Commuting time is usually decompression time. Unlike driving, riding the subway each morning and afternoon allows me to listen to music or This American Life on my iPod, read the morning paper, and sometimes just observe my fellow commuters.
Today, as I made my way underground, I was reading Deepsix, my latest less-than-deep sci-fi novel. I casually looked up to notice the five people sitting closest to me were all wearing pink and black. Hmmm. This was a bit out of the ordinary. And as I walked up to the street I wondered if I should blog this. But what could be interesting about this marginal coincidence?
Arriving at my cubicle, I unpacked my lunch and started my early morning circuit, first to the refrigerator and then to the john. As I passed Mitzi’s office out of the corner of my eye I spied her pink jacket and black pants. I stopped and told her my tale. “Well, just look at you!” she replied. I looked down only to see I, too, was wearing the colors of the day. Eerie.
As our animated hallway conversation crescendoed, people began to congregate. My boss approached. “Look!” I said, pointing to her tailored suit and blouse. “Look!” “What!? What is it?” she replied. We all began to talk at once. Marie arrived all decked out in blue and orange. Obviously she hadn’t gotten the memo.
But then I noticed two more coworkers in uniform. You could hear the rose-colored buzz permeate our offices. Emily, wearing a pink sweater with a black and white polka dot a-line skirt, reported she had just gotten back from a meeting where the committee chair had remarked on the preponderance pink and black today. Were we all foils in some subliminal viral marketing scheme? I usually pick my clothes in the complete darkness of the early morning. The Washington terrorist threat level was at yellow, but the color palette today was decidedly light red.
I was beginning to get a juvenile feeling about all of this. At my junior high early teen rules dictated that if you wore red and black on Fridays you were a whore. And, if you wore green on Thursdays, well you’d better have plenty of protection after school. Whoever started this teen meme, I salute you. You’ve succeeded in returning to haunt me –and from the least favorite period of my life.
Pink and black on Thursdays. It goes so well with my high-level management skills and extraordinary abilities to bring projects in on time. Luckily I have my 3rd floor homies around to watch my colorful back.