A little nonsense…or another way to amuse myself.
Years ago I read a small book about color. I don’t know why now. Maybe because I was nibbling at the idea of being an artist. (That was before I discovered…or at least before my art teacher discovered…I was a little color blind.) How I remember the author’s name after more than sixty years is a mystery, but remember I do. The author was Faber Birren.
He proposed the notion of treating the mentally ill by placing patients in rooms painted in calm colors…pastels and cool blues and greens. (At the time I thought it was interesting, but I was more attracted to the notion I could tell what a female companion was thinking by the color of her dress.)
I’ll explain in a minute why, but I recently went looking for his book. I didn’t have much hope it would still be in print, but by gollies, there it was on Amazon, sporting a bright, new cover. It’s a fresh edition, titled “Color Psychology and Color Therapy.” (Since Mister Birren died in 1980, and since Amazon shows a 2010 copyright, I imagine someone is looking out for him.)
Why, you might ask, go looking for an obscure work by an obscure author? It’s all because of my black baseball cap, the one with “Cabela’s” above the visor. It’s solid black.
Normally, I get a lot of smiles and friendly nods…and little kids in shopping carts snare me with their eyes and then bless me with a smile. But that’s when I wear the white baseball cap with Clock Tower logo over the visor. On days when I wear the black cap, I’ve noticed a decided drop in smiles and friendly nods…and one little kid even ignored me altogether.
I’m not ready to declare a definitive answer because there just isn’t enough data, but now if I’m going out, I have to decide on the black cap or the white cap. I’ll try to identify all the variables…sunshine…day of week…how close to a holiday…morning or evening…and keep a “White Cap, Black Cap ” log. I’m pretty sure I know which cap is friendly, but I’ll try to keep an open mind.
All I need is a public space…like a Fred Meyer or a Wal Mart. Maybe I’ll make a circuit around the outer edge of the store with the white cap on and then switch t0 black and make another circuit…to see if the color makes any difference in cordiality.
Of course, I could try wearing my white Tiger Woods golfing cap and see if that makes a difference. If anyone wants to join me in this nonsense, to help me test the notion people might react to different colored caps, let me know what you discover.
P.S. Birren wasn’t apparently much interest in the color white. Black he thought to be ominous. Maybe.