The red pants

June 13, 2015

The color red is often associated with danger, risk and wickedness.

Stop signs are red to communicate the threat of life and limb if you don’t stop.

According to urban legend, you are more likely to be pulled over by police if you drive a red car (although research indicates this is not the case).

For centuries artists have used the color red to depict Satan, which in the infinite tackiness of modern culture has morphed into skimpy red devil Halloween costumes.

My idea of danger is jaywalking. My idea of risk is going out in the rain without a coat. My idea of wickedness is keeping a library book beyond its due date.

And so it may surprise some that I claim red as my favorite color.

My idea of beautiful is one red daisy in a field of white flowers, of a red front door, of a red sunset over endless waves.

In my younger days I had red toenails from May through October.

I no longer have the time or patience to paint my nails, but it was fun while it lasted.

I balance my love of red with my fear of standing out. I have driven red cars in the past, not so much because I loved the color but because the price was right.

When I reached a stage in my life when I could afford to choose the color of my car, I chose anything but red.

A car is something you use every day, that parks in your driveway, that defines you to a certain extent.

You can’t escape your car. Unless you are an international spy, you can’t change the color of your car at the touch of a button.

(For those of you who were suspicious, I am not an international spy. My boring life is not a cover. I am actually as dull as I seem.)

Red cars are out of the question. Red pants, on the other hand…

I own red pants. And sometimes, when the mood strikes, I wear them in public.

What exactly is the mood that brings out this flash of daring?

I wish it was that deep down inside me there is a wild woman crying to be set free.

But it’s more that I need color after a long winter of gray, or my routine breakfast of yogurt and granola tasted a little bland.

Maybe I stayed up too late reading Gone With the Wind for the umpteenth time and need a boost of energy that only my red pants can give.

I put on my red pants, and I feel empowered. I don’t like to stand out, but I don’t like to be the same as everyone else, either.

My red pants are a declaration of independence. It’s my way of saying, “I am Sara, take it or leave it.”

If you see me in my red pants, you’ll know that I am feeling good about life that day. Or at least I was when I got dressed that morning.

Or, it could also be that I was too busy to finish the laundry over the weekend and the red pants were all I had clean.

This article first appeared in the Lewistown News-Argus and the Sidney (Mont.) Herald on June 13, 2015.