Snapshots by Gloria Freeland - Aug. 1, 2002

Color my world

Before my sister returned to her home in La Paz, Bolivia last week, she pampered herself with a pedicure at a local salon. She took Mom along because she, my brother and I had given Mom a gift certificate for a facial and manicure as a Mother's Day gift and she hadn't used it yet.

After a couple of hours at the salon, the two of them came home and proudly showed off their nails - Mom with her fingernails done in "Argenteeny Pinkini," and my sis with her toenails done in "La Paz-itively Hot." Other nail colors in the South American Collection by OPI include pinks and magentas like Santiago Sangria and Señorita Rose-alita, and oranges and reds like The Thrill of Brazil and Ecuadorable Coral. A couple of my personal favorites - at least as far as the names go - are Galapa-ghost and Vanilla-zuela.

When I told my husband about the nail color choices, he rolled his eyes. He's often observed that only a woman could come up with the colors mauve and taupe and a multitude of names for red, blue or even white.

I have to agree. Last year, when I was picking out a neutral color for our living room walls, I was amazed at the number of choices for what I would just call ivory or off-white. Among the names on the rows of paint chips were magnolia white, eggshell, ecru, muslin, manila, oats, bleached wheat, suede, white oak, sesame and Saratoga sand. I just took a stab at the one I thought wouldn't be too yellow-ish or blue-ish and bought three gallons. It turned out fine. I think people have way too much time on their hands if they can invent that many names just to describe ivory.

On the other hand, I'm not immune from getting overly poetic when I'm describing the Flint Hills or when I described the Hawkdun mountain range during our trip to New Zealand several years ago. I wrote in my journal how "the hills varied from sand to copper to camel to wheat, and were covered with thick tufts of russet and gold grasses." Art said they were "brown, red and yellow."

He describes the colors in basics when he goes clothes shopping with me, too.

"Here, try on this red one," he says, as he hands me a burgundy dress.

"Oh, here's a nice purple one," he says, as a plum dress is added to the try-on possibilities.

I feel lucky. Research shows that men are 10 times more likely to be color blind than women. Also, most would rather die than go clothes shopping with their wives. Although Art's color spectrum isn't very wide, he's good about picking out clothes that look good on me - and he even enjoys doing it. It's enough to make other women "Ever-greeny" with envy!

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