Anne Notations

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The color orange

This place (above) is changing my attitude about a certain hue.

Orange has never been anywhere near my favorite color. I love oranges, orange juice, clementines, orangey-red hair, and pumpkins. When I was a kid, I adored Fanta orange soda. But it didn't take long for me to figure out that with my pinkish complexion, blonde hair, and blue eyes, orange apparel washed me right out.

Later, when our daughter came into our lives, I dressed her in pink, purple, lime, turquoise, red... almost anything bright but orange. Melinda has dark hair and tan/olive skin, and she looks fabulous in jewel tones and pastels. But: "When you grow up," I told her, "don't wear orange. It makes your skin look sort of greenish." Melinda nodded solemnly.

The joke's on me. Melinda is bound for Syracuse University this fall. She is going to be an "Orange Woman."

We made the five-hour drive to Syracuse on Thursday to attend admitted-students open house on Friday. I had never seen the university before. The campus's blend of beautiful old buildings and sleek new ones is impressive. The faculty and students were bright and friendly. And everywhere we looked, the landscape was dotted with orange.

Branding pennants along the major campus street: orange.

Balloons guiding visitors to the student center: blue and orange.

The campus store: a sea of orange apparel (some of which came home with us). The Carrier Dome, home to Syracuse football and basketball, and site of our buffet lunch on Friday: blue and orange.

The school mascot: Otto the Orange.

By the third day, as we prepared to drive back to Rhode Island, I was beginning to enjoy the cheerful glow of orange. It's sunny – like our daughter's mood as she anticipates her life on campus. During the long Syracuse winters, orange will add a welcome warmth. At long last, I may come to love orange.


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