“Lady, if you can’t control your brat, we’re gonna call the police,” the salesman in Ithaca’s old Dick’s Sporting Goods said. In the store’s stockroom that served as a makeshift dressing room, four-year-old Marika, in one of her monumental tantrums, was hurling helmets, cross-country skis, and whatever other merchandise she could reach.
“I don’t want the yellow snowsuit. I want the pink one. It’s not too little for me, mom,” she bellowed. Unable to lift her, I dragged her out of the store, through the mall, kicking and screaming.
More than two decades later, I told the woman spraying spirea bushes in the Garden Center at Agway, “I need a pink peony.” She pointed to all the white and deep fuchsia peony plants. “No. It has to be pink. Pale pink. Cool pink like the color of sand on a beach at sunset. Like the fluff on top of a cherry ice cream soda. Peeony-pink, like little-girl-princess clothes.” No. Sorry, she said. More determined than ever, I left the place, and drove around the countryside in search of pink peonies. All week long. By the time I landed in Lowes Outdoor Center, all the peonies had already bloomed and dropped their petals. A few spent plants were tucked away in the back, their beautiful shaped leaves looking colorless next to all the pansies and bright hibiscus.
“These are really going to be pink next year?” I asked, paying for the last three supposedly-pink peony plants. Then, peeved about having to put off my instant-pink gratification until next June, I went to the wine store and bought half a case of pale pink rose.
Who’s the spoiled brat now?
Do you ever find yourself feeling entitled? What are some of the less desirable things you inherited or adopted from your loved ones who died? What color makes you happy? What color makes you hungry? What do your cravings say about you?