What’s your favorite color?
Do you remember that question when you were a little kid? I remember that most kids said red, and I always said blue just to be different. Later on, in high school, the question became what are your two favorite colors, because all the schools had a two-color banner, two-color uniforms and two-color other stuff.
I remember spending way too much time trying to figure out which two colors “went together” the best. Blue and gold were the usual favorites, but naturally other schools had always taken them.
Lately, no one ever asks me what my favorite color is, and I don’t give it much thought. Then recently I heard a lecturer discuss his mother’s answer to that question, asked by her granddaughter. Essentially she answered with a question of her own, “Why do I have to have just one color that I like the best?” When you think about it, it really is a dumb question. (Yes, there are dumb questions.)
I like eggs over-easy, pancakes and medium-rare steaks, a pork loin roast and Brussels sprouts (believe it or not), and black coffee and an occasional beer. So don’t ask me, “What’s your favorite food?” I rarely eat Brussels sprouts for breakfast or pancakes for dinner. And when I’m eating a great medium-rare steak, that’s my favorite food — with a beer, of course.
Similarly, when it comes to music, I like Wolfgang Mozart and Charles-Camille Saint-Saëns, Cesar Franck and Barbra Streisand, Elvis Presley and The Beatles, and blue grass. George Handel and Johann Sebastian Bach not so much.
But don’t ever ask me for my favorite. My “favorite“ depends on what time it is, where I am and what mood I’m in.
Or art. I like Paul Cezanne and Marc Chagall, Georgia O’Keeffe and Yousuf Karsh, Sam Maloof and even a few of Jackson Pollock. But don’t ask me which I like best, and please don’t ask me why I even like those artists and their work. I don’t know. I just do.
So it seems to me, like it does the lecturer’s mother, that it’s OK to like more than one color. In the summer, I like cool colors such as blues, greens and aquas, and in the winter I like the warm reds, fuchsias and oranges. But then again, I like red in the summer, too. I like all the colors, and I refuse to pick any one over any other.
— Paul Burri is an entrepreneur, inventor, columnist, engineer and iconoclast. He is not in the advertising business, but he is a small-business counselor with the Santa Barbara chapter of Counselors to America’s Small Business-SCORE. The opinions and comments in this column are his alone and do not represent the opinions or policies of any outside organization. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.