“Caroline laughs and it’s raining all day and she loves to be one of the girls.
She lives in the place in the side of our lives where nothing is ever put straight”
I’ve always loved the color pink. Shades of youth and femininity, bleeding together with splashes of rage and desire. Pretty. Although I’ve always been smart, it’s better to be pretty. It’s easier to hide behind the fallacy of beauty, because it’s something that you can buy.
When I walked out of the grey-streaked angst of my early 20’s, I brought pink with me. Pink like Molly Ringwald danced to, in the prom dress she sewed herself. Pink became my signature. My calling card.
Pink pinstriped button-down shirts. Pink stilettos. Pink headbands. Pink suede pants (nope, not kidding).
“She loses herself in her dreaming and sleep and her lovers walk through in their coats she’s….
pretty in pink”
Life is easier when it’s set to a soundtrack. Life makes sense when you think you’re Molly Ringwald. A little edgy, a little lovestruck, happily misunderstood. Driving off into the darkness of my adolescent night, I was comforted by the gritty chorus that stoked the flames of my own rebellion.
I thought that pink would soothe me. I figured that if I smiled enough and wrapped myself in matching accessories, I could glide through my 20’s unscathed. I covered up my college degree with pink tank tops. I hid the hatred that I had for my body with pink nail polish. I bought pink shoes that peeked from the bottoms of perfectly tailored pants, to make the point that I was hiding something beautiful. Pink was feminine and conservative. Pink was nice. Pink was Stepford. And Stepford was perfect. Perfect in pink.
Until it wasn’t.
“Hey Miss Kim” the Sergeant whispered, blocking the door to my office. “Are your panties pink?”
“Heeeeey Mama!” they yelled. “You, in the pink shoes! You a lady cop?”
You can’t do pink in the police department. When you stand in front of a room of 85 cops, pink bracelets do not protect you. They see your pink stilettos and they take off your pants with their eyes.
“all of her loves all talk of the notes and the flowers that they never sent
and wasn’t she easy? and isn’t she pretty in pink?”
Pink was slutty. Pink was disgusting. Pink was exposed.
So pink dissapeared. Replaced by white, grey, black. Plain, grown-up colors. Safe colors. Colors that helped me to blend into oblivion, to go unnoticed.
And then Sean walked into the restaurant bar, in cream-colored linen slacks. Silver sports car. Gold-flecked eyes.
I wore pink stilettos underneath my wedding dress. Molly Ringwald sang back-up while a makeup artist swiped pink gloss on the lips that would greet my husband. Pink was perfect. Pink was mine.
“Caroline talks to you softly sometimes she says “I love you,” and “too much.” she doesn’t have anything you want to steal well, nothing you can touch…”
19 Replies to “Isn’t She?”
Pinkalicious before Pinkalisious was a thing — love it! What an elegant way to illustrate the phases of your life!
Thank you! And oooh….are you calling me a trendsetter? I’ll take it!
AHHHH, I love this post! I am beyond thrilled that you re-submitted. Erica said you are the only one (she left a comment for you on my site). And you did it with no feedback, no direction other than your own writing instincts. I knew that was my Kim!
And it’s a really great post to boot! Big hugs.
Most importantly, I wore pink shoes under my wedding dress too! They had pink crystals on the heel and they made me feel delightful. I have a “thing” with pink too.
Carinn!! THANK YOU! For your kind words, for letting me work out my s**t in your comments section, and for totally “getting it” 100% when I say that I cried some serious tears over this post (and the one before it!). And you’re a pink girl too? I knew we were meant to be friends 😉
Yeah, pink is not my color. I don’t think it would have gone over too well on a submarine.
I can see how that might make things difficult!
I love pink and love this post! Most of my girlfriends hate it and my friends with daughters avoid dressing them in it. What’s the problem?
Thank you! Pink can be a very loaded color I guess….we put so much of our own hopes/dreams/ideas into what pink means.
Love this post. Great job of weaving the lyrics through your life. I am a huge Psychedelic Furs fan, by the way. I met the Butler brothers years ago backstage at a concert.
Were they everything you hoped they would be??
Pink! Two of our three girls were pink lovers. Even though they’ve outgrown it, I still find myself picking up pink stuff at the mall and think of them.
I was huge Pretty in Pink fan…Though honestly I never wore much of the color. One of the “Color Me” generation, I always was drawn to the warmer tones. But now with a bit of color in my skin…I do love to wear light pink lipstick in the summer.
I had no idea where this was headed and was pleasantly surprised! It deserves a, “You go girl!” Rock out that pink 😉
you hit on the double standard so well…and to think, it is really just a color, but can stand for so much more. great thoughts here!
I love that you wore pink shoes on your wedding day.
I’ve never seen Pretty in Pink. I’m starting to think that from a cultural perspective that’s akin to being unfamiliar with Star Wars. I really should get on that.
I also saw the comment thread where you mentioned that you re-submitted. Way to go, you! That takes guts and it was worth it.
SIgh. WordPress ate my comment. My daughter is Caroline. Named for a different song. (Pure Prairie League. Fallin’ in and out of Love. “Caroline is feelin’ down… todaaay”) (Also for my husband’s grandmother, but really for the song). And she loves pink. And she is beautiful in it.
A lovely story, told beautifully. I never claimed pink until I had a daughter; I always felt like it would accentuate the fact that (according to me) I wasn’t very feminine, but nothing made me feel womanly like having a baby!