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Hippopotamus pencil pouches and two packages of disappearing purple glue for a dollar. That’s how we roll.*

July 29th, 2012 · 64 Comments · Daily

When I was a kid, I used to spend a lot of time wondering if everyone saw orange the way *I* see orange. I can look at orange and call it orange, but is my orange your orange? (You call it orange, also, because that’s all you’ve ever known as orange, but what if your brain processes it differently than mine?) ((I promise I’m not high right now.)) Similarly, I associate green and red with Christmas. You might, too. BUT, you might see green and red the way *I* see blue and yellow.

I have spent many hours thinking about the moment when the discovery is made that everyone’s orange is not the same. “What?! Your orange is my BLUE, and your blue is my RED?! We can’t unsee it that way, so we just have to keep on trucking knowing that we’re seeing things completely differently!”

(I married a man who is color blind. His green is my red. He makes all of the time spent thinking about colors 100% worthwhile. “You honestly see those Christmas lights as green?! Oh my God, I feel like we’re in on the secret! Babies! Let’s have them!”)

I probably spend a little too much time on Facebook, and I handle my “wall” the same way I would handle a wall in my house. If you hang a Soundgarden poster in my family room, I’m probably going to take it down. I won’t think less of you for liking Soundgarden, but I don’t necessarily want Soundgarden to take up space on my wall. Similarly, if you hang up a poster that says something to the effect of “I don’t think your gay friends should be able to get married!”, I will quickly remove that poster for two reasons. 1. I disagree with you 100%. 2. My kids like you, but they’re still too young to figure out that you can love a person yet despise their notions. I don’t want them to 1. Not like you because they disagree with you, or worse, 2. Decide to blindly agree with you without thinking it through just because they DO like you.

Oh. You’re using the Bible to back up your claim that it’s NOT okay to help those in need? And YOU get to decide who is worthy of charity and who is not?

I love you like crazy, but your green is not my green.

Wait. You HATE President Obama and you say he HATES America (fists banging on the table!) and you’re really PISSED about this whole healthcare thing and you’re going to put up silly little posters about how you DID build your company and RAWR!!! CHIK-FIL-A APPRECIATION DAY!!!

You look really pretty today, but your orange is not my orange.

With this being an election year, my friends and family are being very vocal about what they believe. Some are vocal by using their actual voices. Some are more passively vocal and choose to hang posters on my wall. (Figuratively! No one has actually shown up at my door with thumbtacks. (I have a No Solicitors sign on my door. With that said, this woman once came to my door and told me that she’s NOT a solicitor. She’s a CANDIDATE! I still laugh and laugh about that. I WILL say that I’ll probably vote for her because I tend to agree with most of her ideas, but I ALSO like the fact that her opponent walked up to my front door and then walked away after reading the sign.))

I’m not saying that my orange is Orange or that my green is Green. I look silly when I fold my arms across my chest and get all scowly. (Most people do, don’t you think?)

This is what I know: If I see you standing out in the rain, I will offer you an umbrella. I don’t care if you’re rich or poor or black or white or straight or gay or old or young. I used to have three umbrellas in my car. I’m now down to one. (I have several public bus stops near my house. Sometimes it rains.)

This is what I know: If, during a friendly conversation, you tell me that you will disown your child if she “says she’s gay”, I will offer you an umbrella if you’re caught out in the rain, but I will definitely not nod my head and agree with you. AND, I will actually choose your child OVER you if she needs a friend someday.

This is what I know: I attend church regularly. It’s a church that builds homes for the homeless and makes sandwiches for the hungry and sends mosquito nets to areas where people are suffering from malaria. It’s a church that welcomes everyone. Everyone. EVERYONE. It’s a church that doesn’t suggest you vote a certain way. It’s a church that encourages you to think and engage in dialogue and love your neighbor. (This is sometimes hard for me, being that I live next door to one of the top ten crabbiest women in America. (I am not making this up.)) It might not be like your church, but its Orange walls are my Orange walls. (It doesn’t have orange walls. I think you know what I’m saying over here.)

I’m 880 words in, and I just want you to know that I think you’re the tops regardless of who you vote for or who you love. With that said, I’ll be trucking along over here in the corner supporting my gay friends and my president and eating eggplant fries and drinking sweet tea and trying like hell to love my crabby neighbor.

*Meredith just came up and asked what I’m writing about. I answered with, “I’m not really sure. I just feel like I need to get some stuff off of my chest, so I’m giving myself 30 minutes to puke words.” Her answer? “Well, then you should probably name it Hippopotamus pencil pouches and two packages of disappearing purple glue for a dollar. That’s how we roll.” I probably should, and I probably did.


64 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Friday links! On politics, progress and parenting. | Butterscotch Sundae // Aug 3, 2012 at 6:49 am

    […] funny and true and her orange is my orange, which will make sense once you’ve read “Hippopotamus pencil pouches and two packages of disappearing purple glue for a dollar. That’s how …“ I’m not saying that my orange is Orange or that my green is Green. …This is what I […]

  • 2 Jane // Aug 3, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    There were a couple of people on my list that I was genuinely surprised and saddened to read “went to CFA.” But only a couple. Anyone else either didn’t comment or our Purples are the same. (I like purple better than orange) (that doesn’t include the ones I knew would go, but there are only a few)

  • 3 tortoiseshelly // Aug 3, 2012 at 10:33 pm

    Such a great post. Would that more people had your outlook and your wonderful, generous spirit.

  • 4 Alli // Aug 4, 2012 at 9:08 am

    I don’t “Fakebook”. If I haven’t spoken to you in 20 years…do I really need to speak to you now? Plus, I’ve heard about all the angry going on there, especially btw the pre-teens. I have a pre-teen – so no FB in our house. Unless you are a fanatic lunatic, I say believe what you want – but keep your negative to yourself! If you were my neighbor I would totally love you! (and make you knit me stuff!!!)

  • 5 Gregory // Aug 5, 2012 at 11:33 am

    What a grand posting! I will be placing this link on my blog. I live in Madison–on the isthmus–and how you wrote is how this entire neighborhood lives. We are a very liberal, open, accepting area that aims as you write–to provide and umbrella. Thanks for writing this!

  • 6 JustLinda // Aug 5, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    My orange is your orange. I’m pretty sure, anyway. Great post!

    My wall is all about shenanigans. I don’t do politics in such mixed company.

    Also, nested parenthetical phrases are da bomb!

    (It’s been way too long since I’ve visited and I’m hoping you still remember me.)

  • 7 haus // Aug 6, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    Oh, FP – I haven’t been here in awhile (hi!), and to float in and find this post is PERFECT. I’m in my semi-regular news blackout mode because I can’t stand all the posters and the shouting of “my orange is Orange!” that goes on. So thanks for putting this into words.

  • 8 marianne // Aug 6, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    I caught a Radiolab over the weekend where they were totally talking about whether everyone’s orange is the same orange and it was awesome. You can find it here: http://www.radiolab.org/2012/may/21/

  • 9 April // Aug 6, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    Found my way here via Butterscotch Sundae, great post, I love the umbrella part. It’s challenging to love our neighbors, especially when they don’t love us back.

  • 10 The Cartoonist // Aug 7, 2012 at 7:40 am

    Although totally polar opposites on the political scale, I still think we were separated at birth, share the same ideas, and see people as donuts; delicious and tasty, and even if you prefer boston creme to the icky too sweet white filling, would eat one and enjoy the experience nonetheless.

  • 11 Tracy // Aug 9, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    I feel as if I am being lumped into a certain group (a different color, per se.) I am a person who would give my kidney to you. I don’t care if you are purple, orange, green or any color. You could be gay, straight, crooked or backwards, but Jesus said to love one another and that is what I will do. I will love you through all your faults, illnessess, dreams, tears and needs. We are human. We are all sinners and fall short. I respect life at all levels. I feel duty bound to honor the teachings that give me a moral compass. Not becuase I blindly follow and mimic, but because it is what and who I am. I have a right to disagree and be vocal. I love that about our country. I would not silence your ability to voice what you believe. Thank you for a perspective, but remember this discussion can easily lead to someone “thinking” anger towards a certain group of individuals who differ in opinions.

  • 12 Megan // Aug 13, 2012 at 11:55 am

    I thoroughly enjoyed this post. Thanks for putting my thoughts into words.

  • 13 Amanda B. Hill at hill + pen // Aug 13, 2012 at 11:49 pm

    I wrote something very similar – both about how we need to quit with the anger and also about bad pedicures! I found you through Diedra’s website. Great stuff!


  • 14 Des // Aug 14, 2012 at 11:27 pm

    I used to think that way about the colors too as a child. I probably have thought about it while high, as well. :)