Tuesday, December 13, 2005

my pink coat

i used to hate pink. when trixie was born, we had good friends who had a two year old son, and we got all of his hand-me-downs for a couple of years (until trix caught up with him), and that's pretty much what she wore. i felt very strongly, in an earnest, feminist, new-parent sort of way, about *not* dressing her in pink and girly girl clothes. when she was about a year and had been mistaken for a boy *every single time we went out* (it's amazing how gendered baby girls have to be before they will be assumed female), i had a bit of a freak-out and ran to the store to buy her some grrl clothes. nothing pink, mind you, because i hated pink, but i remember some cool brown stretch pants with blue and yellow flowers, and some mod-in-a-slightly-girly-sort-of-way pull-overs. it had suddenly occurred to me that the whole point of not imposing frilly pink girl clothes on her was so that she could choose what made her happy and comfortable; but that in only dressing her in hand-me-down boy clothes, i was likewise imposing on her. i wanted her to feel comfortable in girl clothes if she wanted to wear them. (did i mention that i tend to over-think things? get to know me....)

anyhoo, i needn't have worried. our trix is every feminist mother's dream, defying all the gender stereotypes. she thinks barbie is stupid; is completely bored with the boyfriend/girlfriend talk that has already started in third grade; and was appalled at how femmy and made-up all the publicity shots of hermione granger were when the last harry potter movie came out. "mom, look at her, she's wearing jewelry and her nails are polished!" she cried in horror when i showed her a photo display in entertainment weekly. atta girl! at the same time, she wept when i made her cut several inches off her hair (oh the fights we had every morning! oh the joy now that she can brush it herself!); she's the very last girl her age to still choose to wear dresses to church; and the "best day of her life" remains the day she was a flower girl in her cousin's wedding, in a long white dress that looked an awfully lot like a wedding dress, if you ask me.

but it was trix who taught me to love pink. she always has a favorite color, but it changes every few months or so. for awhile now it's been scarlet and gold (gryffindor, you know). when she was a preschooler, she went through a short phase when pink was her favorite color. she liked pink because her best friend jonah (whose hand-me-downs she wore her first couple of years) loved pink. she had no idea that girls were supposed to like pink, she just thought it was a pretty color. i had always hated pink, mostly because i associated it with over-the-top, frilly, compulsory femininity. i had never really considered pink a color aside from its gendered associations. but for those few months, when trixie was in a pink phase, i started noticing pink. in the spring, my neighborhood is a riot of pink blossoms; in the fall, in the woods where i run, there's a bush whose leaves turn the deepest rose. having seen it anew through trixie's eyes, it's grown and grown on me until now it's my favorite color.

over thanksgiving, my sister-in-law took me coat shopping for my 40th birthday at a vintage clothing store. and she made me try on the brightest pink coat you ever saw. below the knee, three-quarter-inch sleeves, big white buttons. fuzzy and warm with a pink satin lining. now, until fairly recently, my wardrobe was pretty much black and grey and navy, with an occassional splash of brown or deep purple. i'm definitely in a different phase of my life these days, but even so, a big bright pink coat is a huge leap. but my lovely sister-in-law made me get it, and she was right. i wear it every day, and it makes me so happy. i love it as much as i hate winter.... it may be the only thing that gets me through.

here's the rub: trixie hates it. pink just isn't her thing anymore!


At December 15, 2005 1:17 PM, Anonymous mamacate said...

I love it. I want to see you in a pink coat. Way to get out of a color rut!

Sooooo happy you're blogging!

At December 19, 2005 5:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

pictures! I want pictures! And I can link you to fabulous thrummed mitten kits b/c I know you know how to knit ;) Although I'd be happy to knit you a pair too, but no promises on how long that'd take...

At December 20, 2005 1:28 PM, Blogger jess said...

I was never a pink girl - girly, but not pink - until the past year or two when I find myself loving it. And the same thing just happened to my sister, too. The coat sounds fabulous. By the way, I love the quotation on your blog header!


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