It was the 80s.
I loved MTV, My Little Ponies, and Barbie Dolls that never looked like me.
My aunt bought me a Raggedy Ann doll for Christmas but I wouldn’t play with it.
She was ugly with stupid red yarn for hair.
In those days, I was encouraged not to wear pink.
“It clashes with your hair,” I was told.
This was a fashion rule I obeyed
Like wearing pantyhose and a slip under my church dress on Sundays.
White shoes I wore in the summer.
Black shoes I wore in the winter.
And I never mixed a black belt with a brown shirt.
…….but I had gone to a slumber party and seen Molly Ringwald in Pretty in Pink.
I had my doubts.
I grew up in a world of yellows, greens, blues, and browns. Earth tones.
And I became quite the tomboy.
In my late 20s, I gave birth to a blonde.
She was gorgeous and precious.
She had sandy blonde hair, blue eyes, and during the summer she could tan.
Just like those Barbie Dolls of my youth.
The Barbie Dolls that never matched my appearance’s visage in the mirror.
I counted my blessings and could not believe my good fortune.
Such a beautiful creature came from my plain womb.
I stared at her like she was pink cotton candy.
I admired her hair in my hands and picked it up delicately as if it was gold.
I bought her pink, lots of pink, showers of pink.
Pink clothes, pink sheets, pink blankets, pink pillows just like Barbie.
She read books about Pinkalicious,
In a world of soft and ultra-feminine pink,
Overflowing pink color from her bedroom.
Meanwhile, across the hallway, my bedroom was green.
Then something began to happen inside of me.
It was slow at first, the introduction of pink to my own wardrobe.
It felt daring and rebellious and wonderful
First in hidden undergarments and nightgowns,
Then a ring,
One day my daughter and I stood at the mall
And she picked for me a hot pink blouse.
It was beautiful.
I remember standing there looking at it and wanting,
Just wanting to wear it.
And with my daughter’s encouraging smile and hand in mine……..I did.
When you think about it, this story about color
And how color controls and dominates what we do and what we don’t do…..
It’s kinda ridiculous.
We do what we’re told. We act the way we are told. And we don’t even know why we act the ways we do. Just cause somebody else told us to do this or that.
Really, honestly, this is just a stupid story – as are a lot of stories about color.
Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, brown, black, grey, white…….even pink.
I’m no angel. I got a lot of learned hang-ups about colors…..just like everyone else. But as I grow older, I am starting to learn to unlearn them.
Wear what you like. Love what you love and whom you love. Be yourself whomever you want to be…..and the world will go along with your audacity. Your boldness. Your confidence. Your true desire.
Me, I’ll be pink. Pinkaliciously pink.
(This is an excerpt from the poetry book called Moment of Magic that was published a couple weeks ago by J. Speer. The poetry collection is about 60 pages and is $2.99 as an eBook on Amazon at the following link:)