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Day 4: Monday, March 19, 2012

  • Prompt A: Talk about your childhood bedroom. Did you share? Slam  the door? Let someone in you shouldn’t have? Where did you hide things?

Pink…Why’d It Have To Be Pink?

Pink Kryptonite

Pink Kryptonite by B. Baltzell

During a recent excursion prom dress shopping with my glitter-loving, foofy mother and my jeans, hoodie, Vans wearing daughter, the topic of my childhood bedroom came up.

My mother was lamenting the fact that I was a tomboy of the highest order and some of our biggest battles during my early years involved anything involving the suggestion of my wearing a dress or anything pink.

Pink was my Kryptonite.  I grew up in a neighborhood full of boys.  If I didn’t want to spend my days alone, I had to keep up with them.  Pink was for girly girls who couldn’t dribble a basketball or jump their banana-seat Schwinn over the jumps by the ditch.

When we first moved into our house, my mom painted my room a soft white.  On the wall with the big, east-facing window, she hung wallpaper with great big white daisies on a deep purple background.  She made pretty white ruffled curtains.  It was fairly girly; but, I loved those daisies and purple was my favorite color.

A couple of years went by and another brother was added to the fold.  My poor mother was anxious to find/force something feminine in me.  As she couldn’t get me into a dress, she settled for redoing my room.

Oh, the horror!

Our neighbor’s teenage daughter had graduated, so they gave us her canopy bed.  My mom repainted and papered over the daisies…in PINK.  And, not a pretty, soft pink.  Pepto Bismol pink.  With pink, orange, yellow and khaki green patterned wallpaper in the corner behind the bed.  The only color I could accept was orange, for my Phoenix Suns.

I recently referred to that room as an atrocity.  My mother was not amused.  Atrocity should be reserved for the Holocaust, or 9/11.

All I know is that until I was much older, I had a special aversion to anything pink.

The only truly magical thing in my room might actually surprise you.

The doll house.

When I was five years old, my mother and my grandfather built the most incredible doll house for me.  Though I wasn’t really into dolls, I was fascinated by the miniatures.  The time, detail and love that went into that doll house fill my heart to bursting.

Between the two of them, furniture was built and upholstered, tiny dishes were made, pictures were painted, rugs were crocheted…my mom even made little perfume bottles out of tiny beads.  She fashioned a bathroom sink using a cake pillar as a pedestal, and a replica of our baby crib sat in the baby’s room.

The doll house took up a good portion of my little room, and proved to be endlessly alluring to my pesky little brothers.  Every day, I would come home from school to find that my brothers had taken EVERY SINGLE THING out of the  doll house and put it on the floor.  Every fork, every hanger from the closet, every little book.  Contraband items, like the rocking horse my grandfather made, or the television that lit up would disappear, to be discovered under their beds.

Every day, I would rail and storm over the injustice of not being allowed to lock my door.  Every day, I would beg my mother to tie my brothers to a chair or send them to live with my cousins.  She wasn’t going for it.

The doll house now resides in my mother’s workroom.  When Isabel was little, there was talk of restoring it and updating some of the furniture.  We didn’t have room for it in our tiny apartment, and by the time we moved into our first house, Isabel was on to her own tomboy phase.

Perhaps a grandchild of mine will finally fill the frilly place in our family.  Maybe Isabel or Ben will have a little princessy girl who is only content surrounded by pink walls, tutus and tiaras, and who likes to play with dolls.  I won’t know what to do with her.

One last thing…did you notice the colors of my blog?  I love you, Mom!

I am participating in The Scintilla Project. 


1692, from fig. use of L. scintilla “particle of fire, spark, glittering speck, atom,” probably from PIE *ski-nto-, from base *skai- “to shine, to gleam” (cf. Goth. skeinan, O.E. scinan “to shine”).

For two weeks in March, the Scintilla community will be sharing stories and experiences sparked by prompts sent out each day.  Join us, won’t you?