A mysterious thing happened with a Christmas gift this year, and it brought back a debate that has confounded my household for the several years now.
The Christmas gift was a very nice grey sweatshirt with blue lettering that says “Ohio University.” I was fortunate to find this item on sale, so I proudly purchased it and wrapped it for my wife.
On Christmas morning, she unwrapped my present and showed everyone her nice grey sweatshirt with green lettering that says, “Ohio University,” on the front.
“That’s funny,” I said to myself., “I was thinking it was blue, but I guess I wasn’t paying attention to the color as much as I was the price and the thoughtfulness of this wonderful gift.”
I didn’t think anything else about it until today when she happily wore the shirt and I noticed that it has blue letters on it.
“That’s funny,” I thought. “I was thinking it was green, but I guess I wasn’t paying attention to the color as much as I was to how thoughtful and savvy I am with shopping.”
But then she walked from the kitchen and into the living room and I noticed that suddenly the letters were green once again!
“What color is the lettering on your shirt?” I asked my wife.
“It’s green. Why?” she responded.
“Does it look blue to you sometimes?” I asked.
“No, it’s definitely green,” she said, somehow missing the chameleon-like qualities of this amazing and low-priced sweatshirt I had purchased for her.
“It’s blue in one room and then green in the next,” I told her. “How is that possible?” I considered asking her if it was a fancy mood sweatshirt, but didn’t want to risk it.
“No, it’s always green. You just can’t see colors,” she said, apparently not even considering that that sweatshirt might be alive. “It’s just like that green chair.”
That “green” chair has been a major point of contention in our household since we made a surprising discovery a few years ago.
Before my wife and I married, I lived with my teenage son and one day we found a perfectly good recliner chair just sitting by the street. We tried it out by the curb and then took it home and proudly put it in our house.
The blue chair was quite comfortable, and was quite a bargain at the price of free. That chair sat in our house for several years, and I sat in that chair often and reflected on how smart I was to pick it up.
A few days after my wife and I were married and our blended family was living under one roof, my wife said something about some item that was next to the green chair.
“What green chair?” I asked, assuming there must be a chair hidden somewhere in the house that I had not seen yet.
“The green chair in the living room that you and Ben had before we were married,” she said.
“What green chair?” I said again.
“What are you talking about? The green chair,” she said.
“I don’t know what you mean?” I responded. “I don’t think we have a green chair.”
“You were just sitting in it,” she said. “The green chair.”
“We don’t have a green chair,” I responded a little concerned about my wife. “I was sitting in a blue chair. Can you show me what you mean?”
So we walked into the living room and she pointed to the blue chair.
“That chair right there,” she said.
“You said green, that’s blue,” I responded.
“No, it’s green,” she said,
Now, I can see how some colors can look like one color or another, and I admit that I am not always great at differentiating colors, but I had never even considered that the chair might be green. It was a kind of ugly blue, and maybe it could be brown, but in no way did it look green.
“You think that’s green?” I said.
“Yes, because it’s green,” she said.
“Hey kids,” I said.” What color is this chair?”
“Why?” the kids asked, making sure they were not in trouble for something.
“Just what color do you think it is?” I replied.
One child said blue and I believe the rest said green, although some said it looked blue and green.
One of my wife’s older sons stopped by so we asked him, and he also said definitely blue. He seemed upset that some people would suggest it was green, so he left.
That chair is not in our house anymore, but it is still a hotly debated topic that will probably be discussed for generations to come.
My son said that the debate over the chair is probably the reason why the first household threw it out in the first place and left it by the street.
That chair nearly tore two households apart, and now that debate has moved onto the sweatshirt.
I only meant for it to be an incredibly thoughtful and bargain-conscious purchase, but now it has become much more than that.
It has become an example of how two people can see the same thing very differently, and I think it is an important lesson for all of us to reflect on in these tumultuous times.
If she can say it’s green, and I can say that it’s blue sometimes and green other times, then we can all live in harmony.
Or maybe it’s an example of how two people can see the same thing differently, but one of them is wrong. I think it’s time that we admit that we are wrong and I am mature enough to say that sometimes I am wrong even when every sense tells me I am right.
I only hope my wife can do the same with this sweatshirt.
It’s definitely a high-tech sweatshirt that keeps changing colors from blue to green and back and forth. It’s the only explanation that makes sense.
If I see the lettering start turning red, though, I’m not saying anything.