Life is About Using the Whole Box of Crayons ~ RuPaul

The other day while driving on the interstate amongst millions (okay maybe thousands) of placidly colored silver, white and blue minivans travelling to and/or from Spring Break I was lucky enough to have the monotony broken by a big bright burnt orange-colored RV.

As I was getting on the interstate it was happily driving itself north and of course it caught my eye.  It was HUGE! And it was BURNT ORANGE!  And it looked like it was from the 70’s!  I quickly increased my speed to catch up with it.  It reminded me of the yellow Barbie motor home I had growing up.  I finally caught up to it and it was even better – it had a giant mural of the mountains on the driver’s side. The mountains were colored in purples and pinks and blues.   I would have taken a picture, but I figured texting while driving is illegal so I’m pretty sure photographing while driving is also frowned upon.  Here is the closest thing I could find on Google images:

gmc motorhome

Upon further research I have learned that it is a 1973-1978 GMC Motorhome.  No fancy name like our camper the “Pioneer 18T.”  Pioneer suggesting that you are somehow roughing it while sitting inside your air-conditioned camper fixing microwave popcorn.  No quirky names like Pioneer or Windjammer or Surveyor – not for this gem, it’s just “GMC Motorhome.”

As I passed it on the interstate I dreamed of retiring and driving coast to coast in a similar vehicle.  Maybe just not the mural of the mountains…. That was a bit over the top given the stand out orange color.  But as soon as I said to myself “I want that when I’m retired.”  The rational voice came into my head that said “Dave would never even step inside something that bright let alone drive it.”

This is where my husband and I differ.  I love bright vivid colors.  I wanted to paint our family room purple – our living room is a pleasingly aesthetic light mint green.  This matches our light light blue dining room and light almond hallway and slightly darker than the dining room blue in our bedroom.  The kitchen is painted red white and blue – this was my one area I won the paint war.  And it was ridiculed by one of our realtors who stopped by to see our home improvements one day as he disgustingly said “When are you going to repaint this kitchen?”

I am going to repaint the kitchen soon.  Not because I don’t like the American Flag look or because I’m intimidated by the realtors obvious displeasure but because it’s too dark and there is limited sunlight.  I wanted orange – which was over ruled.  I’m settling for yellow – which is a more “kitchen-y” color.  I let Teagan pick the paint chip.  Teagan – who thinks that neon green and Christmas red matches.  I think it’s called Sunday Buttercup or something along those lines.

I guess that’s just me.  I need the box 64 crayons where most people only need the box of 8.  I don’t like some of the “suburbia” rules which call for fire stations to match the homes in the area or fast food restaurants to all be tan-colored brick with limited signage.  I hate going to places like that – luckily my special little utopian community hasn’t managed to pass ordinances like that.  In a row of 5 nondescript tan-colored brick buildings how are you supposed to know if you are walking into McDonald’s or KFC or Taco Bell??  I need the big red KFC building with Col. Sander’s smiling face.  I need the bright red roof with yellow supports and giant golden arches or the bright orange taco bell with purple and green trim.  Fire stations are supposed to be red brick with big glass doors and ugly black roofs – not white stucco because it has to “blend in” with the neighboring condos.

I blame my mother.  Sort of.  It’s not like I haven’t always preferred big bright bold colors but she further solidified this by giving me this poem shortly after my grandmother passed away.

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn’t go and doesn’t suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick the flowers in other people’s gardens . . .

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

–         Jenny Joseph, 1961

I didn’t quite have the full understanding of the poem when I was 25.  But now, being slightly over the age of 25 and living in the suburbs with my 2 kids 2 dogs and white picket fence (well it’s actually a tan picket fence) – I get it.


Maybe, just maybe I’ll be able to find 1973-1978 GMC Motorhome when I retire.  And maybe, just maybe I’ll convince Dave to drive me coast to coast in it.  Yes I know, I will have a white camper with a pleasingly colored blue or green stripe down one side that is named Wildwood or Forrester or Navigator or something else giving you the feeling you are really “roughing” it in the woods.

I will end with my other favorite “color” poem:


My skin is kind of sort of brownish
Pinkish yellowish white.
My eyes are greyish blueish green,
But I’m told they look orange in the night.
My hair is reddish blondish brown,
But it’s silver when it’s wet.
And all the colors I am inside
Have not been invented yet.
~Shel Silverstein

barbie motorhome

*** Note:  Upon further further research the Yellow 1970’s Star Traveler Barbie Motorhome design was based on the 1973-1978 GMC Motorhome.  Maybe Dave would let me buy a yellow GMC like the one above and paint the hot pink and purple stripe down the side!  Yeah I know… I’ll be cruising coast to coast in the white (or maybe eggshell) “Forrester” with the (yawn) green stripe.