I need a new cover for my iPhone. Scratch that. I want a new cover for my iPhone.

Mine is originally shades of gray and purple, a floral, swirling design, but now it’s dirty and cracked and faded. Maybe I want black. Maybe I don’t. I don’t want pink. In general, I resist pink. I think it’s because somewhere along the line pink was filed into the same category as weakness, dependent, princessy damsel in distress. Too feminine seems too weak in my mind. I resist the girl version of anything. It’s’ not that I’m not feminine – I seriously ‘girl it up’ on a daily basis. It’s just that I don’t want a pink iPhone cover. In itself, a ringtone says a lot about a person. Add the iPhone cover, and I think you could practically conduct a Myers Briggs assessment.

I don’t remember when red became my favorite color – unless it was probably at the start of kindergarten when all the crayons were lined up in my box, quite perfect with their round, flat tips. I decided then that red was the prettiest, I would use her first. And I always used her first. She became the most used, the most loved, the most worn down, flat and sad, her paper clothing torn away to reveal her personal self underneath.

When I was in fifth grade, at my new public school where I began to learn outside the worldview of a Christian school, the art teacher was telling us what our favorite colors meant about us. I don’t remember what she said about any of my classmates or any other color, but I remember that she said, “If your favorite color is red, it means you’ll run around and cheat on your husband.” Why she said that to a ten-year-old is beyond me to this day. But I thought to myself, well, I cannot let that be true of me. And in that moment, my favorite color became purple. I chose it first, always, as much as possible, and I told everyone who asked or didn’t ask. Purple was my new favorite. I didn’t know what it meant, but I knew I didn’t want to be a wife who didn’t love her husband well. So, purple it would be.

Years ago, a new friend noted how my life was decorated in purples, lavenders, and pinks. So much of my life was pink and purple and thereby ultra feminine, and she fit me into a neat and tidy stereotype as a result. I resisted the stereotype, and thereby I changed my favorite colors.

My new favorites would be neutral earth tones. Browns and greens. Those were lovely colors, strong or muted, and they could become mine. I would claim this new identity, and I would cast aside the old color preferences, along with the old style, the feminine me with ribbons in her hair. Gone with her.

Then for a while it was sunshine yellow, butter yellow. Then specifically chocolate brown and grass green. I think that’s where I land today. Grass green.

I wonder what a person’s iPhone cover says about them. Mine will never say I’m too feminine. It won’t.

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