Thursday, December 13, 2007

Purple Shoes (or I Should Be Nicer to Mom, part 2)

In my teen years, Mom had indulged my fetish for rainbows by buying a complete rainbow bed set, and sewing matching curtains for my bedroom. She also indulged my Purple Period by helping me order custom Van's and paying for them.

For twenty years, from 1981 to 2001, I wore something purple every day. Sometimes it was as subtle as a purple watch or purple socks. Other days I was balls-out blatant, such as the Halloween that I dressed up as "Captain Purple," one of Donny Osmond's characters on the "Donny & Marie" show. On what appeared to be non-purple days, I was sure to be wearing purple underwear.

It started out as a silly way to get attention, in junior high, but I was genuinely passionate about the hue. Plus, you know us 'artistic/performer types,' always desperate for attention (some of us, anyway!), and so adamant about expressing our individualism!

In the early 80's, there was not much ready-made purple clothing for young men, other than overpriced Ralph Lauren goods. Before I started dying my Levi's 501's with Rit, having purple sneakers made it easier to keep up my purple streak in its early stages.

We're talking practically last century, here (well, I guess the twentieth was the last . . . ), before the Van's company started supplying their own purple canvas material for shoes. No online shopping and customizing of shoes back then! No sir! Mom and I went to Woolworth's where I was able to buy my own purple fabric, which our local Van's shoe store shipped to the Van's factory to be made into Off the Wall's in my size.

I don't think I realized at the time that my shoes were purple polyester. We had just gotten out of the seventies, so I think it was still acceptable. Sorta.

The first, traditional Off the Walls were navy blue with a bright red saddle. I wanted the purple adaptation of that around my junior year. My little Japanese, Christian mom objected.

"No! Those are an evil woman's colors!"

I think she meant 'prostitute.' I ended up getting purple and chaste-white Van's slip-ons, that year.

I still wear purple, now and then, and I still have a pair of purple shoes.
"When I am an old lady, I shall wear purple." Why wait?


golfwidow said...

Mr. Fab over at was nicknamed "Captain" at one point in his life, and he had a contest on his blog to have people guess why. It took us forever to get it. You'd have gotten it first go.

Brett & Shelly said...

THAT'S the Peter I know and love! I feel honored to have been part of your purple haze, I mean phase.
kiss kiss, Shelly

Jason Phoon said...

Purple used to be the color of royalty, cause it was very expensive and they used to squeeze it out of oysters!

just some random trivia for you purple lover :)

Brenda said...

Your mother made sure you had purple for EVERY day?
You really should have this woman on a throne;)

thelastnoel said...

I'm surprised you don't have tales of being gay bashed for your blatant homoness growing up. Rainbow curtains? I would have beaten you up myself.

Prince Gomolvilas said...

Quin said...

i'll wear purple, but, i'm not wearing those red hats.

ohhh, but, we can so wear purple on our trip.

richierich61 said...

Ran across your blog when seaching donny & marie. I too was obssesed with this show and specifically Captain Purple. I wanted Donny to play him every week. Have athough about doing a Captain Purple costume one Halloween just to see if anyone would get it.