Once upon a time, ages and millennia before my current color preferences, I loved and adored the color pink from one end of the world to the other.
I'm sure this was in part my mom's fault - she practically rained a slew of pink upon me. Pink comforter, pink shirts, pink hair clips, pink My Little Ponies (although, my first one was blue and fuzzy). Pink was a constant companion and I loved it eternally. For years, my family even had a pink plastic plate, which was the "special" plate and you knew you were being honored and respected and eternally loved (for the evening) if you got to eat from it.
For those who know me, this may be surprising. These days, I pretty much wouldn't be caught dead in anything pink. At some point, I simply flipped a switch and gave up the dresses, the curly hair, the white tights, and even the pink comforter. I decided I couldn't stand that color, and started climbing trees and wearing holes in my jeans and hitting baseballs as hard as I could. (This may have been when I realized pink was "girly.")
Before that, though, pink and I were the best of friends. Even when I wasn't at home, I loved it.
I went to a daycare called Color My World. It was one of my favorite places - I could interact with other kids and play on all the colorful Fisher Price toys in the backyard. I could bring my blankie for naptime - it was primarily white, which now makes me wonder who made a white blanket for me and if it's still in my mom's basement.
When it comes to white, I either bleed on it or spill my spaghetti.
The daycare kids got to practice responsibility through chores. At snack time, one kid in a rotating schedule would hand out the pastel plastic cups to everyone. The color of the cup you got was always a big deal to each of the kids, and I never got the pink one. I mean, never. I was doomed to snack in a pinkless wasteland for the rest of my days.
Until the day I got to hand out the cups.
Looking back on this, considering I was four years old (five at the oldest), it was pretty shrewd and calculating of me. I carefully examined where everyone was sitting, decided how I would pass out the cups, and rearranged them so that I would finally, at long last, be the recipient of the pink cup I so rightly deserved. I would be queen of my little snacktime castle. And it worked.
As I handed out cups and other kids whined about getting yellow instead of blue, I repeated one of our most holy daycare mantras: "You get what you get, and you're thankful for it."
We sat at the kiddie picnic tables to eat our snacks, glasses filled halfway with delicious milk. I may have gotten one sip out of my precious pink glass before, to my everlasting horror, the boy across from me reached out for my glass. Distracted by something shiny - as even grown-up kids sometimes are - he wasn't even looking as he picked it up and brought it to his lips.
I stared, mouth open in sheer terror, as he drank, defiling my hard-earned (okay, shrewdly stolen) pink cup. My eyes were wide with shock - how could this have happened? I had finally earned plastic, pink-coated happiness - why was it being stolen away?
Why had he gotten his boy germs all over my cup?
Of course, the teacher saw this and took the cup away so as not to swap germs more than necessary. I may or may not have cried a little when she filled a blue cup for me, and recited, "You get what you get..."
My little pink dreams were crushed.