The other day Gal Smiley asked me what my favourite colour is, and I surprised myself by saying orange.

When I was a preteen my favourite colour was yellow. I remember in Grade 8, we had to do some art project centred around blue, red, or yellow, and I was the only one in the class that chose yellow. My art teacher told me that in his experience, 50% of kids choose blue, 49% choose red, and 1% choose yellow. I’m afraid that went straight to my head. Yellow was cool — the colour of rebels, man.

But by high school I’d moved on to red. I’d figured out that I looked much better in red than yellow, and I amassed so many red clothes that my mother had to introduce a new laundry load of just-reds. My Grade 10 English teacher, Ms. Robson, did this thing in the first week of school where we broke into groups, then got to ask her a bunch of interview-type questions. One of the groups asked, “What’s your favourite colour?” and I remember she said, “When I was young I liked yellow, but now I like red.” And all us teen girls nodded in quiet agreement. Ms. Robson was cool. Red was cool — the colour of pretty hip young teachers who let us ask them personal questions. Red rocked.

After university I went through a pink phase — I bought a new suit for my first job that was cream coloured with pink decorations, and I loved it. Even though pink does not flatter me, all my new pink clothes washed well with the old red ones. A few purple items made their way in there, too. Pink and purple were cool — the colour of girly girls. I felt pretty!

And now, suddenly out of nowhere, I seem to like orange. I blame the new set of markers I bought for the kids a few months back. There’s a lovely soft yellow-orange colour in there that I adore. It’s the colour of clementine oranges at Christmas. The colour of the inside of daffodils, the colour of the inside scoopings of jack-o-lanterns.

I looked online to see if this new colour choice reveals something deep and meaningful about my inner psyche. The “what does your favourite colour say about you” sites I found, though, are all hand-wavy and fluffy and new-agey and generally bogus. Liking orange may mean I feel more social now. It may mean I feel happy and sunny. It may mean I feel agressive and angry.

It may also mean I just like it.

One thing I did learn is that orange is the least popular colour among adults. Orange is by far the top choice when adults are asked to name their least favourite colour. In my age group, it doesn’t even register on the favourite colours pie chart.

Which means, of course, that orange is cool. Colour of rebels, man.

7 thoughts on “Orangina

  1. Orange is Jamie’s favourite colour by far. Only he pronounces it “o-wange”. As far as he’s concerned he has nowhere near enough orange clothes, but ya know–orange clothes are actually pretty hard to find, even for kids.

  2. When I first moved away from home my entire bedroom was orange. I think I was aiming for a retro kind of 1970s look. I don’t know. I can’t imagine what I was thinking. Other than that I don’t think I’ve ever had anything approaching a colour obsession or even preference.Mostly I just stick with neutral, muted colours for clothes and home decor.

    Orange, eh?

  3. Maybe it’s a family thing. Orange took the top spot for my favourite colour about 5 years ago. I was in Sears looking for a new summer purse, likely white to be neutral and safe. But an orange purse caught my eye, and I felt a huge need to have it. The guy I was with said not to buy it, that I’d never use it. But I did buy it (and a white purse, just to be safe). I used that orange purse until it fell apart, then fixed it, then until it fell apart again. Number of times I’ve used the white purse? About twice.

    Fast forward to just a few weeks ago when a pair of orange wedge Kevin Cole sandals caught my eye in a window. I bought them immediately although I have nothing to wear with them (mostly because of the style than the colour).

    And now a segue…

    In university, I took an awesome course on religion. It was called Religious Quests and looked at 1 major figure from each of the major religions, both eastern and western. At the end of the course, we had to write our own quest, breaking our lives into 4 or 5 “periods” and noting the significant event that transformed us from one period to the next. At first I thought it was going to be difficult, but as I looked back on my life the periods were very, very clear, as were the major events.

    And now to tie it altogether…

    When I realised my favourite colour had changed from blue to orange, I wondered if it had to do with me changing into yet another period in my life. I looked back on my life again to those 5 periods I identified in my religion course, and it seemed that they matched up very well to how my favourite colour had changed over the years.

    So perhaps our favourite colour does say something about ourselves. 🙂

    In case you’re interested, I’d say these have been my life colour phases so far:

    birth to 10 years: green
    10 years – 15 years: purple
    16 years – 19 years: black
    20 years – 25 years: burgundy
    26 years – 30 years: blue
    30 years – now: orange

    What’s interesting is that all of my previously favourite colours were cool colours, but orange is a warm colour. I do feel that the change in me at 30 was possibly the most significant one of my entire life. Maybe that’s why it was time to swing into the warm zone. 🙂

  4. Our bedroom and den are orange… and unlike XUP I actually still really love the colour. Still one of my faves…

    I like that it’s got variety it can go from almost red to almost yellow, yet still be well orange.

  5. I’m thinking about painting my laundry room & bathroom orange. Wow! I’m cool!

    Also answered your fondant question on my blog today.

  6. I alluded to my love of orange in this post: http://muddybootsblog.blogspot.com/2009/05/how-to-avoid-crowds-or-miss-them.html

    I’m not sure when it started, but I’ve always had a special place in my heart for orange. In high school I had a pair of bright orange Reeboks along with several other orange accessories. I remember feeling seriously ripped off when an article came out in a magazine (like “Teen” or some other drivel) entitled “Orange is the New Pink”. Then everybody started wearing it, which meant that I, of course, could NOT wear it.

    Luckily it didn’t last long.

    Although I don’t have much orange in my wardrobe currently, all three of my boys are wearing something orange today. Makes momma happy.

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