When I was a sprightly, more youthful twenty-something (I am officially over the hill when it comes to the twenties), I worked in a little state by the name of Rhode Island. It’s not actually an island, and I wouldn’t exactly qualify the state’s leadership as Rhodes Scholars.
In fact, there are a lot of things about Massachusetts’ neighbor to the south that continue to baffle me. But that’s a dramatic story– of RI Troopers and speeding tickets, and regional meetings in a state the size of my largest Michael Kors bag– for another day. If you’re lucky, that day will not be in the foreseeable future.
From Colt State Park
I did a lot of things down there, including occasionally driving the speed limit. I got to work with a lot of great people. And I learned a lot. My first few years out of the Eagles Nest were not easy, but they were certainly formative. One of the most lasting lessons I learned was from a fourth grader.
“Are you a sad person, Miss Elizabeth?” the little human asked after we finished up a lesson on local architecture. Considering that just hours prior, I had moved my car to find that yet another feral cat had chosen the underbelly of my Focus as its final resting place, this was perhaps the wrong day to ask such a question. Was I a sad person? Possibly. Was I a pathetic person? Highly likely.
The boy’s question was a loaded question, and on top of that, a personal question. In other words, a question not to be answered truthfully. “Nope, I’m as happy as a Lisa Frank rainbow,” I said. Except I probably didn’t reference only the greatest Trapper Keeper designer of all time.
“Then why do you wear all black, Miss Elizabeth?” Oh. So thaaat’s where we’re going with this. His question had nothing to do with dead (likely diseased) cats, or my (lack of) salary, or my two hour commute. It was about my gloomy wardrobe.
The boy’s great-grandmother was recently widowed and, following the customs she brought with her from the Azores, she had taken to wearing all black as she mourned her late husband. She would, in fact, wear all black until she passed away. I can’t imagine her great-grandson thought I was a widow– that would have required someone being willing to marry me in the first place– but he certainly thought my outfit could stand to be brightened up. “If you wear pink,” he said, “it tells people that you’re happy and funny.”
Happy and funny (sometimes even intentionally). That’s me to a tee.
Also On Tap for Today:
Do you have a daily uniform? Are you an all-black dresser, or are you bright and bold?