Several weeks ago, I noticed a dress patterned with blue flowers while I was out shopping. The dress, despite being of a style I would never usually wear, drew me towards it.
It reminded me of a childish decision I had made as a teenager to wear a white dress covered in blue flowers if I ever had a wedding. This decision was prompted by reading an article on how random, usually taken for granted traditions come into being. Among other things, I learned that the traditional color for femininity and purity was blue, not white. White, I was told, came into the fashion for weddings because of the social elites use in their expensive, fashionable, and oh so elegant wedding celebrations. White denoted expense, as the color made better quality fabric necessary, and the traditional blue, or even just the wearing of one’s nicest dress that could be reused, was seen as done only by those who could not afford white. I vowed then not to wear white at my hypothetical wedding, though as I considered it further I decided I could still wear a white dress to appease my mother, only it must be patterned with blue. The pattern in my head was blue flowers.
The other day I made tea for my mother. I arranged my tea pot on a tray with biscuits and crisps, and my mother told me to use the nice china from the cupboard, if I could find it. I searched, (she ended up having to come and help), and finally found the two tea cups and matching saucers. They were all that were left of the china my grandmother I’d never met had bought my mother on her marriage. I stared at the china I had known as long I could remember, and noticed it was white patterned with blue flowers.
Blue flowers. I had never realized that the pattern I had dreamed of for so many years was from my mother’s china. Blue. The color most things I bought was blue, despite never calling it my favorite. It was the color of my mother’s eyes, I thought as I stared at the china. It was the color of the artificial flowers my parents’ exchanged instead of rings when they were married. We used to call my mother the blue berry, as she was usually dressed in blue. As we got older she began to remind us that her blue slippers, dressing gown, jewelry and everything else, were bought by us, her children, not her.
My favorite color was green when I was a child, orange a bit older, and purple once I was older still. Nowadays I never call a specific color my favorite, and when anyone asks I merely state that I do not play favorites with colors. But apparently I do. Blue flowers are my favorite I realize now, and I know it most likely will never change.
I returned to the store where I had seen the dress, and bought myself the white dress covered in blue flowers.