I am blessed to be invited to officiate at a wedding this week. I attempt in each wedding to tie the colors of the wedding party together with a suit to blend with the groomsmen wardrobe and a tie to pull in the bridesmaids’ colors. The bride is the daughter of a friend with whom I worked many years ago. The groom is from a land far, far away, the inhabitants of which speak a language called “Strine”. But being “a man’s man”, I should have anticipated that when I asked him what are the colors of the bridesmaids’ dresses, he would have answered as most men might; he said “bluish”. Remarking to him, “Spoken like a man”, I realized that, indeed, that might have been the way I might have responded!

Turning to my ever-present friend, G. Oogle, I queried, “shades of blue”. Not to disappoint, G. gave me this handy resource: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Shades_of_blue. Men, you no longer have an excuse — at least as far as blue is concerned.

Granted, I live with a very talented, color-educated woman. She could have answered with at least a dozen different names of shades of blue, red, green, grey or white. So perhaps I should be more patient with myself for anticipating something a bit more specific than “bluish”. But it brings up a point — many of the women I know are far more conversant with colors than I. Is this a gender skill trained in the secrets classrooms of females? Does it come from too much time in front of fingernail polish displays? Or is there a genetic component located somewhere on the Y-chromosome that predisposes women to be proficient “colorati”? When I walk through Home Depot I notice more women in front of the paint chip racks than men. Perhaps there’s a “color magnetism” that causes the female navigation system to find and be interested in the various shades.

But wait! Every commercial printer chooses the ink shades for the printed products from a chart labeled PMS Colors. The mystery is solved! But I guess that skill comes with a price…