I believe in pink houses.
Of course, being raised in one, makes me a bit biased. But every time I see another pink house, I think of home. I went through a stage where I was so ashamed of my pink house, always turning a bit red when giving a new friend directions to my house saying “It’s the 2nd one on your left, with the big tree out front. Oh yeah..and it’s *cough* pink.” My excuse was always “Hey, my dad is a painter. He likes to experiment with color. He’s an artist. Artists are weird ” My house is set farther back from the other houses on my street, so you would think it wouldn’t stand out so much. WRONG. And you may be getting a picture in your mind of a house the color of bubble gum and pop singer outfits. WRONG AGAIN. It is a paler shade of pink, a salmon color if you will? But still, embarrassing. I grew up with little old ladies and young newlyweds out for walks knocking on our door commenting on our “out of the ordinary” house color. Everyone else, other than me, loved it.
My home has always been different than other kids. I was the only kid I knew who had a bunch of cats named after video game characters like Mario, Luigi, and Zelda. But as I have grown up the differences have gone from embarrassing to…quirky. I am proud it is the only house I have ever known and that the comfortable feeling of going home is always multiplied because I was born and raised there. I love that I know I could get around the house blindfolded and still know exactly where I am. I love that there are pencil marks in the hall that show how my brother and I progressed in height throughout the years. I even love that there is a mark way down near the floor of the time my brother tried to measure our cat. And even though it was a traumatic experience in my life, I love that I know exactly where I smacked my head into the wall when my brother was hopping after me in a Smurfs sleeping bag, thus resulting in the scar on my forehead.
I love that sometimes when I look around my home I can actually visualize scenes of events that have taken place over the years: birthday parties, family dinners, fights, tears, and a lot of laughter. I can see them so vividly, as if I’m watching a movie play right in front of me.
One of these scenes that I can see play out time and time again is one of my favorite memories I cherish of that house: sitting on the deck with my dad, a fire in the pit in front of us, some lemonade and great conversation. It’s a thing we started years ago and the only thing that got me through hot summer nights at the city’s minor league ballpark serving hot dogs to very large, sweaty drunk men. It was all worth it knowing I could come home and see my dad waving from the porch with a big smile on his face, anticipating a great chat with his daughter. Things are a bit different now. I no longer feel ashamed of my pink house. The video game cats are long gone and my brother has a whole separate life. The talks with my dad have decreased as he is 60 and still painting and is quite tired at the end of the day. But every now and then we have one of our talks on the porch. The lemonade is replaced with a couple of beers, and the discussion is no longer about the cute boy at school and the girl who gave me a dirty look, but where I will move in a few months when I graduate college, and the latest thing I am learning about God. So much has changed throughout the years. I am changing every day and so is my family. But one thing that I can count on as a constant in my life is that the little pink house will always welcome me with open arms, reassuring me that everything is alright, that I am home.
I believe in pink houses.