When 4 year old Lily chases Grampa Mike and touches his bare arm with her sleeve he leaps away and yells “Ouch, that burns!”! She giggles and does it again. “I’m wearing Hot Pink Grampa Mike” she declares with a vengeance. “I know, I know! Man, that’s hot!”
In my 51 years, this had been the closest I came to wearing pink: Until today.
Maroon, I would wear; Sangria, of course; Plum or Rich Carmine, I suppose; even Pansy Purple I would don, as long as no one knew either the color’s name or my name; but we all know that Amaranth Magenta is just another Fuchsia or Orchid, so don’t bother trying to sneak those Pinks onto my back! Lily would love a Tickle Me Pink shirt, and she’d never stop attacking poor me if she was wearing Shocking Pink, but I would rather be the electrified victim than be dressed in Sky Magenta or Persian Rose!
Now why is that? I must admit a certain respect for the man who is man enough to be seen in a Heliotrope dress shirt, but why must I also feel threatened, when he goes out in public in a Hollywood Cerise ‘outfit’?
I do respect the courage he must have to be so free. He can wear whatever he wants without thinking of stigma. That’s a good thing, and demonstrates a rather enviable character quality. Perhaps I feel threatened by his implied challenge of me to join him. He is obviously ignoring my rather boorish, unspoken challenge for him to stay within the lines; to keep to the stereotypes; to not think outside of the quadrilateral parallelogram.
So far he is wearing what he chooses, and I am wearing only what I am used to: Myrtle and Palatinate Purple are always good; Rufous is great, or Lava (please don’t give Lily a Lava shirt!); Battleship Gray or Taupe I like; Persian Blue, Aureolin, or Chartreuse are great to brighten a day, but today I went as far as I am likely to go into the Roses and the Rubys. Today, when I was rebuilding my sister’s front porch I happened to find a bright pink carpenter’s pencil in my tool box and yes (since I was working alone), I used it. The Owens Corning people apparently are engaged in a conspiracy to de-man the world and are distributing pink pencils to men whom before, only used red and yellow, black and white, or forest green!
So does this mean I am now a liberated man? Will I now be perusing the pinkish section of work shirts at Goodwill? I don’t think so. Lily can have that whole arc of the color wheel, and as she grows up into a beautiful young lady, the pinks, it still seems to me, will naturally suit her soft and feminine qualities much more than they would my rough and hairy form. She has a natural immunity, but poor old Grampa Mike just gets burned by all that Hot Pink!
source: personal experience and opinions