THE SEVEN SHADES OF LOVE

...or...

"How To Determine Why You’re Not Worthy of Being In Love With The Perfect Person Because You’re Color Blind"


I read in Smilla’s Sense of Snow, that Icelandic Eskimo’s have seventeen words to describe sleet, snow and ice. The next week an actress on TV said, “The Inuit language has twenty-seven different words for frozen water.” Both of these synchronistic snippets got stuck in the linked fence between my right and left hemispheres. The following week I overheard a conversation between a bruised-banana lady — yellow suit with patches of brown from high collar to low heel — and a silver haired, gray skinned woman wearing a purple and teal blouse that hurt my left eye more than my right. (Yes, I always eavesdrop in public; I’m a writer. Sue me.) Banana said, "Oh, I just love that color on you." And her mother snipped back, "You always love everything. Love, love, love; is there anything that you only like a little? Or simply don’t care for?"

At that moment the synergy of the two unrelated ideas handcuffed themselves together on a bench just behind my left temple and I realized: We need more than one word to describe love.

Love (which I shudder to use in a sentence without wondering what vague and disjointed meaning you — my reader — may confer upon it) can be distilled down to seven shades:

Red Love is the first primary love — the foundational love — or the love of Mother. It is also love of Father and parental love: the love of one’s children. A catch-phrase is 'family love'; even though Red Love is limited to blood relatives.

Red Love is unending. Red Love can incorporate, but often has very little to do with: generosity or kindness, caring, sharing, commitment, protection, and communication. Instead, Red Love rides on the shoulders of: obeying, trusting, teaching, learning and respecting.

Easily mixed with black (no color/no love), Red Love — regardless how dark it becomes — never can become completely black.

Reciprocity is never an issue with Red Love. It does not flow from one person to another. It merely exists, like air, which gives life. Liking or associating with Red Loves is irrelevant; as in, “I love my sister. brother. mom. dad. parents. daughter. son. children, because we’re family, but I can’t stand to be in the same room with him. her. them, for more than five minutes — or I lose my shit.” Red love is based on a soul-connection existing before a child’s birth and lasting after one’s death. Born from the small confidences, the large punishments, the hidden Kool-Aid stains and the decades of sharing the same silverware…Red Love only dissipates after every person, with a memory of that Red Loved person, has gone (and I don't mean to Tipperary).

Blue Love is the second primary love. Blue Love is the love of life-long best friends and extended family. This incorporates co-workers, family members one gains through marriage and partnership connections, as well as other long-term friendships.

Blue Love is reciprocal. In fact, reciprocation is a strong requirement for this love to survive. It’s difficult, but not impossible, to Blue Love an acquaintance if he does not Blue Love you in return. If you Blue Love your brother-in-law, divorce can cause your friendship to fade like a bruise. If you Blue Love a co-worker and leave your job, maintaining your Blue Love-friendship can become strenuous work.

It is possible to marry a Blue Love. Roommates marry to cut costs; acquaintances marry out of obligation, religious reasons, or financial responsibilities; and friends marry because of pregnancy. All these rational and un-emotional reasons are not necessarily bad reasons to commit to someone for a long period of time. Blue Love can be nice. It can be filled with comfort and caring; as well as kindness, sharing, commitment, protection, and communication.

Blue Love is not very sturdy. Like a favorite pair of blue jeans — it can fade over time without careful, constant attention. But, like a deep blue lake, it can be the center of two people’s enjoyment and camaraderie. However, since Blue Love doesn’t contain the emotions of bliss, euphoria or passion, it’s the easiest reciprocal-love to walk away from.

Yellow Love is the last primary love. This is the love or connection one feels for pets, infants, mentally challenged (including autistic and Alzheimer’s) and others who are incapable — or won’t — return our love.

This love is filled with empathy, commitment, teaching, sharing, and warmth; but Yellow Love is not a reciprocated love. If someone has a yellow love 'crush,' which becomes a shared feeling, the reciprocity causes that Yellow Love to bloom into a Blue, Violet or Green Love.

The yellow Sun’s rays shine down on the Earth. The Earth doesn’t give anything back. But — no matter — the sun keeps shining.

One who knows Yellow Love, understands the object of their love may never recognize it. This is not to say animals, newborn baby’s, or senile relatives are incapable of returning affection. But love of another’s attention, feeding, touch, and care is not really love for a person but merely a way of saying thank you.

Violet Love is the first and most prevalent of the secondary loves. Violet Love is a mixture of Red and Blue Love. Combining family love with best friend love, Violet Love is the devoted love of a chosen partner.

This love, based upon trust, sharing, open communication, unending kindness, common interests and rational commitments, is not as unromantic nor as calculated as it sounds.

Violets are winter flowers; strong and sturdy in cold, bad weather.

A couple who is physically attracted to each other, enjoy each other’s bedroom abilities, respect each other’s values, and possess each other's pre-requisites (..."She enjoys watching all my channels"..."His farts smell like summer strawberries"...) may settle into a comfortable Violet Love full of passion and equality. A Violet Love jam-packed with respectful, mutual decisions can be the foundation for a fantastic relationship or wonderful marriage.

Violets die in direct summer heat. If communication fails, commitments change, or agreements become dashed by a summer monsoon, Violet Love can quickly blacken.

Green Love: the second secondary love, is a twisted-twisty love. Green Love is the combination of Blue and Yellow Love. This combination of ‘must be reciprocated two-way-love,’ and ‘never to be reciprocated one-way-love,’ is fickle, unpredictable, sometimes ugly, always irrational, and miserably difficult to scrape off the bottom of your Birkenstocks.

Green with envy is a reasonable catch-phrase; envy of another’s possessions runs along the same vein as it’s running mate: jealousy. Lust is the bloated poster child for Green Love.

Never enduring and certainly without a required direction — vanity and narcissism are Green Loves, just like their stepchildren: addiction and obsession. It can be bestowed on inanimate objects (“I love that ‘52 Chevy”) and it can be gone without warning or explanation. Manias are based on Green Love. When a crush turns into a stalking, ordinary Yellow Love molds into a sick Green Love.

Orange Love is the last, most valuable (and rarest) secondary love. Orange Love is the combination of Red and Yellow Love. This mix of family love with non-reciprocating love is confusing because Red Love simply is — and doesn’t flow from person to person — and Yellow Love only flows in one direction. Rain is merely air (always present) and water (flowing in one direction) and just like rain, Orange Love attempts to soak through and permeate everyone. It is self-love.

‘Orange’ rhymes with no other word in the English language and to possess Orange Love is unique. To love oneself is as strong and important as Red Love, and as simple and spontaneous as the Yellow Love of a puppy.

Religions claim the love of their deity is Orange Love. Of the several flavors of god available in your grocer’s freezer, all have 'love' somewhere in his or her résumé. But to claim Orange Love is god’s love is not wrong, it’s just not completely accurate.

Millions of people (conditioned by their societies, families, or by their intentionally confusing religions) believe it is wrong to love one self. They mistake 'selfish' with 'self worth', and preach: "Think of others first, not yourself."

If you don’t love yourself first, foremost, and — most important — before loving anyone else, you can’t (or won’t) understand why that person loves you. Until you learn to Orange Love yourself with all your rough spots and mistakes you will find it impossible to hear your inner voice, your awareness will be limited to the physical, tangible world, and you will only understand those things your five senses tell you exist. Consequently, love will fall outside your ken.

Two people who have not discovered Orange Love (before they discovered each other) are incapable of White Love. They can never leave the Blue-Green-Violet Love arena.

White Love is the combination of all the loves under one roof. White Love is connected and unconnected to the other love-colors. None of their traits or characteristics can withstand the brilliance, yet their combined descriptions are what constitute White Love.

Talking about or attempting to describe White Love (as I’m failing to do here) with someone who’s never experienced it first hand, is as difficult and near-impossible as successfully describing Quantum Theory (quantum theorists even have difficulty talking with each other).

Billons of people have never known White Love; it is as rare as being struck by lightning. Sure, everyone wants to believe they experienced it. It’s the ultimate! Who wants to believe they are one of the masses; one of the 'also ran'?

To shop for White Love (sound ridiculous?...it’s simple) the only thing required is a few minutes of conversation. Sit down. Talk. You can be blind or blindfolded, because a person’s looks have nothing to do with White Love. Sexual attraction does not enter into the equation. When you first met, did you think about her body or her looks? Were you first attracted to him physically? Is their appearance a factor in how you think of them? Yes? That would be Green or Violet Love — my sad, attentive, reader.

White Love is immediately identifiable. A person who feels White Love for another is totally enthralled by that persons thoughts, feelings, words, emotions, and (like a junkie in need of a fix) will do anything, within value limits, to be in the continued company of that person. Every word flows effortlessly and smoothly; time moves without notice. The soul connection is so strong when talking with a White Lover, it seems as one is talking with oneself. "I feel as if I’ve always known you," is a common sentiment. Ideals, values, goals, characteristics, all seem identical; differences seem to melt away like white snow on white sand in the white desert.

Reciprocation is not required to feel White Love. One person can feel White Love for someone who feels Violet, Green or Blue Love in return. This usually happens because the person who does not feel White Love has yet to know Orange Love and it’s impossible to attain White Love if you don’t already possess Orange Love.

If my relationship ended today I would consider all the time I spent with him/her:

(1) A big wasted chunk of my life.

(2) A good excuse to cut off his balls with a filet knife from his tackle box, as soon as he falls asleep; the bastard. Teach him to end a relationship with me.

(3) Impossible. I've earned and received tenure. No way, after all this time, is she walking out of this relationship! I’ll take everything she owns and her bratty kids!

(4) A period in my life, filled with happy and sad times, but I wouldn’t be the person I am today if it were not for our time together.

Although an attempt at humor — 1, 2, and 3 are answers from a person without Orange Love, living life through the eyes of their partner. Always thinking: "His/her love of me proves I’m a good person." Everyone without Orange Love blames the demise of his or her Blue-Green-Violet relationship on the other partner.

If both feel Orange Love, and are equally self-aware, both know they are valuable individuals, no matter who they are sharing their toilet paper roll with. And both realize neither is wasting their life doing anything, anywhere, for anyone, except themselves. Past experiences are all valuable and necessary, directly resulting in the person they are today (whom they Orange Love).

So if the love of a partner fades away, there should never be blame. (Unless, of course, she wants to take the ‘52 Chevy, because I Green Love that hunk of metal and I’ll bash it into a pile of glass and paint chips before I’ll let her take it).

Magpie Love is the epiphany of love. Magpie love occurs when two Orange Lovers (pre-approved to maybe, eventually, find White Love) bump into each other, recognize feelings of White Love for the other, and, while discussing their feelings, learn of the others White Love.

Magpies mate for life. Two White Lovers — when recognizing shared White Love — are hit in a mutual rush of torrential greatness. Bliss. Euphoria. The dancing-on-a-cloud be-all, that ends-all.

Experiencing life in Magpie Love makes every mundane action and routine, a task worth doing if done together. No idea is too unimportant, no topic unspeakable, every conversation orgasmic.

Unending, selfish, unselfishness is a description for Magpie Love. I like that concise label so much, I’m going to repeat it.

  • Unending - forever lasting with no ability to wane.
  • Selfish - putting one’s own interests first.
  • Unselfishness - doing everything for another and putting one’s own interests last.

In Magpie Love, one White Lover will do anything to bring pleasure to the other, because doing so brings the pleasure-giver, more happiness than it delivers.

And so, patient reader, you have the color chart. Hold it up to yourself; examine your past and present relationships. Once you determine what you had/have, and what you want — then…

…as long as the two magpies doing the méringue don't bump into Rane Beaux, our waitress, causing your slice of lemon-kiwi pie with cherry meringue, to slide off the dessert tray and plop upside down on my grape and blueberry mango surprise — forcing her to become white hot enraged and throw us all out into the dry, desert, blackness — then, once you pay for our dessert, I’ll treat you to the story of,

Love’s Living Centers

-or-

"Seven Locations Where Love Settles When You Aren’t Paying Attention"

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