Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Singing the Blues

Photo by Penny Mayes

When I see periwinkles in bloom a sigh of pleasure escapes my lips and I’m filled with joy. The color attracts me and if I believed in such things I’d think I had been a bee in another life. A honey bee, naturally, because I’m so very sweet.

A woman at work has a periwinkle blue car and every time I see it, I smile. So it is no wonder that yesterday, when the president of my company was in the lobby and I came around the corner, I screeched to a halt. The president normally wears white, button-down shirts, or white button-down shirts with a very light striping. But this was a solid, bold, attractive blue. The vice-president of sales, also in the lobby, said, “Blue? You are wearing a blue shirt?”

The president looked down as if he’d only just become aware the shirt was blue. “What is wrong with blue?”

“Oh,” I said, “that is not just a blue shirt. That is a periwinkle blue shirt. Such a beautiful color and it makes people seem exceptionally witty and charming when they wear it.”

“Periwinkle blue?” the vice-president of sales echoed, one eyebrow shooting up his forehead.

The president gave a twitter of nervous laughter. “Okay, periwinkle blue. You can call me ‘Perry” for short.”

A short pause of no more than two heartbeats followed before the vice president of sales barked out a choked, “How about ‘Winkle’ instead?”

For some reason my “fight or flight” instinct kicked in. I ran up the stairs and hid in my new cubicle. Sometimes one must accept the benefits of silence mixed with absence.


  1. I like to trick my husband into wearing periwinkle blue because it matches his eyes. I just have to call it "armpit blue" or "lug-wrench blue" or something equally manly. Otherwise, he'd never go near it.

    I'm jealous you have flowers over there. We have snow. Endless @#$% snow.


  2. Tawna,

    Wish I had called it "oil-change" blue or something. I'm sure the poor man went home and burned the shirt.

  3. Don't worry. You kind of sounded as if you were complimenting him. Although, if we pick apart your actual words, maybe not. You obviously were complimenting the color, but chances are pretty good that he didn't buy the shirt for himself. And then you said "makes people seem". Oops. Because said people are really not witty and charming? Hmmm. I think you did the right thing to run. Does your boss read your blog? Hi there, Boss!
    Forgive my blathering. I'm avoiding painting. :)

  4. Dale,

    Well, NOW if he reads my blog I'll need to post my resume. Thanks. :D

  5. Have you ever watched "Keeping Up Appearances," the Brit comedy? In that, the heroine (?), Hyacynth Bucket (pronounced bouquet) has china with "hand painted periwinkles" I loved your comment on my blog about hitting an injury with a hammer....xoxo

  6. Molly,

    I have seen it before. She has a sister named Iris? I'd love to see that china!

  7. Hi Melanie,

    "...silence mixed with absence." Oh, how often I have opened my mouth and then wanted to run home and crawl under the bed.

    I love that periwinkle blue...collect tea cups, garments, flower vases of that hue. Tried to get my husband to buy the p.b. shirt (the shop called it "French Blue") but he would have none of it. ....sigh...

  8. Jewell,

    Yeah, I should know better than to make any comments to the pres. I'm always sorry.

  9. LOL! Just don't slip and call the prez "Winkle" next time you see him. ;)

  10. haha!! How to make friends and influence

    Did you rush back to your cubical to make a Mr. Winkle screen saver to share with the office? :D

  11. Linda G,

    I'm hoping I don't see him. At least not until he forgets.


    Mr. Winkle screen saver? Okay, I'm not sure what it would look like, but I know it would be a "career limiting move".

  12. Are you aware that Norman Bates claims to have buried his mother in a periwinkle blue dress in "Psycho"? ;)

  13. Um, no I didn't know that. I wonder if there is a connection between love of periwinkle blue and psychotic behavior.


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