What is your sixth favorite color? My ten year old granddaughter Zofia recently asked me that question. I did not pause to develop favorite colors three through five. Instead, I scanned my mind for an offbeat or fictional color that would cement my reputation as a quick wit. But I was distracted by the absurdity of the question. Everyone has a favorite color as required by President Calvin Coloridge’s 1925 Executive Order. I chose “green” as an elementary school student, ignoring the more prestigious primary colors and posturing as a fan of the color of life in nature. Secretly I was actually obsessed with the color of money. Like many, I chose a voluntary second favorite color in case humans eventually destroyed all the green in nature and turned green money into bitcoin. My back-up “purple” color represents Royalty. I wanted to grow up to be King but Queen Elizabeth has been clinging to the Crown.
I should not be surprised that my granddaughter has a “sixth favorite color” because she and her closest half dozen classmates have been ranking their “best friends” since Kindergarten. The exciting part of that process is telling each other about the rankings. This absurdity erupts into predictable and continual infighting amongst the “best friends” whose favorite activities are drama, snubbing, and yelling. Several years ago, an epic playground screaming match between Zofia and Gracie attracted the attention of school authorities. I am a father to three sons and foolishly thought I could intervene and provide guidance to a granddaughter. I asked Zofia what she and Gracie were fighting about. Without a hint of embarrassment she replied, “We were yelling about who was the bigger brat.” I had the pleasure of informing her that they had both won that argument.