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I’ve always hated pink.

Since I could remember, I’d choose purple over the roses and the hot flashy color Barbie was covered in. I’d run in the other direction of most “girly” things, not that I was a complete tom-boy. Yeah, I played sports since I was three, but I still loved glitter and sparkles and twirly skirts and Disney princesses as much as the next girl. I just didn’t want to be girly in the way that was dainty, frail, superfluous. Pink was for the girls that spent their time not getting their hair wet in the pool. Pink was for the girls that would cry if mud got on their hands. Pink was for little foofy tutus and being a ballerina (something that I vetoed out of my life forever the year before). Purple seemed more rounded, much tougher, and I’d feel better every time someone asked me, as all adults do, “What’s you’re favorite color, pink?” and I’d say “No, PURPLE,” and they’d say “ooooo0000ooooh” and continue on to ask my favorite animal (cat).

My loathing of pink lasted well into college, where I’d occasionally break my ban and get something slightly¬†pink in color, or someone would gift me something pink (my passport holder, for example, given to me by Jean Archambault, is BRIGHT pink and idc because I love it) and I’d be ok with it, but I’d still NEVER willingly select pink. I even worked for Victoria’s Secret and they have a line called PINK (eye roll) and I’d get clothing in every.other.color. but the one it’s named after.

Here in Florence, though, as gender parties are exploding all around the world and the femininity and masculine worlds are still strict, there’s a wrench thrown into the system, because more men in Florence wear purple than women. I’m sure I mentioned the Fiorentina team and their royal purple uniforms. Like the Garden is dressed up in Black and Yellow or Green, and Fenway is red and white, Florence is purple, and suddenly, it isn’t just my favorite color, nor is it that feminine.

Which brings me to my problem that if I don’t dress my black dog in pink ribbons and bows, and this now includes my go-to purple, everyone thinks she’s a boy. Not that much of a problem, but because not many people get their dogs fixed, there’s more aggression on the sidewalk and the call out of “maschio o femmina”¬† (male or female?) is routine if the pink isn’t playing its part.

Because we use most of the harnesses we bought for Stitch, which are red and black, I was getting frustrated, so I did, I started to buy pink. Pink collars and harnesses, dog tags and cooling bandanas, and suddenly, no problems on the street, instead there are calls of “ciao picina! Ciao principessa!” Hi little one, hi princess!

And I’ve decided pink isn’t that terrible, and althought I still will never be decked out in the color of Barbie’s convertible, I certainly am not as anti-pink as I used to be, and I have to thank the Fiorentina team, and a little black bulldog for that.

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