The Suitcase Lady

Purple

April 15, 2008, 8:44 pm

Purple is a secondary color, the marriage of red and blue, but it is primary to me.

My affinity for purple began early in life. On a whim, I bought a pair of purple shoes only to discover that they matched everything in my clothes closet.

Historically, purple was the color reserved for royalty. Liturgically, purple is the color of penance. Mary O’Neill in her book, “Hailstones and Halibut Bones”, suggests that purple is the great-grandmother of pink. I view it as a lush, elegant, but decidedly counterculture color.

Naturally, I was shocked when the “When I’m Old I Shall Wear Purple” poem swept across America a while ago like a grape avalanche. I couldn’t believe women thought they had to wait until they were old to wear a color they loved. If chrome yellow is your thing, girl, go for it now is my advice. Why defer happiness?

I fear that many people would prefer purple stay in its proper places… amethysts, asters, plums, grape jam and bruises.

Fortunately, some of us think purple should be allowed to venture into many more venues. Houses and walls come to mind.

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