the trouble with being grateful

I once received a red scarf as a gift.

“I noticed you don’t have any scarves.”

I had no exceptional thoughts on red, though I did prefer weather where scarves were unnecessary. I said, “thank you,” and wrapped it around my neck. I wasn’t and didn’t want to seem ungrateful.

“You do need a scarf, with winter coming. I like red. I think its brightness makes things lively. Especially in winter.”

“I’ve never looked at red that way.” And I hadn’t.

I wore the scarf once or twice to please, and on a handful of colder days. And truth was I didn’t dislike it.

People noticed. “That’s a lovely red.”

Then I received a red notebook. It was really practical and I liked the texture of the cover, the way it opened flat and the unlined pages. A red cell phone protector, I chose myself because it was the only one that stayed shut without a clasp. Red dahlia’s and a red keychain for Mother’s Day, because the colour reminded them of me, came next. The flowers were a nice gesture and I needed a keychain for my office keys (red is passionate). A red wallet for my birthday, because they knew how much I liked red, soon replaced my old worn out brown one (red is revolutionary). Soon there were red cushions covering the sofa, red placemats on the table and red recliners in the playroom. One day I overheard my daughter saying, “I see why red is my mother’s favourite colour.”

I closed my eyes to find that other colour, but all I saw was red.


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