Think Pink

Published Date: July 7th, 2008
Category: Weekly Thought

 

 

I have become a walking after-school special. Most people witness every day events and either:

 

a) ignore them

b) stand by and silently watch

c) just laugh

 

Not me. I have to jump in and give my thoughts and opinions on EVERYTHING.

 

My latest need to appropriately shape young children’s minds occurred last week at Berger Park, a lovely park on the lake with brand-new playground equipment, a spongy ground, and a diverse group of kids.

 

At this specific excursion, G and John were playing and I was designated the “stuff watcher.” I sat next to a group of little boys who I think were either Greek or Middle Eastern. They were having a VERY heated discussion about whether or not it was okay to wear pink. Their conversation went something like this:

 

Boy #1: But I have this one shirt that is pink and has a horse on it.

 

Boy #2: That’s bad. No pink at all. No horses.

 

Boy #3: Yeah.

 

Boy #1: But this shirt I am wearing right now has a pink stripe on it. Is that bad?

 

Boy #2: Totally bad.

 

Boy #3: Yeah.

 

Where I of course had to step in and speak up. I could not let these boys who probably (and here I worthlessly relied on gender AND racial stereotypes) have VERY masculine fathers and who would NEVER let their boys wear pink on purpose think that pink on men is wrong. Were all the preppy dads in the 1980s wrong? Can Kenneth Cole and Ralph Lauren be amiss? What is so wrong with pink on men?

 

Why can’t I just let these things go? But oh no. I just had to integrate myself into the 8-year old boys’ conversation.

 

Me: Actually, girls think boys who wear pink are cool.

 

Ten seconds of incredulous silence.

 

Followed by all three of them hastily looking down at their shirts to see if they were please, oh please, wearing any pink.

 

Boy #1: I told you so. Girls think pink is cool.

 

Boy #2: No they don’t.

 

Boy #3: Yes, they do.

 

Why do I get such satisfaction on getting the 8-year-old boy to side with me? I really need to go back to work.

 

Boy#1: I bet they would like this shirt. It has TWO pink stripes.

 

Boy #3: Yeah.

 

Boy #2 is silent. Then:

 

I don’t have any pink shirts. I should get one.

 

 

And my work was done. With one meddling conversation, I had hopefully prevented these boys from becoming super-macho, homophobic, fashionably square men.

 

Either that, or I just became one of those crazy bench ladies at the park.

 

 

This entry was posted on Monday, July 7th, 2008 at 2:15 pm and is filed under Weekly Thought. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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