Wednesday, August 09, 2006

LOST IN SUBURBIA™ by Tracy Beckerman...In the Pink©

I have never been much of a pink girl. It’s not that I’m pinkaphobic or anything. In fact, some of my best friends wear pink. But personally, I’ve always preferred primary colors. Not surprisingly, my dining room is red, my kitchen is yellow and my bathroom is blue. Then there’s my daughter’s room. Her walls are pink, her comforter is pink and her rug is pink. Her clothes are pink, her sneakers are pink, and I have no doubt, she dreams in pink.If there is such a thing as a predisposition to certain colors, I would have to assume she inherited some pink chromosomes from her grandmother, who also likes pink. But clearly the pink gene skipped a generation, just like the gracefulness gene, which I also seem to have missed out on but my daughter inherited. Before I knew that such things run along family lines, I deliberately decorated my daughter’s room in yellow when she was born. But then one day, someone gave her a pink blanket, and it was love at first pink. When she was old enough to express a preference, she demanded pink outfits, and later, signed up for ballet just so she could wear a pink tutu. I have no doubt that one day when she is a rebellious teenager, she will dye her hair pink. I, of course, will be blue in the face from telling her not to do things like that. However, since she is still only eight years old, I have allowed her her pinkness and it really hadn’t presented much of a problem until the day the back-to-school supply list arrived in the mail informing us that she needed to buy a black binder. “Why can’t it be pink,” she asked reasonably.“I don’t know. But it says it has to be black,” I told her as we perused the school supply aisle.“But black is boring,” she informed me, channeling Jackie O.“Yeah, I know,” I told her, taking stock of my black shirt, pants and shoes. “But you also get to buy red, yellow and purple notebooks.”“No pink?”“Nope. Sorry.” “So what, does the teacher have something against pink or something?” “I think she was probably trying to find colors that work for both boys and girls,” I explained.“Well they DON’T work for me!” she announced. And then her eyes narrowed and her lips disappeared and she began to turn a not-so-delightful shade of pink. She then proceeded to huff and puff until I thought she would blow the composition notebook display down.“I’m GETTING a pink binder,” she informed me through gritted teeth.“NO, you’re getting a black binder,” I informed her back.“PINK!!!”“SSSHHH,” I Shhhed her. Other mothers were glancing in our direction and then hustling their daughters out of the aisle as though afraid that the pink thing might be catching. Truthfully, I really didn’t give a pink hoot what color binder she got. And typically when I pick my battles with the kids, safety issues and health concerns usually far outweigh color preferences. However, I didn’t think it would get either my daughter or me off to a good start with this teacher if we blatantly ignored the black binder dictum. “Tell you what,” I started. “How about if we buy some pink markers and pink stickers and stuff like that and decorate your black binder with them.”She narrowed her eyes suspiciously at me. “Does it say I can do that on the list?” “No. But it doesn’t say you can’t, either.”“Wellllll,” she thought for a minute as her face began to return to its normal color. “OK… Oh, look, there are some stickers!”We walked over to the sticker display and I inspected the selection. “Hey, here are some cute pink kittens,” I showed her. How about these?” “Sure,” she said agreeably. “But I want the blue ones.” ©2006, Beckerman. All rights reserved. For more LOST IN SURBURBIA columns, go to Tracy BeckermanLOST IN SUBURBIA™


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