Columnist: Finding your inner pink

Tracy Beckerman

I have never been much of a pink girl. It’s not that I’m pinkaphobic or anything. But personally, I’ve always preferred primary colors. Not surprisingly, my dining room is red, my kitchen is yellow and my bathroom is blue. Then there’s my daughter’s room. Her walls are pink, her comforter is pink and her rug is pink. Her clothes are pink, her sneakers are pink, and I have no doubt, she dreams in pink.

Since she is still only eight years old, I have allowed her her pinkness and it hadn’t presented much of a problem until the day the school supply list arrived home from school informing us that she needed to buy a black binder.

“Why can’t it be pink,” she asked reasonably.

“I don’t know. But it says it has to be black,” I told her as we perused the school supply aisle.

“But black is boring,” she informed me, channeling Jackie O.

“Yeah, I know,” I told her, taking stock of my black shirt, pants and shoes.  “But you also get to buy red, yellow and purple notebooks.”

“No pink?”

“Nope. Sorry.”

“So what, does the teacher have something against pink or something?”

“I think she was probably trying to find colors that work for both boys and girls,” I explained.

“Well they DON’T work for me!” she announced.  And then her eyes narrowed and her lips disappeared and she began to turn a not-so-delightful shade of pink.  She then proceeded to huff and puff until I thought she would blow the composition notebook display down.

“I’m GETTING a pink binder,” she informed me through gritted teeth.

“NO, you’re getting a black binder,” I informed her back.


“SSSHHH,” I sshhed her.  Other mothers were glancing in our direction and then hustling their daughters out of the aisle as though afraid that the pink thing might be catching.

Truthfully, I really didn’t give a pink hoot what color binder she got. And typically when I pick my battles with the kids, safety issues and health concerns usually far outweigh color preferences. However, this was the first day of school and I didn’t think it would get either my daughter or me off to a good start with this teacher if we blatantly ignored the black binder dictum.

“Tell you what,” I started.  “How about if we buy some pink markers and pink stickers and stuff like that and decorate your black binder with them.”

She narrowed her eyes suspiciously at me.  “Does it say I can do that on the list?”

“No.  But it doesn’t say you can’t, either.”

“Wellllll,” she thought for a minute as her face began to return to its normal color.  “OK… Oh, look, there are some stickers!”

We walked over to the sticker display and I inspected the selection.

“Hey, here are some cute pink kittens,” I showed her. How about these?”

“Sure,” she said agreeably.  “But I want the blue ones.”

SIDEBAR of author's book

Rebel without a Minivan: observations on life in subrubia

by Tracy Beckerman, 336 pages, Cold Tree Press