Is Cheese, Is Mango, Is a Remnant of Who I Was

Sunrise with Sea Monsters (c. 1845) by Joseph Mallord William Turner

Sunrise with Sea Monsters (c. 1845) by Joseph Mallord William Turner

13 November 2013
10:40 PM


My favourite colour when I was a child was yellow. It wasn’t something I decided on arbitrarily–it was all because of Bioman and, later on, the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.

For a while, there was just my eldest sister and me. It took us some time before we can agree on things. She loved dolls. I loved to read. She would shove all the Barbies at me, and I would decapitate them all (the only doll I was able to withstand and tolerate was Rainbow Brite). I would give her books, but she would throw them away.

The arrival of TV shows that we could watch during mornings was one of the best things to have ever happened in our childhood. We quickly took to the idea of one giant robot defeating the bad guys. The best part of it is that there are five people who would come together to make the robot work, and every time they would transform as a group, they each have to shout their colour. There were only two women in the team. My sister, as was her way, got dibs on everything. So she chose pink as her colour (naturally). I had no choice but to take yellow. We would spend days just hollering throughout the house: “Pink Five!” “Yellow Four!”

The situation was the same when the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers became popular. By then I had pretty much owned yellow, loved everything yellow. I loved Mr. Bogus because he was yellow. I loved labradors because they were yellow. I loved the sun because it was yellow. I loved sunflowers because they were yellow. I loved my nickname, I loved stars, because they were all yellow. I was particularly proud when Shaider became popular, because there was just the one woman on the show (yes, perhaps I wasn’t the best candidate then for feminism), and she was wearing yellow! Ha! My sister had no choice but to play the leading man.

I learned to love yellow with all my heart. It was my favourite until the last few days of elementary school.

Over the summer, as I am slowly transitioning from sixth grade to being a freshman in high school, things shifted. I don’t know, perhaps it was the start of teenage rebellion or whatever it is that teenagers believe in. Suddenly, I hated yellow. I didn’t want anything to do with it. Come June, I had fully ‘reinvented’ myself, and my favourite colour was now green. It was probably convenient then that the colour of our IDs was green. I was perhaps impressionable and totally clueless about being my own person. I changed all my outfits at home to green. I held on to Alanis Morisette’s album because the inline sleeve is green, I think. I hid my love for jazz, because I didn’t want to be a target at school, and I tried to get into alternative music, ha.

I don’t want to reminisce about high school right now, so let me cut the story short: aside from green, I was also heavily into black, and for a while my parents were worried about me. Oh, nineties. Those were simpler times.

By the time I was in senior year I have started favouring blue, simply because it’s uncomplicated and it’s the colour of the sea and the sky. A lot of people think it’s because it’s the official colour of the university I was accepted in for college, but it had very little do with that. I just suddenly realised how beautiful it is, blue. And its various shades. Cobalt. Cerulean. Sapphire. Sky blue. Light blue. Teal. Aquamarine. Turquoise. It was also around this time that I was, really, just questioning everything around me. Finally asking myself why I like the things I like. Owning up to who I really was I guess. I couldn’t pretend that I didn’t like writing, and that I wasn’t a big nerd. I couldn’t fake my way through all of the songs of The Cure, but I could tell you the discography of Frank Sinatra. I don’t know any other single by Chumbawumba except Tubthumping, but I could have long discussions about Miles Davis and John Coltrane. I was more interested in writing poetry than looking for boys who would take us to another school’s prom (we didn’t have any). In other words–I was seriously uncool, and it took me a while to be okay with that.

When I entered college, aside from blue I started liking red, too. So that was most of my wardrobe for the whole four years. Along the way I acquired a fancy for brown. And it has been that way ever since. After graduating, I started getting reacquainted again with yellow, and you can find bits and pieces of it now in my things. I find that they bring me great comfort, something from my childhood that wasn’t tarnished in any way, despite everything in my history. Yellow is good, and preserved, and warm, and just magical. Yellow is the patch on my kindergarten uniform, is the corn soup made for me by my favourite teacher, is cheese, is mango, is my staple remover, is my post-it, is my coin purse, is a remnant of who I was a long time ago.

Ah, but that was some trip down memory lane.



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