Thursday, October 23, 2008

Femininity? Really?

The color pink is an interesting thing. Once upon a time, it was my favorite color. Then, through various episodes of peer pressure and self-discover, I decided my favorite color was not pink, but blue. Then purple. I finally, in my later years, settled on green. It was a color of nature. It was sophisticated and elegant without being flashy. It represented Mother Earth and all things beautiful.

I grew up in the country. I learned early on that getting very dirty is part of life, that hard work and sweat are how you keep a ranch running. There were times when, even though I was dressed in a skirt and heels and we were headed off to Church, we would stop on our way there because some of our cows had gotten loose and we needed to chase them back in before we could proceed. I took to wearing jeans and tennis shoes every day, simply because they were much more practical than anything else. I had never particularly cared for my looks, either, and so it didn't matter what shirt I threw on with my jeans.

In my college years, though I lived in the city, my country ways stayed with me. This was facilitated by the fact that I work with horses 30 hours of every week. I mucked stalls, bathed horses, breathed in and became covered in dust on a daily basis. During the winter, I wore so many layers to stay warm on those days when I was outside for eight or nine hours that I looked like the abominable snow monster.

Beyond that, I rarely, if ever, got dates. I had no reason, ever, to dress up. Jeans and t-shirts. No makeup. Conservative hair-do. All things practical.

And then I got married.

In essence, nothing has changed so very much. I still work with horses 30 hours a week. I am not playing the "dating game", and my husband really doesn't care what I wear. I'm not competing with other girls to look prettiest at Church.

So why, all of a sudden, have I realized that my favorite color still is pink? Why is it that now, every Thursday, I go shopping simply because it's my day off and I can? I do my hair cute, and wear sparkly earrings, and carry a fashionable purse. For goodness' sake, pink?

But I love it. I get all excited about cute things for my house, and scrapbooking, and keeping in touch with people. I understand now why friends and family are so important. I can't wait to figure out new recipes. I love my aprons. During the summer, I wore skirts in the middle of the week for no reason whatsoever. For some reason, now, I get it. Though I still work with horses, and want to work with animals and be outside and be active, for some reason, now, it's all about being lovey and cutsey and pink and sparkly and pretty. I don't understand it, but there it is, and, I have to admit, I do enjoy being feminine.