December 1, 2013

MOSER | My Last Confession

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To my fellow students and faculty: Congratulations. You’ve made it to the last Monday of classes of 2013. All you have to do is get through this day, then the rest of the week, then exams, and you get to be done. These last few weeks are fun ones (minus the studying and writing papers and whatnot), so enjoy them.

For me, this last stretch of 2013 comes with some sadness, as well as relief. I will be spending next semester studying at the University of Edinburgh and saying goodbye to CTB and my friends for a time. This Monday is especially bittersweet, as it marks the final installment of this column: Carrot-top Confessions.

As much as I would love to write to you about the many adventures I will be having with Ewan McGregor and James McAvoy next semester, the higher-ups at The Sun tell me I’m not allowed. Apparently they will permit me to pen some guest columns, but I will probably be too busy with Ewan and James, as well as my new best friend Jo (Rowling), to write one anyway. I’m sure you’ll be hearing from me in some form or another when I return next fall, but I’ve been toying with the idea of applying for an opinion column so I can rant about things other than Saturday Night Live. Or maybe I will continue to rant about SNL in Arts, but under a pseudonym or at least a different column title now that I’ve announced the end of Carrot-top Confessions.

I figured this would be a good opportunity, for those of you who have read my column on days in which the Arts Section is printed in black and white, to explain why I have entitled my column Carrot-top Confessions.

The easy explanation is that I have red hair and I divulge much too much personal information in this bi-weekly hot mess than my mother tells me I should. Also, Carrot Top is an immensely entertaining human being and my celebrity doppleganger. But, if you have met me, you will know that my hair isn’t actually that red. You may wonder why then I make such a fuss about it. While I would call myself more of a mild redhead than a severe one, that wasn’t always the case. When I was a child, my hair was the color of a tomato; like a non-organic, non-heirloom, beautiful, pesticide protected, shiny, red tomato. I am the only person in my entire family with that color hair.

Quick fun Moser family anecdote: when I was a baby, driving across the Canadian border with my family, we almost were not allowed to leave the country because the Canadian border officials did not believe I was a member of my family. They thought that my parents had kidnapped some redheaded Canadian child. And that is how I almost spent my childhood in a Canadian orphanage.

Anyway, as the only redhead in my immediate and extended family (I have my father’s short legs and short temper and my mother’s teeth, so I know I’m not adopted) as well as the only one in my elementary, middle and high school classes, I received a fair bit of attention. Contrary to the picture painted by Kathy Griffin and South Park, the gingerism I faced was minimal. But I did have a few odd encounters. Strangers in the street told me they wanted to trade hair with me, multiple hairdressers saved some of my hair after a haircut to match the color for dyes and my first grade teacher made me dress up as Anne of Green Gables for class. When there were four Julias in my grade in high school, I wasn’t Julia Moser or the freckly one or the one with the obnoxiously loud laugh. I was The Redhead.

So even though now you may be baffled as to why I make such a big deal about my hair when some people (who would be wrong, by the way) call it strawberry blonde, growing up, it was a pretty huge part of my identity. It is also why I have long been fascinated with the nation of Scotland, which has the highest population of redheads in the world. It is why I have always known I’ve wanted to live there at some point (more than just a love of smoked salmon and plaid) and why I am leaving you all to go there in January.

It’s been a treat writing this column every other Monday for the last two years, but I think it’s only fitting to retire my column that emphasizes the uniqueness of hair color as I go to place where I will simply blend in with the crowd, or at least be able to count on not being the only redhead in a room. So, thank you to everyone who made this bi-weekly rant possible, and don’t worry, I’ll be back next year with lots of new stories and possibly a really annoying fake Scottish accent.