A few weeks ago I wrote about my little sister and her anti-obsession with pink. It’s not fair to just pick on my pretty little munchkinhead though; I too have had my obsession with color. But mine was a little different.
Pink, blue, green, yellow. It didn’t matter, as long as everything matched. And I mean everything.
Every morning I went to my color organized closet (ok, I still do) and picked out my outfit for the day. Usually, one of my classic dresses, a princess seamed, knee-length dress, generally made out of a light weight cotton. The first of these was light blue gingham check with little blue flowers on it, made for me by Mommy my freshman year of high school. I wore that dress in my senior pictures. I wore that dress to high school graduation. I wore that dress to law school graduation. I love that dress. By the time I was a freshman in college, I had the same dress in every color of the rainbow.
Little ruffled socks, the color of the dress, and matching shoes and I was basically dressed. Light blue socks with dark blue denim shoes, white socks with pink flowers on the ruffle with light pink canvas shoes. Orange dress, orange barbie slides (no socks). Same for red. Every color, a pair of shoes. But that’s hardly remarkable. The really remarkable part is that most of those shoes were flat!
Once decked out in my dress, I went to the large mirror to accessorize and put on my makeup. A small plastic drawer set, the kind used for sorting nails and screws, sat on my counter. Each little drawer held a different color, in rainbow order, barrettes, hair rubber bands, and earrings together. (Ok, they still do.) If my dress was blue, I opened the blue drawer and put on blue earrings and clipped my hair back with blue barrettes. If my dress was yellow, so were my earrings and barrettes. My toilette was finished with eye shadow of a matching color.
Breakfast time! Pink dress? Pink bowl, pink napkin, maybe even a pink plastic spoon. Strawberry oatmeal for pink days. Blueberry on blue days. Yellow? Cheerios. At dinner, I’d reset my spot so my cup and plate could match my outfit.
After breakfast, it would be time to head out of the house. No jacket needed in summer, but a visor was always a must. Pink Adidas, Blue Adidas, Yellow Adidas, White Adidas, Orange Wisconsin Dells. (singing: One of these things is not like the other…) And then, the most important piece: my purse!
I had a purse in each color, and each purse had its own color-coordinated collection. A comb, a pen, some kleenex, if it came in that color, chapstick, a lighter and keys. Yes, keys. I had a set of keys for each purse, each with plastic key covers the color of the purse. It helped that I worked at a hardware store and could all the key copies myself.
I didn’t smoke, but I liked that the lighters came in a rainbow of colors. One time, I even found colored cigarettes, so I bought them just to have the matching ones in each purse.
All Good Things
And then one day, it all came to an end. I was wearing blue. I could only find my green and pink keys. I was running around the house trying to find the blue ones. Looking everywhere. I was running late for work. I couldn’t leave. I couldn’t drive my car without keys. I had two sets of keys in my hand. Two sets of keys that would drive the car. But I wouldn’t leave because they weren’t the right color. There was green in my dress, on the little leaves, the green keys would have matched. It wasn’t good enough. I had to have those blue keys!
Then all of a sudden, I realized the absurdity of the situation. I was about to be late for work and risk getting in trouble because my car keys weren’t the same color as my dress. It was so silly, it made me laugh. And it scared me. A little further over the edge, and I might have a full fledged mental disease. That was it. No more absolute one-color matching. (Ok, once in awhile there still was.)
Now, I just coordinate.