Another thing I don’t like about Mysteries of Pittsburgh star Jon Foster is the fact that he has red hair (along with the attendant pale skin and freckles). This is another one of my shallow and irrational objections, I realize, but red hair has always been a problem for me. It’s not as if I write redheads off when I meet them because I don’t — that would be incredibly stupid — but there’s something a little bit off-putting about them regardless. It’s not like I’m Rod Taylor and they’re morlocks. But I do tend to say to myself when I meet a redhead, “Oh…okay. Well, grow up and get past it.” Except I don’t.

I love the almost pumpkinish shade of Tilda Swinton‘s hair in real life, but it’s a kind of blockage at the same time. Cate Blanchett may be a redhead (not sure) but I know I tend to respond to her more favorably when she’s blonde — I distinctly remember recoiling when I saw her red hair in the first Elizabeth movie. I loved David Caruso ‘s performance in Mad Dog and Glory but there’s something about his pale freckly skin that’s always seemed a bit icky. I’ve never liked Carrottop. I could never warm to Red Buttons. The only red-headed actor I’ve really and truly liked without reservation was James Cagney, but the vast majority of his performances were captured in black and white. (I tried finding a color photo of a young Cagney — the only way I could get one would be to secure a frame capture from Captains of the Clouds.) Rita Hayworth also escaped the prejudice of people like me due to her mostly monochrome resume.

I’ve always loved Jack Warden (particularly his performances in Shampoo and Heaven Can Wait) and have never allowed this idiotic blockage to get in the way. Ditto Malcolm X — a man I’ve admired almost my entire life, and certainly one of greatest spiritual seekers of the 20th Century.

There’s a reason, I’m figuring, why I’ve never had a relationship with a red-haired woman in my life.