Abandon all hope…

This came to me from Scarlett via Ulf Zimmerman (welcome back, Scarlett).

A young woman named Bernice was exceptionally fond of bright, even garish-colored clothes. In her native Haiti, women took great pride in picking only the brightest cloth for their dresses to assure they would look exciting in contrast to their otherwise drab surroundings. When she took a job as a secretary at the University in an office decorated in boring beige, throughout, she redoubled her efforts to wear “lively colors,” explaining she had to, “Get a little life into this place.”

But fashion-challenged Bernice wore bright tops and bottoms that didn’t coordinate, causing one office wag to show up in sunglasses–a pointed joke that went right past Bernice. When another colleague tried gently suggesting that Bernice wear neutral-colored skirts or pants with her vivid-colored tops, Bernice seemed impervious to the hint–as well as to several that followed from other co-workers distressed at her clashingly bright colors. “But, I’ve got to bring a little life to this place!” she explained over and over.

Finally one woman went out and bought Bernice a neutral-colored skirt. Just before 5:00, while Bernice was in the Ladies’ room, the woman placed the skirt on Bernice’s desk. Then everyone scooted home quickly. No one believed Bernice, so partial to lively colors, would ever wear the skirt, but to the amazement of her co-workers, she showed up in it the next day. As always, she was dressed to bring life to the office with her blouse, a rainbow array of colors, but she’d worn the neutral-toned skirt with it — which just goes to prove the truth in the old saying, “Where there’s life, there’s taupe.”

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