Pink and I have had an on and off sort of friendship. When I was a little nipper, I liked the color, or at least I thought I did; maybe I just knew that it was my mother’s favorite and I wanted her to like me, so I liked it. My bedroom walls were pink—a deep, bubblegum sort of pink that’s now called Pepto Bismol Pink (for obvious reasons) or Drunk Tank Pink (because some researcher with nothing else to do discovered that drunks and other rowdy persons calm down faster and stay calm longer when placed in cells painted this color; go figure).
But I don’t recall favoring pink clothes or demanding pink sheets and teddy bears and birthday cakes or any of that sort of thing; it was a sort of “just friends” relationship. Next came a long “I hate pink period,” inspired by teenaged rebelliousness or feminism or who knows what. And then just awhile ago, I suddenly and for no apparent reason began to adore pink and hauled home thrifted garments in a variety of shades. Even more recently, my ardor cooled. I told pink not to come around so often and sent it packing back to the thrift store. (“You think I can’t live without you, huh? Well, we’ll just see about that, buddy!”)
I did, however, have some of that “What if I’m wrong? What if pink’s really the one?” sort of angst, so I hedged my bets by keeping just enough pink stuff to give me options on days when I want a touch of brightness but find red too loud (“Stop—you’re hurting me!”) and burgundy too dull (“You’re awfully sweet; it’s just that—well, I don’t think our personalities match all that well, you know?”).
And so, while rummaging around in the closet for something cheerful but not shouty to wear yesterday to work and today to meet a pal for breakfast, I found this sweater, just hanging around waiting to be noticed for its good manners and undying loyalty, even though I’ve taken it for granted and don’t even remember where we first met.
The almost-leggings (not quite so slim cut) came new (but on sale) from Lands’ End for 21. I just found the cotton leopard-print sweater last Wednesday (halfies day at Sal A; 4.99). The silvery scarf (5.00) came from the Housing Works thrift shop on West 17th in NYC and the gray, pink, and black soft one from a hospice shop in Vermont (3.50). I found the thick cotton hat on sale for, I think, 8 or 10 in the next town over at a chaotic shop full of odd clothes and New Age-y accoutrements (incense, crystals) that always looks like it’s one step ahead of the shoeshine.
The jacket—oh dear—that’s brand-new “packable down” (so-called for its thinness) from Lands’ End, 69 smackers.
I ordered it to wear under not-so-warm parkas I already have while looking for a down parka at a thrift store. (I even considered buying one new but couldn’t find any in my price range—100 to maybe 125—that weren’t really dumpy.) And then, while the jacket was on the road, I found a nifty Ralph Lauren feather-and-down parka at Sal A! No jacket needed, right? Right. But when this sweet-talking charmer arrived on my doorstep, I admit it, I lost my head and ran off with it. Ran all the way to work on a cold and windy morning.
And you know what? It’s not just a pretty face. It performed like a trooper, light, warm, windproof, and fitting like a glove. I love it. And pink loves it, too. It’s the beginning of a beautiful friendship.