10 March 2007

I have a "thing"

This "thing" is about green. It's not a good thing.

See, when I was about five or six years old, my mom put me in ballet classes. This, in itself, was fine. I wasn't very good, but I loved it. Until some snotty teacher told a five year old girl who asked if she could be a ballerina when she grew up that ballerinas were small and thin, and this girl would be tall and average. But whatever.

So, the not-so-tiny blonde ballerina was in a production of The Night Before Christmas that all the ballet classes were putting on for the parents. The little kid groups were different things from the beginning of the poem. I was a gumdrop. We had to dance around in pairs, or something, I don't remember exactly.

But we had to have gum drop costumes in gum drop colors.

Now, the little girl I was supposed to dance with had a Stage Mom. You would have thought her daughter's future ballet career rested in this moment. As if there were a scout from Julliard in the audience of the Colchester Village Youth Ballet Class Performance, and that scout would stop the performance and snatch up her daughter by the hand saying "This gumdrop! This one encapsulates what I have tried for so long to teach!" and sweep the girl off to a life of fame, fortune, and anorexia (sorry, it turns out I'm still bitter).

So, we weren't allowed to choose our costume colors, because we would have all chosen the same three colors, and it's not about letting little kids have fun, it's about the final look, or some other equally adult nonsense. Well, the little girl with me wanted to be purple. But so did I. Purple was my favorite color, because my aunt who'd been blind almost her whole life still remembered purple, and I wanted to be able to tell her that I'd been a purple gum drop, so she could see me in her mind. I wanted to be purple with a fire that burned the suns. If I could be a purple gumdrop, I would always be okay with not being a ballerina, because I would be too tall and not skinny enough.

And here's the part I remember crystal clear. The other girl's mom had gone off and gotten two packets of color dye, two different colors, and she came back to us, and she held out her hands to her daughter with her fists closed so she couldn't see what color was in which hand. "Which one?" she asked, holding one way out in front of the other. Her daughter picked the one that had been held back. "Are you sure?" the mom asked. And like all five year olds everywhere, the daughter picked the other one.

The mom opened her hand. And she had the purple packet in that hand. And suddenly, I was a green gumdrop.

According to my mother, I was very mellow about the thing at the time. I got my mother and protested that the so called random drawing had been unfairly rigged (this might have gone something like "She cheeeeeeeated!!!") but there was nothing we could do. I was a green gumdrop.

I let them take my picture, and I danced around in an awful costume the color of a rotting avacado (mom did her best, but the dye was awful). And then I transfered into a jazz class where the shoes didn't hurt and I got to wave streamers around. I was much happier.

I don't wear green, to this day. I don't think about it consciously, but if there's blue or purple or grey or black or even red available, I choose them over green. I'm just not a fan. There are a few shades that I like -- emerald, in particular -- but I just don't care for green.

And then this month's Socks That Rock kit came in the mail. And I wanted to hate it. Especially when the pattern looked so purpley, and my yarn was grey. (Tammy has assured me that they tried and tried to get the pattern picture to look right, and it just wouldn't, so I'm not mad at the BMFA people, not at all). I wonder if this is an across-the-board difference, because Wendy's also have charming blue stripes. But my yarn is green and grey and brown.

I was very ready to hate this yarn. I was going to make the sock, and then find some green loving recipient to give it to. I was going to fuss about the color and use it as an excuse to make one last purchase before I tighten the yarn belt. (Robb gave notice at work, this is a good thing, but it may be a few months of thinness). But last night, I wound the yarn and started knitting -- because everything stops for Socks That Rock -- and I entirely enchanted. The stripes -- even if they are sort of grey with a touch of purple if I squint -- completely break up the stretches of green, and I'm in love with them. I think they're utterly charming. Yay!

So, Tammy, no more whining. Promise!


AlisonH said...

So THAT'S what happened to you and green! Wow. I can just picture you being much happier dancing with the jazz class.

Tammy said...

I swear I'm not hormonal!! But, this almost made me cry. I can sympathize or is it empathize with you on your childhood. DD had a similar experience in ballet a few years ago. I was po'd at that teacher and let them know it. But I am glad you are trying the yarn and squinting to see the purple. I can see it too, just slightly in the right light. I really think it all comes down to how your camera takes pictures, the lighting used, etc.

AlisonH said...

By the way, I absolutely adore those socks you've got pictured at the front of "FOs of 2006." Funny thing... My knitting group is in awe of them, too, just so you know.