Thursday, April 19, 2007

Beige World

I live in Beige World.

I moved to Orange County five years ago and I was surprised to discover that nearly every building here is beige. It's true! Oh, there is some variation. There's light beige, medium beige, dark beige and everything in-between but really it's all beige. They try to give them fancy names like "Chaparral", "Sand Dune", or "Coffee" but they are still all beige. They can't fool me. Needless to say, it's very boring. I am tempted to paint the town red.

Speaking of painting, it just so happens that we are re-doing the interior of our house. We are painting it ... you guessed it ... beige. You can call it "Sandcastle" if it makes you feel better. The outside is, of course, already beige, the same color as every building in my association. Beige is very safe.

Even the general landscape is beige. Parts of the coast here can be beautiful but, think about it, even there the sand is beige. The natural areas of Orange County are, in general, beige. The areas that don't have beige buildings on them feature scrubby beige hills. Oh, sometimes, if we get a little rain, there is a green tinge to the beige or a little yellow from mustard plants but that's about it. Not the stuff of watercolors. Of course, our ubiquitous smog is ... you guessed it ... beige. Very monotonous. I used to live in Seattle which is green but definitely not with envy.

The other day I was filling out a form. It was asking various questions about my background. One of the questions was about race. I was reminded what an artificial human construct race is! Whites aren't really white. Blacks aren't really black. Why are any of these distinctions helpful? So, instead of checking "white" I checked "other" and then took a close look at my skin. What color am I really? With a little shiver of disgust I realized ... you guessed it ... I'm beige! Oh, the humiliation!

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