"let your boat of life be light, packed with only
what you need - a homely home and simple pleasures, someone to love and someone to love you,
enough to eat and enough to wear
and a little more than enough to drink:
for thirst is a dangerous thing"

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

men and women and colour

we had a discussion in the office the other day about colour.  it all came about because we were choosing colours for the new carpets.   jan came through and looked at the swatches and picked out his two favourites.  the women in the office were mortified.  the two that he picked were a chocolate brown and a dark purple brown.  he then left for golf totally unaware of the stir he had caused because this led to some discussion which was made worse when michael came through and chose the reddish purple colour (i still hope that he was joking) as he thought it would match the new red blinds very well.

do men and women see colour differently?  is my teal not your teal?  i know women do see more colours than men

but the funny part is that we do confuse them (men - not colours - but colours too).  the other day michael wanted to know what shoes to wear with his dark tan (nearly brown) pants.  i told him definitely the black ones.  "but i was taught that black and brown don't go together?".   i also remember that but the rules do change and i told him so.  a couple of days later he came through to the kitchen wearing navy pants and brown shoes.  "no, no, no", said i.  "so black and brown go but why not navy and brown".   i did not have an answer.

when we did the decor for nina and glenn's wedding in march it was amazing to discover how differently people perceive colour.   nina had mentioned that the bridesmaid's dresses were "kind-of- purple".   once we got the swatch of the colour there was much debating.   from periwinkle blue to dark lavender, no one could actually put their finger on it.

 lovely bridesmaid lauren and her girls

looking at the chart below, i would say it is somewhere between blue and lavender.
Men’s Favorite Colors Women’s Favorite Colors

The table is courtesy of Live Silver Prices

and to me the lavender above is not lavender.  but who am i to argue with the professionals?  the picture below of little gracie (michael's sister jennifer's granddaughter) running in a field of lavender proves my point, or does it?

gracie (in the fields)
i hope you don't mind me using your picture janet? *

the colour debate goes on.  gareth thinks he is colour blind but is definitely not afraid of colour and often wears bright cardigans and sweatshirts.    i am afraid of colour - chromophobic, i believe is the word.  i was not always like this.  i did wear a long red dress to my matric dance and i do love colourful things in my life and home but not to wear them.  i am happy to wear a touch of colour subtly sticking out from something black or grey.  denim is fine too.  i love pretty floral shirts (and have a couple of unworn ones in my cupboard) but never wear them. i even put them on sometimes and get dressed but run back inside to change.  weird.  even when it comes to make-up i will stick with the neutral.  gill (who i share the front office with) wears lovely bright lipsticks and always asks why i have "pimple stick" on my lips.  i can't count how many lipsticks and eye shadows i have given away.

i remember years ago when the boys were little and they asked me "what's your favourite colour, mom?" - grey was my answer.  "grey is not a colour" was their reply.

years later when they were teenagers, i could prove my point (and do i love proving my point) when their favourite song of that time - mr jones by counting crows used to be played and re-played in the car or on the cd player:-

lyrics go as follows:-

I will paint my picture
Paint myself in blue and red and black and grey
All of the beautiful colors are very very meaningful
Grey's is my favorite color
I felt so symbolic yesterday
If I knew Picasso
I would buy myself a grey guitar and play

Mr. Jones and me look into the future
Stare at the beautiful women
"She's looking at you.
Uh, I don't think so. She's looking at me."
Standing in the spotlight
I bought myself a grey guitar
When everybody loves me, I will never be lonely

mr jones (if you have forgotten) and want to listen

sorry, seriously sidetracked again and better finish off before i end up talking about the us open or something completely off the subject.  

conclusion - the colour of the carpets chosen for the office is a neutral grey/beige (we women do have a way of getting our way)!!

* (janet writes a brilliant blog http://wordsthatcanonlybeyourown.blogspot.com/ - take a look)


  1. It's a great photo of Gracie, I don't mind at all!

  2. thanks janet - now need a lesson on how to link posts.