I love me some purple! Not sure what that is about but it has been a lifelong love. My Dad, who was a musician, stand up comedian guy, had day jobs to support his artists life and one of those was in the carpet business for a season. He decided to re-carpet our house at one point. I got to pick my color for my room. And yes, I chose rich deep purple. It was fantastic....to me. And to my musician/artist Dad.
Anyway, I never lost my love of the brilliant color and even in the black, white and turquoise years I was secretly a fan. Then I attended college at ACU. A dream come true for a purple lover.
Purple has always represented more to me than just a fun color. I use the expression, "my inner purple" a lot. Those who know me, understand that means my Arlene-ness. You know, the inner core of who you are. Mine just feels, well, purple. I love the purple metaphors for life in poetry, in prose, in art, in theatre. I love the Spiritual significance. The audacity of it, really.
And so, the journey of purple in the hair happened last year. I know there are haters among my friends who scrunch their nose up a bit and wonder, "what the heck." And that is a-ok with me. But the purple streaks in the hair story has taken on its own life. I did it, at first, because I was bored. I fight an inner battle of rebellion all the time. Filtering, monitoring, choosing, intentionally deciding. Picture a two year old trying hard to obey. There you've got it. That is me, inside, still - at almost 44. But allowing some of the inner purple out, just a little, functions like a release valve. And you thought it was just a bad hair color choice.
But the purple hair journey got more interesting as I began to notice what was happening. People who would hardly engage me in conversation before began talking to me. People who looked different to me. It became a great conversation starter. I found a point of connection with a few teenagers who I had previously not been able to connect with before. It has led to significant conversations with checkers at the grocery store, people at the Pizza place around the corner, the tire guys at the local store.
The converse was true too. There is nothing like the disapproving stare of a more conservative peer who is making assumptions about your character based on a few inches of hair color they have observed. It took me back to the less comfortable years and made me think about how I perhaps have judged others. Interesting.
But, I'm writing about it today because of a comment that I overheard on Saturday. Spencer started his Basketball season and we were about in the gym at a local church where he plays. My phone rang and so I hung back to take the call while the family all got settled. Two women came walking by, assumed I was not paying attention because I was on the phone and just a little ways away from where I was standing, the one says to the other, "I guess she should pick to either wear the cross or have the purple hair." It stunned me. I finished on the phone and went to find David. I told him the story and chose to try and just let it go. But, wow - some cards were shown right there. I have pondered those words for several days now. I keep wondering about the times I have had a similar thought and I have asked God to strip my heart of those. Honestly, I think I have messed up enough in my life that judging other people seemed foolish a long time ago, but I know I have my moments. I pray God keeps those words alive in a positive way as a reminder for me.
But for now, I'm all about the cross and purple living symbiotically. And besides, it makes me happy.