Saturday, 3 April 2010

Pretty in Pink

Not too long ago I witnessed first and second hand what seems to be a common phenomenon, if I can call it that. Give me a minute, okay a few minutes to explain and paint this pretty and then not so pretty picture. Once upon a time there IS this beautiful young lady. Wow, she was (and is) gorgeous and everybody knew it. (I know I keep switching tenses on you. Please forgive me for this is a real time story with a past tense reality.) (Now did that make sense at all?) Anyhooo, all the men and women who see her cannot stop looking at her because of her beauty. She also is down to earth, approachable which makes her even more beautiful and desirable. She also had a beautiful little baby by a beautiful and handsome man. They were, to all our eyes, the picture perfect family, but they were not married. So they got married. The wedding was beautiful – I didn’t go, but I saw the photos. Which evoked another “wow”! Anyhooo, the marriage lasted a good five months and then he was gone. To say we were surprised is the greatest understatement of this decade. Were we ever!

Each time I looked at her and her beautiful child I wondered “why in the world would he leave her?” Well, the more time I spent in her presence the more I realized that she was full of herself and her beauty, and that she uses it to draw and attract men to herself – the way she dresses, walks, stands etc., whether or not they’re married to other women. She doesn’t care. All she knows is she is beautiful and she needs someone to continue stroking her ego. Then something happened. I was just a few steps away from witnessing first hand this unknown-by-many incident, which was told to me just moments afterwards. She said something that was so negative, so seemingly out of character which revealed the true state of her mind and character, I was floored. It would take too long to tell you the story for I would have to build the entire edifice for you to understand its context, but suffice it to say, the words which come from our mouths, and not just isolated words, but the statements which describe our beliefs, emotions, etc. reveal the depth, or lack of depth of our character. When I learned this about her, my question was answered: this is why he left her. She had nothing inside of her character to offer him. She was/is empty inside of hope and life. She was/is pessimistic and depressed, and thus depressing. He was drawn by her outer beauty long enough, and to the point of making a child with her, but when he married her and spent “defenses down” time with her, he found out what was beneath all that pink. Not much. :-)

Now, I know better than to make a judgment like that without knowing both sides of the story, but it’s not possible because I’m not intimate friends with this former couple. Nevertheless, you and I know there is another side to this story and that the man who left was not all right, nor always squeaky clean. I’ve no doubt, the few times I saw him that he too suffered from the “I know I am beautiful” syndrome that she has. It may be contagious among “beautiful” people. They may have had civil wars over mirror time, and other men and women looking at them too long. That pink is starting to look a little dusty and dingy now. Dusty rose pink? Maybe she (and he) was “empty” inside because of many disappointments in life that drained her of hope, and/or maybe she’s afraid to believe for better because she is empty inside. Is that a conundrum? So she uses her outer beauty, something she knows she has for sure, because people keep telling her she does, but something she’s really not CONVINCED of because she misuses it unnecessarily, and in a negative-for-others way. Suddenly that pink doesn’t look pretty anymore. Or is it the one IN pink that’s losing her luster?

I have a book called Understanding the Dreams You Dream, by Ira Milligan, in which he gives the significance of certain colors, and he says the color pink signifies: Flesh – sensual; sensuous (as in “hot pink bikini”); immoral; moral (as in “a heart of flesh”); chaste; a female infant. Now maybe you agree or disagree with some of these descriptions of this color, and surely that’s your prerogative (thanks Bobby Brown), but this space is not the place for us to debate our opinions. I however, agree with the “flesh” description, and “chaste” and “female infant” significance, for when most people know they’re going to have a baby girl, pink seems to be the most popular color chosen for clothing and walls, and toys etc. When I see a woman in light powder pink, I think of someone who is calm, relaxed, quiet, observant, peaceful, nice. When I see a lady in hot pink I think of someone who is firey or spirited, exciting and excited, hot, on the move, a fighter. I try not to think of men in pink. :-)

Recently I saw a woman of color, my color as a matter of fact, on the RER and she was wearing not hot pink, and not powder pink, but a pink somewhere in between. Her hair was platinum blond and cropped short to her scalp and her makeup was so great. I found myself staring at her to see if she was real. I thought “I could do that.” LOL!! Anyhooo, I also wondered, “is her personality as pretty as she is in pink, or is she a devil on two feet?” You see, we can use all the tools of the trade at our fingertips to create a certain look (“You Got the Look” I know I do MJ! Thanks for reminding me.) that turns the heads of men, women, children, bullfrogs, cows, dogs, cats, and snails, but what about when we have to take it all off? What about when we’re not wearing pink? What about when we’re wearing other colors on the spectrum? Are we still pretty, or do we become someone/someTHING else? Are we still that chaste person, a human being with needs, desires, mistakes? Or do we become something inhuman that needs to be caged?

I’m not just talking about women here, but men too. We all must be careful about the “colors” folks are wearing when we meet them, for they may not be true representatives of the person inside. What do I mean by “colors” this time? Well in my last topic we used it to focus on race and ethnicity, but this time I’m referring to character and personality. See, I’m a visual (and visible, LOL!!) person. When I sing, listen to music, and hear other voices I see lines, images and colors. When I see people’s characters and personalities through their voices and words, I see colors. Most of us have heard phrases like “green with envy”, “black sheep of the family”, “green with jealousy”, “blue blood” (what does that mean?), “red hot mama”. Okay I think you get my drift. When I see and think of a rainbow I think of life and second chances, the sunshine after the rain, Noah’s Ark, and Dorothy and Toto trying to get back to Kansas. Too bad all those animals couldn’t just click their hooves and skip the flood. LOL!!

What kind of person am I when I’m wearing black or red, brown, electric blue, gold, green, white or pink? One thing I’ve learned through studying Psychology is that colors affect our moods, and thus sometimes it’s best to not wear certain colors when going for an important job interview, for instance. Not only do colors affect our moods, but they also speak volumes to those we meet, even saying things we’re not intending. Hmmmm. Many times we make assumptions about people based on the color(s) the person is wearing, until we hear them speak. Then our illusions are dashed. Or maybe confirmed. LoL!! All isn’t necessarily bleak though. (Dorothy and Toto do make it home safely in one piece.)

Psychology, the Bible and the Holy Spirit also helped me realize that humans are multi-dimensional beings: we are Spirit, soul and body and thus we may appear to have multiple personalities from time to time depending on the weather (SAD: Seasonal Attention Deficit, for example), hunger, lack of sleep, lack of exercise, etc. And I’ve learned that some people do have multiple personalities, and this is real life for them, not another Sybil movie. Our characters are shaped and our personalities created by and through our life’s experiences, whether our needs are being met or not, how long we’ve had to make do with what we’ve never had, just trying to survive life, and so on. Many people change with the seasons, others change with the days, while still others change by the hour, with the speed of a pendulum. Hang on if this is you, or if you have to often deal with people like this. Nevertheless, underneath all this drama and dust is the true person’s color, which sometimes comes up for air. Sometimes we may find ourselves talking about someone who just rubs everyone the wrong way, but in a footnote we will say that “He/she has a great heart, a big heart, he will give you the shirt off his back.” That’s who the real person is, the one the world would like to see more of and more often. (Not naked of course, but you know what I mean.) Remember the long ago television game show, “What’s My Line?” Each contestant would be asked something about themselves, a series of questions, and the one asking the questions had to decide which of the three hidden persons with whom he or she wanted to take a chance. “What’s my line”? is another way of asking “who am I really”? What is my true color?

One more real life phenomenon, if you will indulge me. Have you ever taken notice of the colors of the walls and logos of restaurants? Most of their colors are oranges, browns, and reds. Studies have proven that humans are affected subliminally by colors and these specific colors evoke the need and desire to eat. Could this be one of the reasons that fast-food customers eat more (the longer they sit inside the restaurant) and thus are usually larger than those who usually prepare their meals at home (or buy at the drive-thru)? Just a question, you can answer on your own time. This is not a test! :-) Also, has it ever happened to you that you can eat a large meal before going to the movies and still find room for popcorn? It’s not just because of the aroma, but also because of the colors in the lobby and theatre before the lights are turned down. About myself I’ve noticed that whenever I’m wearing white for instance, I desire yellow, red and brown colored foods, so I end up eating a hotdog or hamburger and French fries (not German or Italian or American Freedom fries. Just French.) to get the yellow mustard and red ketchup, and the chili and or beans. How do I know this about myself? Because it’s inevitable that I usually drip some mustard and ketchup on my white top, and it’s not easy to get it out. I have the stains to prove it. :-()

Pretty in Pink. Hmmm, most females are truly pretty in pink when they wear it well, but of course we cannot judge a personality by the person’s clothing and makeup. It could just be a mood swing, so it’s safer to wait for the statements that come from within before deciding how pretty she or he may or may not be. And by the way, I know men can wear pink – ties, shirts, sweaters, but I truly prefer a real man to leave pink for the ladies. That’s just my personality. ;-0