Call me Puce.
I’m the Rodney Dangerfield of the color spectrum. I get no respect.
Take my name. Notice how awkwardly it rolls off the tongue. Say it aloud: “Puce.” With the proper inflection it sounds like you are smelling something out of a teenager’s gym bag. Phonetically, it is related to other unpleasant connotations, as in, “I just puced all over my shoes.”
I get no respect. How many times have you heard someone say, “What a lovely puce purse you’re carrying,” or, “Puce is really your color. It’s you.”
I’m not in “The Rainbow Song.” You don’t hear little children singing, “Red and yellow and puce and green ….”
Binney and Smith have never named one of their crayon colors after me. Translated literally, “ puce” in French means “flea”, which is something short of inspirational.
I couldn’t have had a nice romantic name like “vermilion,” or a lushly feminine one like “aquamarine.” I could have used a good strong masculine name like “burnt umber,” or an earthy one like “ochre.” But no, I had to be called “puce.”
Nonetheless, I have dignity. I hold my hue on high. Depending upon which dictionary you consult, I am described variously as “dark red, bluish-purplish-brownish-grayish.”
I am the color of a plum that has seen better days.
I am the color you see as a boxer’s eye swells shut.
I am the color on the mixing palette of a really bad art student.
If warthogs could paint, I would be their favorite color.
I should be the color of the academic hood for graduate degrees in political science.
I get no respect, but I serve an important aesthetic function. If it weren’t for me, people wouldn’t appreciate the colors of the rainbow. I exist to help define what is beautiful.
I am Puce.