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Color Hunger

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This morning, I woke up and I had to wear something colorful. The need was so intense, I could not ignore it.

Even though I was swept along on this wave of lust for bright color, I was also confused by it. This had never happened before. It is easy enough to recognize that – there is nothing in my closet that could fulfil the need.

Recently, I’ve stepped away from all-black-all-the-time to embrace colors such as beige or muted greens. Blue, there is a little navy or discreet blue in there too.

As a teenager, I was very enamoured of the deepness of black. Black was so all-encompassing. Black was simple, black was stark. This was the era of neon colors, so I had a few pieces of red or electric blue. But I loved to wear black and the other colors, because it set off the contrast. It was another kind of starkness.

Living in the San Francisco area encouraged my love of black. Black pooled in my drawers and sulked in my closet. I laughed about it being difficult to find a particular item of clothing, because the black all blended together.

I learned to avoid cotton dyed black. It faded. Wool, or other fabrics held the deepness of the color better.

So where has this lust for color today come from?

It has been coming slowly, I recognize that. I’ve been lingering over the patterns and flower shades on the sales racks. Not quite taking the plunge, but thinking about it.

Why now?

Am I the pawn of fashion’s will? Have the designers dictated that Colors are now the thing, and I pant after them like Pavlov’s dogs? Am I being influenced by this palm-tree and Porsche city? The flowers growing year round, the huge billboards shouting for my attention with bright splashes? The dabs of mandatory paint on the feminine toes everywhere through sandals?Or, to be Alanis about it, had I finally come to a healthy place where I was comfortable with complications in my clothing? Maybe the huge numbers of people in my new city were intimidating, and I wanted to stand out.

These thoughts sifted through the cracks of my consciousness as I single-mindedly shopped for the brightest, loudest piece of color I could fasten to my body.

I wanted something that would announce my presence boldly without me saying a word. I wanted to stand out and make heads turn.

I found the most amazing little red dress, with purple and orange and hot pink palm leaves in a pattern all over it.

And I really don’t care. I love it.

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  • Hello! I just stumbled across your post here about “Color Hunger” and simply wanted to say thank you for writing it, haha! My wardrobe is mostly confined to darkly-pigmented articles of clothing. In reading this, not only has my mood lifted a bit, but you have also inspired me to venture out for some more… upbeat-colored clothing. Thanks!