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The Dartmouth
March 2, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Purple Passion

Everything purple is a good thing. A simple thought, but an important one, too. In fact, judging by everyday events as well as some of our most moving literature, I think it's possible to assert that a whole philosophy of life can be based on the simple color purple.

It represents individuality, confidence, and laughter. Everything purple is happy. It's friendly to the eye, and pleasing to all. Purple is the color of courage and kindness. When you see purple, you can't help but smile.

Certainly, many have made this discovery before. Even one of my best friends from home could be considered a purple revolutionary, popularizing the color throughout our little town and high school. She, however, grew quite defensive when others claimed purple as their favorite colors; she thought it was hers, and only hers.

But there's plenty of purple for us all. Purple is like love and friendship -- you can just keep giving it and spreading it, but you never run out. Still, it's hard to blame her for getting so defensive, as purple's a pretty great thing. It's worth holding onto, once you've captured its magic.

If you think about it, purple is everything. If someone asks you to choose a crayon or marker, or to pick a piece of construction paper, the natural selection is purple. It's the only appropriate color to pick: not too boring, but not too out there; not too bright, but not too dark; not too masculine, but not too feminine. Purple's the color. You have to pick it.

Purple will always make you smile. You can't have a bad day if you're wearing a purple shirt. It's just not possible. It's purple. You can't feel sad when you're wearing purple, and no situation can ever be completely horrible if all you need to do is look down or wave an arm in front of your face to see purple.

When you're wearing purple, whether as a shirt, a jacket, socks or anything, the world is at your fingertips. "When I am an old woman I shall wear purple," Jenny Joseph wrote in her quite meaningful poem. "I shall go out in my slippers in the rain / And pick the flowers in other people's gardens / And learn to spit."

I don't think she was trying to offend any or suggest we ruin other people's flowers; she was just trying to teach us all to take a few chances in life, to share a few of our deepest secrets, to wear a little purple.

Even in the business world, purple reigns supreme (it is the color of royalty, after all). The purple companies are always the best. Not sure of which toy store to try? Pick the purple one. Not sure of which copy place to try? Obviously, pick the purple one.

This, in fact, applies quite well to downtown Hanover, as Gnomon Copy -- decked out in full purple decoration -- is clearly the best copy place, and one of the best stores overall. My new favorite store, Gnomon gladly welcomes customers, and serves them faithfully in all of their copying needs. It's purple and it's the best; I would never pick a different copy place.

But even more important are the little things purple. The purple notebooks of our world. The purple pieces in board games.

Arguably, purple is the best Skittle, as well. It's the best jellybean, the best Blowpop. Everything purple is the best. So maybe red's a little more popular in some circles, but you've got to admit that purple's definitely right up there, and generally a little more exciting.

Whenever a sunset or sunrise is beautiful, undoubtedly it's because of the presence of purple in the clouds.

But nature doesn't quit with sunsets. Nature, as a matter of fact, is the original realm of purple's beauty. It brings purple's wordless, inexpressible magic to the front of our boring world.

Can you get any more beautiful than lilac trees? Maybe only in the delicate, purple wildflowers that grow underneath them. They're something special, something enchanted. They're nature's purple contribution to the world, hidden to all but the most careful watchers.

And you know, even Alice Walker observed that "it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it."

So the next time you see a little purple flower smiling at you, don't ignore it. Smile right back. Or actually, maybe you should spit at it or pick it, just as long as you do it in the name of purple.