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Quarantine is doing weird things to us. Some people are starting to seriously flirt with alcoholism. Others are becoming part of the Corona Bakers club. Some others are populating their living rooms with 10,000 pieces puzzles. Others are becoming toilet paper architects.

Me, I am starting to like colorful things.

***

As a master minimalist and lover of black, white and grey, I struggle with colors.

Colors bother me. They are too loud. Take red, for example. Red is a color that comes to you and makes too strong of a statement.

I can’t stand red. I stopped dating guys who would wear red in our first date or show up with a red car. If there was anything red already in their Tinder pictures, immediate left swipe.

I once did not rent an apartment because it had a red wall (yes, I know I could paint it white but just looking at the picture was enough to make me not wanna live there).

I finally found an apartment I could stand, but it still had a purple couch and a purple carpet. I mean, why?

So I folded the carpet and put it away from my sight and bought 2 huge white blankets to throw over the couch.

Running away from colors is just so much work. You, color lovers, have no idea.

And, apart from that, being anti-colors does not make you very popular either.

Telling people I don’t like colorful things usually has a very weird effect. It’s worse than telling them you are an atheist (trust me, I have tried both).

They will look at you with deep distrust and ask: “how can you not like colors?”

Or they will point out smartly: “Black and white are also colors”.

Duh. Yeah. Of course. But you got my point.

When I say I don’t like colors I mean: red, yellow, orange, purple, pink. You know, colors that wanna make sure you know they are there. The ones who force you to acknowledge their existence.

Black, white and grey, on the other hand, are humble colors. They don’t try to call everyone’s attention. No, they have content. They know they don’t need to blind people — like neon colors do, such show offs — in order to have respect.

Black, white and grey are better than that. And they know it.

Green and blue are kind of forgiven. Warm colors really have it the hardest with me.

Eventually, I decided to stop telling people I didn’t like colors and just exchange gifts I got that were colorful. It was less work.

One day though, while already living in Germany, I was talking to a guy in my MBA class during break time. I found this guy a bit annoying. He is just one of these people who you look at and think that are way too pretty to ever have had any problems. But he was in my study group so, you know, I had to pretend to like him.

Then, something magical happened. We were discussing furnished apartments (he is an architect) and I was telling him about my purple couch when he said: “That sounds horrible. I hate colors”.

And, at that moment, I knew it. I knew that we could be friends because he for sure had, against my predictions, faced tough moments in life. Namely: being an architect that hates colors.

That is for sure worse than being an atheist.

So, we became best friends, united by our color hatred. We found ourselves another lost minimalist in the class and coordinated a dressing code schedule:

Monday: black

Tuesday: white

Wednesday: grey

Thursday: white

Friday: navy (bold!)

Saturday: duh. Party time. Of course black.

So that was my life until 2019. Then, this crazy year started.

***

The first 6 weeks of quarantine, I was my usual self. Only wearing black and white and, when feeling bold, navy.

Then, I decided to tidy my entire flat and to put my summer clothes out (bless you Spring!) when I came across a very bright blue dress I had bought and used only once (too colorful).

I put it on and went to look at myself in the mirror.

I decided to keep it for the day. The weird part is, I felt more cheerful wearing that dress. The next morning, I put on a turquoise T-shirt I got as a gift. Again, I felt my mood to be better. “that’s weird” — I thought.

The third day, I put on some lipstick. I then went to the supermarket and got flowers. Pink ones. And I felt happy.

Finally, I put out of the cabinet the non-white mugs my flat has (which, just like the purple couch, were not bought by me) and started to use them.

It is hard to admit, but I am willing to: I turned to colors during quarantine.

Of all of the weird things self-isolation has brought upon me, this is the definitely the winner.

***

I believe the reason I never really loved colors was because our world is already so full of stimuli (noises, smells, people, information) that I felt colors were something we could consciously avoid in order to reduce a bit all this madness. Wearing black white and grey for me provided this internal relief of:

  • save time every day when getting ready
  • being able to own less things, because now everything goes well together
  • reduce a bit this excess of visual stimuli that big cities hold

Suddenly, now that I am home all day, I found myself facing a lack of stimuli. Of different things to see. Of people to observe.

Colors are giving a part of it back to me. And my mood is definitely better. I am still not going full-crazy rainbow mode, but, who knows how long this thing is gonna last, right? I might even put the purple carpet back where it belongs.

So, to all the colors out there, I’m sorry for avoiding you for so long, and I’m happy we were able to sort things out.

Except for red. I still hate you.

Previously published on “Change Becomes You”, a Medium publication.

***

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Photo credit: Virginia Rabinovici

 

The post The Craziest Effect Quarantine Had on Me Was Making Me Like Colors appeared first on The Good Men Project.