Seeing Red

I’m not sure how to start a blog – this being my first real post and all – so I’ll just start…with a bit of color. Red, to be exact.

I’m a pretty down-to-earth, low-key gal most of the time. I prefer hanging out with friends and family rather than being “on the scene” (wherever that may be). My style is more Baurer than Bergdorf, and my favorite color is blue. So you can imagine my surprise when I realized the other day that my life is full of loud, brilliant bursts of red.

It started a few years ago with accent pillows, to add some zing to my otherwise earthy living room. Then, there was the red wool coat I bought in defiance of long, gray winters and years of wearing blah black. Last summer, I painted a large wall in my living room and kitchen the color of rubies. Even when I selected the “Original Red” color template for this blog, I didn’t connect the dots. But a few days ago, as I stood next to my new Toyota Prius – in Barcelona Red – I finally understood.

A lot has been written about the meaning of color. As you would guess, red is associated with passion, power, love, and vitality, but also anger, danger and violence. I’ve wondered why red / why now for me – an accelerated midlife crisis? Desperate cry for attention? Watching one too many HGTV decorating shows?

Actually, I stumbled upon two explanations that hit home for me. In traditional Chinese culture, red symbolizes good fortune and joy. Brides wear red dresses and it is tradition to paint a home’s front door red. Similarly, spiritual healers suggest using red stones or adding splashes of red color to your wardrobe and life to gain the energy and confidence to go after your dreams.

As I stood with my parents next to my new car last weekend, I realized that I’m in a good place these days, and I’m ready to keep pursuing my dreams. My father joked that he couldn’t believe my transformation from a mom in her subdued Outback station wagon to one in a snappy-red, environmentally-green car. I assured him it was in me the whole time.

It just needed some coaxing to come out and play.


14 thoughts on “Seeing Red

  1. Patti says:

    Hey Susan – I wish you the best on your blog! I’m sure you’ll keep it interesting, so keep on writing! I’ll check back when I can (and when I remember to)…I’m sure you’ll get to a blog about having children and losing your memory. Be sure to put some helpful advice for us that are in the same boat.
    Happy Easter!!

  2. Sarah says:

    hey, i heard you bought a toyota!!! congratulations!!! 🙂 I’ve always been a strictly-toyota gal, myself. but i also come from a family of long-time toyota owners. they make a good product.

    i also think of red is a youthful color. red cheeks is a sign of good health! i look for red cheeks in myself and in my kid. and one of my favorite shirts is red with a big ole heart on it.

    i’m glad you started a blog!

  3. Jen says:

    I LOVE your blog! Look out world, we have a new Carrie Bradshaw on our hands!!! LOL!! Just remember to thank your little sis when you write your first best seller! 🙂

  4. Patti, Sarah and Jen, I’m glad you like the blog (and the color)! Patti, I’ll try to keep my memory and ideas working here, and, Sarah, I love the Prius so far. Jen, you’ve put up with me the longest (I guess you didn’t have a choice), so I’m doubly appreciative for your encouragement. 🙂 Everyone have a Happy Easter and Passover!

  5. kathy says:

    You go Girl!! Being your older family member and a bit of a rebel, I’m glad to see you stepping out there.

    When my father-in-law passed away I wore a red dress to the funeral….now this was 17 yrs. ago and just not done! One of the Aunts made a comment(snide remark really) on my selection. I replied ” Clarence (father-in-law) always said there was nothing prettier than a woman in a red dress, so I chose it for him.” Never heard any more about it! Red is great…… wear it, be it.

    Good luck on your new adventure. We need new ones to keep us sane in this crazy world!

    Love Ya, KAS

  6. Hey, Aunt K – good response for those old bitties commenting on the color of your dress…er, not that being an Aunt makes one old. Well, you know what I mean. I hope. Thanks for leaving a note.

  7. From one chic who digs green, drives her own red zippy car and is wearing red as I write (striped with orange, brick, and taupe)… I’d have to say there is something magical about the color red and being in your 30s. I don’t think it has anything to do with passion or protest, anger or angst. Instead, it’s a color of awareness; we are coming into our own and very much aware of our surroundings and are FINALLY confident enough to stand up straight and say, yeah, check me out. I may not be hot enough for the dating site, but I’m all woman. Hear me roar.

  8. Susan, good luck with your blog! From what I’ve seen already you have a great start – and I love red, it’s my favorite color. Rock on, and keep writing! I love your ‘voice’!

  9. Stacey and Martha, glad to see I’m in such good company (and taste) with other red-loving women. Thanks for your comments and congrats. PS. Stacey: yeah, what you said. Roar on, baby.

  10. sabie says:

    Love what I have read, just kinda stumbled across your blog. If I ever get married again, I will be wearing a bright red wedding dress!!! Already own it, thanks to a rebel grandfather.

  11. Sabie, welcome! I’m so glad you stumbled across the blog. I hope you’ll get to wear that red dress, too – I’m thinking that’s the way to go, too. Now if I could just find the right red lipstick. Stop back again – Susan

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