Be Happy Anyway

Be Happy Anyway
From Brave Girls Club

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Color Purple

This week at Color Combos Galore, they challenged us to use a combination that included purple and of all the colors in the combo (purple, green, white and gray,) purple was the one that most people felt the least comfortable using or said that they hardly ever use.

I love purple. I have ever since I was old enough to have a favorite color. My first bicycle was purple. I pledged a purple sorority. Even my first truck was purple. (I miss that truck.) I am even reminded at this moment of a time when I dyed my hair eggplant. My mother then introduced me as "almost her daughter."** Does that mean I wear it all the time? No. In fact I hardly ever do wear it only because it reminds me of a Paula Danziger book The Cat Ate My Gym Suit where the girl was overweight in junior high school, and she wore a purple pants suit (the 70s) to a school dance feeling like a grape.Purple is a hard color to wear, paint houses with or even scrapbook with because of the strong feelings the color can evoke. In school, classmates used to say things to each other like "hating each other with a purple passion." That's a lot of hate, isn't it? By using the color purple to express yourself artistically, maybe you are opening yourself up like a wound. Aren't many bruises and black eyes purple? Remember veterans who are injured in war are awarded the Purple Heart.

Unlike blue which will always be cool and red which always be hot, purple - a combination of the two - changes depending on where it is on the spectrum. Sometimes it will be a cool delicate or romantic hue like iris or a deeper richer hue like the favorite color of Cleopatra. Maybe it was her love for this color that lead purple to be thought of now when we think of royalty.

My Aunt Rose vividly remembers having red shoes and wearing them with purple socks and one of the nuns of the orphanage telling her, "The only taste you have, Rose, is in your mouth!" Funny that 30 something years later my cousin would graduate from Boston College whose school color was red and more specifically from dental school whose color on the cap and gown was purple. So, for his graduation party Aunt Rose had purple and red balloons.

And on that note, I leave you with one of my favorite poems:

With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick the flowers in other people's gardens
And learn to spit

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

Taken from the book
When I Am An Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple
Editd by Sandra Martz
Papier Mache Press--Watsonville, California 1987

**Note to Cazjane: See what I mean about prim through and through?


Holly said...

Thank you for this entry! Purple is also my favorite color. I have it everywhere.

Also, I love the poem too. My grandmother still has this up on her wall after many, many years.

Anonymous said...

i love reading your blog. it is always so interesting. i have a friend in Houston who loves purple too and someone told us it stands for royalty. so cool.

MJ said...

I never used to pay attention to purple. You remember those days: power colours from the 1980s? Purple and pink didn't make it to the list of "dressing for success".

I now wear lots of pink. My purple quota is increasing too.

K loves purple; it's her favorite colour so I am seeing it everywhere now!

miruspeg said...

Thought provoking post as usual Annemarie.
I wear lots of purple now that I have changed my hair colour from blonde to reddish. I feel quite special when I have purple on.

I can relate to that poem personally. I have never been one to conform and now that I am older delight in wearing colours that don't go together; sit down on the pavement when I am tired; gobble up samples in shops; run sticks along public railings; go out in my ughs in the rain; pick flowers in other people's gardens; sing loudly while driving.....the list is endless!

After that confession are you still happy to travel with me!!!

Anonymous said...

Purple is a favourite colour of mine too! Along with green. And I have always loved that poem - it perfectly describes my retirement plan (!)

Shan in Japan said...

Purple is not my favorite color, but I do like it. And, like most people, I do not wear it. I do have big purple towels, though, which I love. The rest of my bathroom is cream and light blue so they don't really match, but who cares!
Thanks for commenting on my blog, too. I have not forgotten about the award you gave me, just haven't had time to pass it on properly:) Maybe this weekend.
I liked your scrapbook purple page, too!

Roban said...

Annemarie, I've always loved this poem. I'm so glad you shared it in your post.

As for purple, I have no strong feelings for it one way or the other.... I wear it, since it's our school color, but I've always felt it's a little too bold for me. Unlike Peg's feelings, I always think the color clashes with my reddish hair.

I go for the more lilac shades I think.... The springier hues.


Wendelyn DeMoss said...

I like purple, but I can't wear it. I really like the eggplant color purple. I hear purple is "the color" for this year. The have to have outfit must be purple! Plaid is back too! Let's see, got a purple plaid skirt?
I am terrible with colors so I have to depend on store retail assistants, color wheels and copying to get my color act together! :)

carrhop said...

Purple is 2 of 8's favorite color and she does wear it well!

I also love the poem--I've read it before, but it always brings a smile to my face!

miruspeg said...

That was a lovely trip down memory lane Annemarie. I certainly enjoyed reading this post again and all the comments.

In 2008 we were fresh and new to the blogging world, two years later I guess we are older and wiser, but I did LOVE this moment in time when we were all getting to know each other and sharing our stories.

Love your new motto "Be Happy Anyway".....its the only way to travel.

Happy blogging my friend, even when I close my blog I will still pop over here weekly to read about "what you have been thinking".

Heaps of love and light always beaming your way.
Peggy xxxxx

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