Saturday, September 23, 2006

My Love Story with the Color Purple

PURPLE has been tagged as a "Nikki-color" by those closest to me. Even before I wrote The Yellow Paperclip with Bright Purple Spots, I have always been into anything and everything purple. Let me tell you my love story with this funky color. It actually has a lot to do with my life... and with love.

In 8th grade, my middle school boyfriend and I had matching purple t-shirts. Nothing fancy, just plain, round-necked purple t-shirts. We were 15, happily on Cloud 9 and purple was "our" color. We came as twins for our Middle School's Twin Day with our matching shirts and khaki shorts. We'd laugh and credit our shared brainwaves whenever we'd wear our shirts on the same day. We were both in purple when we first hugged on the morning after I dropped the bad news that I was leaving for another country. We have several photos in our purple shirts. It's now 13 years later: my purple t-shirt is worn-out (and goes well with my Spongebob pajamas) but it still brings back a flood of happy memories every time I wear it and drift off to dreamclouds.

In high school, I played for the basketball team in my purple Chucks. I wore purple socks to add a little color to our dull white-and-gray school uniform. I remember buying a lot of purple envelopes, sign pens and fancy papers. I must have thrown out my worn-out Chucks (since I can't find them... sob!) but after seeing how well yellow paperclips go with them (check out Ada's purple chucks here), I'm thinking of getting another pair. Or should I get purple Crocs instead? (Update: I got a pair of gold mary jane Crocs but bought a purple star jibbitz!)

In college, I headed a team for the Ateneo Student Trainers (STrains) called The Euphoric Eggplants and purple became our official team color. One team member started by giving everyone purple ballpens. Another sent all his emails in purple font. I gave out purple folders and made funky purple stickers of happy dancing eggplants. We called each other "Eggplant Jon" or "Eggplant Ericka" or "Eggplant Nats" (who came to the last book signing at Powerbooks!). The Euphoric Eggplants is one of my most favorite and memorable teams I worked with.

In DDI, I was esctatic when Pittsburgh HQ decided to have purple, specifically Pantone 260, as a primary corporate color. We had official DDI folders, notebooks and pens in purple. Our corporate brochure and PowerPoint template came in shades of purple. I asked everyone to wear purple for our marketing events. I was purple from head to toe (accompanied by 100+ purple items) for our Christmas Crayola Box Party two years ago. I always knew I was meant to work at DDI, but all that purple was just too good to be true. (Just last year, we shifted into a more formal and corporate look though. Dark blue and copper are now the primary colors, but it's all good because we still use Pantone 260 for all selection and assessment services!)

In other quirky Nikki-ways, purple has completely invaded every part of my life. I've bought a couple more purple items for my wardrobe. I'm often seen with my trusty purple wallet, purple knapsack or purple purse. I've spotted so many interesting purple things: wildflowers (this photo was taken at the Sacred Heart Novitiate in Novaliches last Easter), kiping at the Pahiyas festival, even firetrucks in downtown Manila. I delight in anything purple; family and friends now find it easy to give me gifts! Google took me to some pretty cool purple sites: the pointlessly but purposefully (make sure you click on the FAQs!), the history and variations of purple on Wikipedia, and most importantly, The Purple Crayon, a site for writing, illustrating and publishing children's books!

In this paperclip adventure, this funky color has really been a bright spot. A good friend suggested that I add the purple spots and the story took on a whole new dimension. I was wearing my purple sweater when Ani called to tell me I won the PBBY-Salanga Grand Prize. I sign books in purple ink. As cheesy as it is, I try to wear purple whenever there's an event or celebration featuring the book (even if it's my underwear! Hee-hee...).

Most people associate purple with royalty and luxury or Lent. I see purple as a significant color of my life: without a question, I am a bright purple spot, inside and out.

I'm also very yellow... but that love story is for another post!


cris said...

hi :) cricket gave me your book as a present, and i saw that you scribbled your URL as well so i decided to drop by! love the book!! :) and congratulations on the award! :)

CloudWoman said...

Thanks, Cris! Glad you liked the book. And sorry I spelled your name with an "H"! :( I hope to meet you when I visit Cricket sometime... :D Enjoy your crayola skies! ;)