|You Are a Purple Crayon|
Your world is colored in dreamy, divine, and classy colors.
You hold yourself to a sky high standard, and you are always graceful. (Obviously the writer of the test has never seen me zipline, or even trip over my own feet when I walk down the street.)
People envy, idolize, and copy you without realizing it. You are an icon for those who know you. (So why aren't you ALL wearing tie dye and Birkenstocks???)
And while it is hard to be a perfectionist, rest assured it's paying off! (Perfectionists never rest!!! What's wrong with you?)
Your color wheel opposite is yellow. While yellow people may be wise, they lack the manners and class needed to impress you. (Hhhm, but yellow is the color I want my bedroom to be.)
Onto the story...
My mother loves the color purple. LOVES purple. I have known a few other folks who love purple and I have to say there seems to be some inherent madness that attends this fondness for all things violet. No other color seems to elicit the same devotion or spark such mania. Even among lovers of purple my mom attains a special level of passion that far exceeds anyone else I have ever met.
She dates her love of the color to her teen years. All I know is that my entire childhood was bathed in shades ranging from deep purple to pale lilac. Mom was a seamstress so she made a lot of clothing...mostly in purple. My entire bedroom...purple. She tells the story of how she was helping me get dressed for school one day when I was 6 and I looked at her and intoned quite matter-of-factly, "Mommy, I really don't LIKE purple. I'd like to wear something else." She looked through my entire wardrobe and could not find anything that didn't have some element of purple on it. She was both cut to the heart and panic stricken by my stated dislike for her favorite color. She tells me as I outgrew clothes she began to let me choose other colors to wear until eventually I expunged every shade of purple from my wardrobe. I never again wore purple in any shade. In fact to this day I avoid it. I have exactly one purple item because Mr. Lime needed a shirt tie dyed purple as a sample for something. The person he had me make it for did not want it so it came back to me. My love of tie dye trumped my dislike for purple and I wear it as a pajama top.
My mother's passion for purple went beyond wearing it. When my dad left and we moved into town she bought one side of a small duplex. The siding was white and trim was black. In Pennsylvania Dutch country this "color" scheme was one of a few acceptable choices. Dark green, navy blue, or dark brown might also have been tolerated as trim colors. My mother of course chose to paint all the trim a shocking shade of purple. Initially she went with a very dark purple but she decided it was too likely to be mistaken as black so she quickly changed it to an unmistakable screaming, bright purple. Our house was across the street from the local high school. Between the location and the color we NEVER had to give anyone directions to our house. Where do you live? Do you know the purple house by the high school? Oh, yes. Are you next door? No, we are in it....blink blink...shuffling of feet...attempts at polite silence or kind remarks ultimately failing.
The above exchange reveals a bit more about the PA Dutch mentality regarding house color. The absurdity of the trim color meant the entire house was described as purple. The contamination was complete. We were actually listed on a Chamber of Commerce Scavenger Hunt one year (find the house number of The Purple House). If the neighbors were left in any doubt about my mother's sanity when she painted the trim they were convinced when she painted the entire carport purple and hung a giant sign which read "THINK PURPLE." Of course her innovation in reaching the second floor shutters for paint touch-ups may also have contributed to the neighbors' questions about her mental stability as well. Imagine a wisp of a woman standing on the second story window ledge while lashed with a leather belt to something heavy inside. Now add two kids reaching out of the window to hang on to each of her legs to keep her feet from slipping. I.am.not.making.this.up. This is the woman who dared to tell me I should know better than to go on a zipline without a harness. Had I not been overcome by anesthesia and heavy narcotic painkillers at the time I may have thought to remind her I learned from the best.
When I grew up and moved away I thought I'd be able to escape the color and its effect on my life. No purple clothes, no purple houses. Oh, and no purple cars. My mother had hers custom painted in her favorite shade. Then I had children and would you believe the very first color each of them could identify by name was PURPLE. Now, dear readers, let us consider normal language development in a child. One of the reasons that worldwide terms for female caregivers or mothers tend to have the M sound in them is because it is so easy for babies and toddlers to produce. They can randomly let their lips fall together as they hum and say mama or oma. Elated grownups reinforce this with glee and they begin to associate it with their mothers. Single syllable words with simple consonant sounds are easiest to learn. Thus, when learning colors one might expect RED to be first, perhaps followed by BLUE or GREEN. Not my children. Nooooo. Each one of them cooed out PURPLE much to the absolute delight of my mother, who I believe whispered to them in their sleep.
Eventually my mother built a new house with my stepfather and rented out the old house we grew up in. It was no surprise when the new house had purple carpets and walls in both the dining room and her bedroom. When the old house's trim needed painting it was surprising that my mother let the tenants chose the new color. No one was shocked when they opted for blue though it was interesting to hear that the neighbors were sad to loose the purple. I was surprised myself to find I felt a little bit of sadness that I could no longer go drive past the purple house of my childhood. The house is still standing. It's still recognizable as my old house, but there's a little something missing to not see the screaming purple shutters, door and railings. I think somehow all that purple seeped into my soul and is in a lot of ways responsible for me being able to be comfortable enough to state preferences that don't conform to everyone else's expectation or tastes. So thanks, Mom. Anyone want some tie dye?