. We’re so removed from the people we deliver little nuggets of our life to. Try as hard as we might to engage and create conversation, oftentimes it is one-sided. So, before I impart the snippets or wee offerings that I have I do want to say thank you for the trust.
It’s easier said than done to embrace what makes you different. For those of you that read my post about my hair history, you’ll know I haven’t exactly had a love affair with my own. I will say I don’t regret dyeing it that time. I got to live out my scene phase dream. I will, however, never do it again. I have slowly fallen in love with my red locks and that has been no mean feat. I don’t remember ever thinking it was ‘special’ as such when I was small. I do remember as a child and even to this day strangers feeling the need to reach out and touch a strand, without asking, whilst muttering some amount of shite about how “It’s so unique.” Creep factor up to 90. I’ll tell you what I do remember most though, the poorly thought out playground jokes that just sit with you.
As I’ve gotten older, I hear the quips less. They still make me twinge a little whenever I do though. I don’t think I’ll ever reach a point where they don’t have an impact at all. It wouldn’t be realistic to suggest that for a second. On top of that, of course, you start to get everything from ‘I have a thing for gingers’ to ‘I would never date one in a million years You couldn’t pay me.’ Sometimes it’s hard to judge which is the more appealing version.
I’m not sure that I’m a guru of dealing with mean comments. I’ve been fairly lucky in that thus far, I’ve had quite an easy go of it on the Internet. I do get the negative comments though. Oftentimes I manage to delete them before (I hope) others can read them. I suppose I’m embarrassed by them. And oh if you could spend a day in my DMs. People can be real pricks when they can hide behind the veil of anonymity. I have had to develop a manner of dealing with them. And I suppose what I do is what I’m here to impart.
The first thing I do is acknowledge the hurt. Even though I am a grown strong (although perhaps a bit short) Irish woman the comments will have some effect, be that only perhaps a fleeting one on my temperament. I think the reason it’s important to tip the head in the direction of the feeling no matter for how short a while it’s there is because how could you ever expect to deal with it if you don’t even acknowledge its existence. One of the biggest loads of shite I’ve ever heard is the ‘sticks and stones’ rhyme. I have a better version for you. There is this modern poet Shane Koyczan who is surprisingly cool (I promise) and he wrote probably one of the truest and best verses I’ve ever read:
“We are graduating members from the class of Fuck Off We Made It
Not the faded echoes of voices crying out
Names will never hurt me
But our lives will only ever always
Continue to be
A balancing act
That has less to do with pain
And more to do with beauty”
How frigging cool is that?
So, I read or I hear the comment and remind myself that although whatever the next witty piece of crap that was a pretty mean thing for someone to say, I’ve heard whittier and funnier. I AM better than the comment. And perhaps, god forbid, better than those knobs. I enjoy the fact that I am unique and part of a group that’s less than 2% of the world’s population. And that it’s kind of like we’re part of a club because we do lock eyes and feel a weird connection with others like us on the street. I try my best to relish in the nicer comments. I think shitty things about the person who’s saying them because, let’s be honest, I’m not above that. And I have a bitch with my friends because venting is so much better than bottling it up.
It’s only a few morsels and a long-winded way of getting there, I know. I do think they’re useful though. If any of you are having a bad day, do feel that you can reach out. Christ knows and as mammy says I’m never off the feckin phone anyway!
All my love as always!