Thursday, June 16, 2011

The lady in red...

Red is my favorite color. My signature even. I wear at least a little red nearly every day. We have a red sofa, I have at least 3 red coats. It is the color of love and blood and passion... Tomato sauce... peppers, cherries. Strawberries... CHRISTMAS... It's been my favorite color  my whole life - and that's getting to be a long time. I wore red to prom, to many parties, when I was on The View and in my wedding bouquet. When running for the BOE I tended to wear red or pink to look feminine but strong. 


Normally I LOVE to see other people wearing red too. MR looks especially good with bright red lipstick. And, of course MCM has red hair...


Today though, C came home from school and said all the teachers at the Middle School were wearing red. I didn't get it... She explained it was apparently to support the union. (The kids at N's school wore red for MARE week... no word yet on what the teachers were wearing. But now I'm a bit curious. Did they wear red to be pro-union or blue to support the school spirit???) I am tempted to wake N and ask him before he forgets!!! (Note: His school is on the video below and they are all in red- and both of his teachers were absent yesterday. My kids' elementary school is the one at the beginning of the video.)


I'm not against liberal-leaning politics. If you know anything about me, you know I'm far left of center! Nor am I a stranger to political canvasing! My sister is a lobbyist for Planned Parenthood and my brother works for PBS and  President of  his state's Humanities Council and I'd work with/for either of them in a New York Minute. Three of my last four employers were state colleges/universities. So clearly I'm pro public education. (I ran for the BOE on a give more opportunities to more kids platform, although my message wasn't clear enough). But I don't get teachers who are parading a political agenda with an audience of 12-14 year old kids (or now I see, 5 and 6 year olds). Middle school kids can't vote and they don't care - especially 3 days before summer vacation! 


So why canvas the school in red t-shirts???? And, why RED???? (Yes I am probably very ignorant here, there is probably a reason, readily available on the NJEA or BREA websites). Red has been taken by the right! C asked 3 different teachers about the red clothes. They (and I quote her) "sorta explained.  It was something about their retirement - but it didn't make sense."  When I offered to explain further, C actually preferred to go to bed rather than listen. This made my point. Kids don't care, and voters aren't around to see what teachers are wearing!


But when I think about it further... I don't wear red for other people. I wear red for myself. To me it's the color of confidence. Maybe union members aren't wearing clothes in solidarity as much as they are wearing it for their own feelings of inclusion. Maybe they aren't trying to convince 12 and 13 and 14 year olds that they should tell their parents to support the union (which is what I assumed at first). Maybe they are trying to feel part of the rallies in Trenton or the negotiations we (the public) don't know much about. 


And anyway, we are all sending (probably unintended) messages about our politics every day in what we wear. Lands End catalog? You're a suburbanite. Short skirt = slut. Decadent diamonds: probably voted for Bush. Birkenstocks? One guess... Yes, I'm being facetious. 


Red may be the color of conservatives - and I'm many many many things, but I'm not that, even though I love to wear red. But it's also the color of one of my very very very favorite things. People like it regardless of politics, and pretty much all over the world, and since ancient times:












Wine




So enjoy one of my favorite songs (below) and with my favorite drink (above). 





Maybe Chris DeBurgh is right? 
"I've never seen you shine so bright... you were amazing
I've never seen so many people want to be there by your side...
and when you turned to me and smiled, it took my breath away..." 


Maybe that's what the teachers were going for (doubtful, but maybe) - and who can blame them. 

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