Ponderance and lamentation on the loss of basics

As I sit here in the midst of a busy young person’s life I am perplexed by a question. The worry of how I’m going to finish all my required reading, do my job and maintain a social life is no big deal compared to finding the answer to this one immensely imperative inquiry. The burden of finally graduating, finding a job and having a meaningful life bears no comparison to this quirksome quagmire. The trials of living in a “new world order” or dealing with the rules of “political correctness” do not even rival the difficulty of dealing with this behemothian bafflement. In fact the world could stop spinning and I would probably not notice if I could only find an explanation to this controversial conundrum.

What ever happened to the basic colors?

You remember—the eight colors that came in the Crayola Crayon box you had your mother buy you every year—Red, Blue, Yellow, Green, Orange, Purple, Brown, and Black.

Oh to go back to those good old days when the box of eight basic colors was all we needed in life. You know what I mean, those early years when things were so simple that eight colors was all you ever needed to describe everything.

As you grow and life get more complicated, if you think about it, so do the colors of your life.

Between those pre-school years and junior high you graduated from the box of eight to the 24 and then to the 64-crayon box (with sharpener in back thank you).

As you get taller and more sophisticated green splits into forest and lime and blue into sky and midnight. As you advance from little league to the major leagues your browns are no longer brown but coffee and mocha.

The development of complexity in our colors, as with other things, seem to mirror the development of complexity in our lives. Life turns into an incessant accumulation of information, responsibility and color.

Heck, black and white even get broken down in to bones and ebonies (not to mention the greys and heathers).

In case any of you were wondering, this little tirade of mine was brought on by innocently browsing through a new J Crew catalog last week. As I flipped through it I discovered that I would not be able to order anything without a picture because I would not be able to figure out all the colors on my own. It hit me then how complicated life gets as we get older. I mean if simple colors can get so confusing for me do I even want to try and understand international economics?

It was no wonder amid all the melons (red), lemons (yellow) and tangerines (orange) that I got hungry. (The colors in parentheses are for those of you who are not as color-cultured as others and to you art majors out there please forgive my generalizations of colors.)

I feel especially sorry for men because, if anything, they are at more of a disadvantage than most women. Or maybe they’re luckier because they don’t have to deal with the intricacies of ambers and fuchsias and are allowed to stick to simple browns and greens.

I pose a question. Do we really need all these color distinctions or are we making things harder on ourselves then they ought to be? It is a given that there will always be shades but should we take it upon ourselves to name every one? Is is really necessary?

Maybe we should get back to the basics and worry more about working with these shades to make life more beautiful instead of concentrating on distinguishing each one from the others. Maybe we can use this obvious analogy in other aspects of our lives.

In conclusion let me leave you with the Crayola Crayon box selection of the future: Melon, Lemon, Sap, Tangerine, Aubergene, Sienna and Slate. I wish you all a happy and very colorful rest of the week and weekend.