And suddenly I'm fashionable
So the 2009 color of the year is yellow. OK, not exactly yellow. Mimosa. A yellow with a tad more character than sunshine but not quite the depth of the marigolds and ambers I prefer. But close enough to the yellow I chose to accent my blog before I heard Pantone's proclamation that I can claim to be ahead of the trend.
In a time of economic uncertainty and political change, optimism is paramount and no other color expresses hope and reassurance more than yellow.
Thanks, Pantone. I'm sure that a touch of Mimosa (the color, not the beverage) will make us all feel a bit better. Because we all know that true hope and reassurance is found in the colors found on the catwalk. And in slinky yellow dresses found at Bloomingdale's.

This all brought on an interesting discussion in our home.
Mom, how can they decide what the most popular color for 2009 is when it is still 2008?
Ah, the innocent wisdom of children.

But you see, my dear, when you are Pantone, what you say is "in" is what is available. And when enough of it is used on walls in Trading Spaces, in fabric for fashion shows and hints of it begin showing up in the wardrobes of the rich and famous, suddenly we masses find we are beginning to take a liking to it. Too many of us want to dress like our favorite celebrities. Too many of us look around at everyone else before we determine what we like.

Individuality is tough work. All of us have needs to be both recognized and valued as individuals and to be a recognized and valued part of a social group. Trends in music, fashion and home decor are simple ways to latch on to and identify with a social group because they are external. Without commiting much of yourself, you can receive the social affirmation that all of us need by merely wearing the right clothes and listening to the right music.

Maybe that is why I never quite fit in at school. My tastes never changed. I liked the same music in high school that I liked in junior high. In fact, I still have clothes in my closet that I wore in high school and I'd probably still be wearing my beloved stone washed denim jacket I bought for $19 dollars at a discount store if I hadn't forgotten it in the library when I was 19.

By high school, I began to figure the whole social acceptance thing out a little more. "Fitting in" wasn't really about conforming to a superficial standard of what to wear, who to talk to and where to shop, a standard which kept me alternating between envy and a sort of snobbery toward my classmates who all seemed oh so cool. It was more about finding a group of people with common values and complimentary interests so that we could understand, accept and support one another, both in our similarities and our differences.

As Christians, this can sometimes be especially challenging. We are all caught between two worlds, so to speak. I think it is perfectly acceptable for Christians to have non-Christian friends and acquaintances. If we cut ourselves off completely from the world, we cease to have much of an impact in it. But we still make a choice of where we draw our sense of social identity from. Are we seeking the treasures of this world and the tokens of acceptance in it? Or are we seeking the treasures of Heaven?

The Lord also has a touch of yellow in His promise for us:

Though ye have lain among the pots, yet shall ye be as the wings of a dove covered with silver, and her feathers with yellow gold.

--Psalm 68:13