Hey: remember when dusty rose was the it color?
We had a whole thing, L and I, this weekend, over cookies. She’s fallen in love with Oreos, which, fine, they’re delicious. But did you ever get that white cream inside on your hands? It’s just like shortening. I don’t really love her eating that. So on my last trip to Trader Joe’s a bought a box of Joe Joes, which is their version of the Oreo, but less terrifying in the ingredient list. And L won’t eat them because they don’t taste like Crisco, and also because they’re flavored with real vanilla and she can see the flecks.
And I was so frustrated because this is my girl who doesn’t worry about things like flecks. Or didn’t. And now she’s a fleck worrier, and did I ever tell you about the time we bought seven different cartons of vanilla ice cream, trying to find a totally fleckless one, for her big sister? Because her big sister maintains a fleckless diet and only enjoys about four foods but vanilla ice cream is one of them, so simple, a treat of ice cream, and she was ruining that treat for herself and the rest of us because she didn’t want any, on account of the flecks. And I don’t hold against her that she has tactile concerns and sensory concerns and a built-up mistrust and neuroticism for new-to-her foods based on all the aforementioned concerns; I just wanted her to have some things in her childhood uncomplicated by concerns. I wanted her to have the pleasure of enjoying a bowl of ice cream.
So we bought vanilla ice cream until we found some sufficiently fleckless. And now the second child is taking up the no-fleck mantle?
So I remembered about my childhood bedroom, not as it was when we first moved into the house, but as it looked (and still looks) when I left. When we first moved in it was covered in yellow clown wallpaper, primary colors, red noses and red shoes and blue polka dots. Very ‘70s, although that decade had already left the building when those clowns became mine. Very yellow, with very mossy green carpet, and I loved it until the day I didn’t. And then it took years beyond that to convince my parents to strip the wallpaper and paint.
I was in middle school then, and I had an artistic vision. I wanted to paint the four walls of my little box of a room in alternating colors: peach, mint, peach, mint. It would look amazing, obviously. I was waiting for my piano lesson to start and was talking to the music school’s secretary and described it to her. She didn’t see it with the same vision: “don’t you think that will be a bit much?”
She tried to be delicate. “I just think that will be hard on the eyes – all that switching from one color to the next. What if you just paint one wall in an alternate color, or just settle on a single color?” She didn’t convince me that my walls would look bad in peach and mint, but she did convince me that not everyone would think they looked good. I lost my confidence for my bold vision, and we painted in just peach. And that’s how they still look today. (If I still lived there, they’d be different by now.)
And the moral of the story is: L get be fleck-nervous now if she wants. Her tastes are changing as she’s growing, and she’ll probably have a different opinion in a few years. After all, her sister has expanded to five foods now with the addition of red bell peppers to her list (along with, because I know you’re wondering: chickpeas, strawberries, cheese-and-crackers (one food because they can only be eaten together) and challah-with-butter). Peppers are promising. One day flecks won’t matter. And I’m so glad nobody expects me to like a peach-and-mint color scheme forever.
This post was inspired by the book we just read for book club, wherein the character Amy, who may or may not have been murdered by her husband, brought out the crazy in other men, too. Her benefactor/abductor/stalker/admirer Desi had had a room in his lake house prepared for her for years, painted in dusty rose, the color he remembered from high school as being her favorite. Aren’t you glad you’re not held to the standards you once upheld decades ago? This was a can’t-put-down book with unforeseeable plot twists in every chapter. And I can’t tell you anything else without giving away plot points because they’re all too intricately woven. Oh, look, here’s some boilerplate to help me out:
This post is inspired by mystery thriller GONE GIRL by Gillian Flynn. They may not have the perfect marriage, but after Amy goes missing, Nick becomes the number one suspect. Can he discover what happened before it's too late? Join From Left to Write on June 12 as we discuss Gone Girl. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.