- Fifty Shades of Pink
Fifty Shades of Pink
By Didi Gorman
Have you ever ordered paint over the phone?
No, you haven’t? I didn’t think so.
And I wouldn’t have either, had these been normal times and I could just pop to the hardware store and choose the paint myself. But these aren’t normal times, mind you. These are Covid-19 lockdown days, and I just so happened to want to paint my old dresser in pink.
Over the phone, I explain my request to the customer service person. I would like to purchase one can of pink paint for my dresser. Nothing flashy, not too dark, just a regular, normal pink.
“We have many pinks here, ma’am. Will you go for the ‘bubble gum’ series, the ‘cotton candies’, the ‘spring blossoms’, or the ‘rosy cheeks’?”
“Uh… just pink, please. Just regular, normal pink.”
“They’re all pink, ma’am.”
“Oh. Well, in that case, not too dark and nothing flashy.”
“I hear you. You might be interested in our bestsellers, then: the ‘coral bliss’, the ‘starfish joy’ or the ‘baked-salmon delight.’”
I’m picturing all those ocean creatures on my dresser. No, it doesn’t quite fit the bill, nor do I feel like seafood right now. “Do you have something more… uhm… normal? You know, just regular pink, maybe?”
“Of course we do. How about ‘peach smoothie’, ‘strawberry ice cream’, or ‘rhubarb tart’?”
“No, thank you, I already had my dessert today.”
“I was referring to the names of the hues.”
“Ah, right. Those still don’t sound like regular pinks to me.”
“We also have ‘flamingo dance’ and ‘river algae.’”
I didn’t quite understand that. Did he just say algae? Yuck. “Mmm. I’m not so sure… Is there anything else you can give me?”
“Sure. I’ll give you ‘hot kisses’ and ‘passionate hugs.’”
“I beg your pardon??? How dare you! You barely even know me! I’ll report this!”
“I’m so sorry ma’am. I was only referring to the names of the hues, again.”
I’m beginning to doubt that pink was the right choice, anyway. Perhaps I should have gone for something less complicated.
White. That’s it. I should have gone for white. White is straightforward. “On second thought, I prefer to go with white.”
“Of course. Which kind of white may I offer you? ‘Pearl white’, ‘toilet paper white’, ‘physician’s coat white’ or ‘basmati rice white’?”
No, not again. I’m giving up. I’ll just leave my dresser as is – dull brown, peeling, and smudged with old fingerprints. Come to think of it, this could be the newest shade in the catalog, and I’m volunteering to write the ad for it: “Are you looking for an easier, simpler life? Accomplish your mission with our ‘dull, peeling, fingerprint-smudged, brown’. What it may lack in liveliness, it will grant you in peace of mind!”