This is the second weird thought I’ve had today. Being a synesthete means I mix colour with names, numbers and letters. The world is a very colourful place to me in my mind and in reality. However, today it occurred to me that perhaps there is also a blending of colour with ideas as well as words in my mind (and in the mind of many other people who aren’t synesthetes).
Today I bought some stamps in Tescos so I could send my nephew his birthday card and present. The person who sold me the stamps informed me before she gave me my stamps (a book of six) that they were inexplicably purple. She had no idea why they were purple, They should be orange, she told me. But no, just to confuse people like her, they were temporarily purple. We laughed about this oddity.
Intrigued, I opened up my book of stamps as soon as I left the shop. It was immediately evident to me why they were purple. It was in honour of the Queen‘s forthcoming 90th birthday. Sadly, they weren’t purple to confuse people who work in Tescos. There was a reason.
This had me thinking: why purple? What is the connection between the Queen and the colour purple? Who chose to colour the stamps the same colour as Parma Violets? Then it occurred to me, it was probably related to the fact that the Queen is about to be 90 and because women in their 90s are the colour of Parma Violets. They are lilac. At least, to me they are (I swear, I’m not a part-time stamp designer). I see women in their 90s as lavender-coloured. They smell of lavender. They eat lavender sweets. They like lavender clothes. The Queen is going to turn light purple on her birthday. And therefore so will I in 2061.
When I got home I asked my husband the question: what colour do men turn at the age of 90? To me, they turn beige, the same colour as Werther’s Originals. Also the colour of pipes, slippers, cardigans and the sort of furnishings that the elderly of my childhood favoured.
What colour am I in my 40s? (Or perhaps I should ask: what sweet?) I asked my husband what colour he felt to be in his 40s and his answer was immediate: grey. I disagree (I think he was just feeling a bit blue). I’m not grey, I’m dark blue (a happy blue). I don’t know why that colour comes to mind. As my husband is a man, he’s not dark blue, to me he’s a greeny-brown (the colour of earth and grass but I don’t know why). My 30s were light green. My 20s were sunshine yellow (a happy time).
Does anyone else see decades of life for each sex in a different colour? I wonder. It is a little odd so perhaps not. Is this just another string to the synaestheisa bow?