Teach Me Colors, Crayola Crayons


box of 64 crayonscourtesy of google.com

box of 64 crayons
courtesy of google.com

box of 8 crayons – courtesy of google.com







There are two types of students in this world. Those who attended art class with the pack of 8 Crayola crayons and those who attended with the 64-crayon set complete with its own sharpener. I am the youngest of four boys, and my parents were on a tight budget. So, guess which pack of crayons I had.

Me and my 8-pack limped into art class every year. This handicap was probably surmountable for someone who possessed some artistic skills. Not me. Any artistic skills I have go towards writing, thank you very much.

One time my teacher said, “Draw a winter scene.” I borrowed someone’s white crayon, drew the whole page white, and proudly showed the teacher my creation. When she asked, I told her it was a blizzard. She was not as proud of my creativity (okay, I was being a wise ass – hey this skill did not just occur – I have honed it since birth.) and insisted I go back and try harder. I hrrmphed and did as instructed.

Not only am I artistically challenged, I am very poor at color identification. After all, I was only taught eight colors. Now unlike you 64-pack people who probably know that sepia is in the brown family (I just looked it up on Crayola website, I know only blue, brown, yellow, orange, purple, red, black, and green. Don’t ask me about different shades, gradations, and the fancy names that go along with them.

Now, while I am clearly a bit bitter over my knowledge deficiency of colors, I have managed to live a decent life. But don’t think it is irrelevant.

I have a friend, JS, who is color blind, and can’t distinguish red from green. Someone you want to drive with, eh. Somehow, he does work it out, but getting dressed can be a challenge. He stocked up on khaki pants figuring that any shirt matches khaki. The only time he gets in trouble is when he decides he wants to wear his black pants. Then, he needs help. And even if he makes a mistake, it is understandable.

But what about me (wow – that sounds so selfish)? A while back, I told you about my desire to be stylish even if I don’t love shopping. My drive to be stylish has few requirements. However, color recognition is certainly one of them.

While I am not color blind, telling the difference between navy and black is nearly impossible for me. The other day I held took a polo shirt out of my closet and held it up to the light. I put it next to my pants. I asked my six-year-old, but he was busy watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. I decided the heck with it, assumed it was navy, and went on with my evening. The next day I started doubting and when I got to work, I asked a colleague. She confirmed, “No, that is definitely black.”

Crap, I screwed up again. I’d like to blame it on me being in a rush to lay my clothes out. I have actually gone to work with two different black shoes before and not noticed till I felt a bit off balance.

I blame my 8-pack of Crayola Crayons. My whole life might be more colorful if I had the pack of 64. Well at least, I could match my clothes and talk about different color shades. Oh well, I suppose I’m feeling blue.

37 thoughts on “Teach Me Colors, Crayola Crayons

    • SO glad you liked it. Thanks for reposting it. I appreciate it.
      Btw, I plan on getting on to twitter this summer. I will have to get some tips from you then.

  1. LOL, now that’s funny – I love the “blizzard”! My dad is red/green color blind. He still managed to get his pilot’s license. Don’t ask. He’s learned to memorize the lights, like stop lights and such. I have the same problem with black and grey and dark blue – they are just way too similar! I only buy black slacks, but keep one pair of blue, just in case, but they are kept in a separate area of the closet! This post was greatness, it cracked me up! Of course, you know I’m sleep deprived, so…

    • Glad it made you laugh. I always love when people tell me that.
      I think they should put the color on the label for those of us who are color challenged (or who don’t have an especially large close.
      I do wonder how those guys drive.

  2. Can I ask – Are you one of those teachers who say ‘go and try harder?’
    As a child growing up in school I too was part of the 8 pack crew… Trying harder just doesn’t happen when you only have 8 colours.

    • I am the type who says, “Is that your best? Give me your best.”
      I am sorry to hear of your shared suffereing.

  3. You are a nut. I personally know and love all 300 shades of brown alone, let alone all the other colors in the universe. I don’t know how you function each day. How do you pick a throw pillows to match your living room? How do you know if your tea towels look okay in the kitchen?

    I hope Mrs. Larry gets to do the decorating.

    • A nut – hmmm. Okay.
      3000 shades of brown? And you know the name of each? To quote you Ms. Clemence, “You are a nut.”
      I hav every fine taste – thank you. My wife does make the selections but often asks my opinion. I am opinionated.

  4. Perhaps I need some help because I fail to see why your color blind friend would be in trouble when he tries to wear the black pants. Doesn’t black go with everything?

    • I hear you. I am not 100% sure but this is what he said. I suppose he has some shirts that don’t match those pants.

  5. My dad & siblings grew up really poor and my aunt was telling me how she always wanted the 64-pack with the pencil sharpener but my grandmother compromised and got the 24-pack. Every year when I buy school supplies to donate I get the 64-pack. It makes me feel good to think that I’m sending a disadvantaged kid off to school with a bad-ass pencil sharpener in his crayon box.

    I totally love your take on the blizzard. Your teacher just didn’t know brilliance or advanced humor. Her loss.

    • So, you can clearly appreciate my crayon issue.
      Yes, I get that often – people don’t recognize my brilliance. It makes me wonder – hmm, maybe, I am not so brilliant. Nahhh.

  6. Hi,
    I am laughing aloud at this one. I hope you didn’t look odd the whole day at school. The things with colors is that they sometime do look alike. So join the club. I have mixed up colors often. In my case it is a matter of not paying attention to what I grab out of my closet. Sometimes I even think the mixup it adds to my creativity as a writer. Who knows. It is good to be able to laugh about it.
    Excellent article. Your wit and humor comes through on this one.


    • I am glad it made you laugh. I definitely wanted that response from this post. I am glad to join your club. Well, sort of.

  7. So funny! I hate to make you jealous Larry but one time as a kid I found a box of 109 crayons (it had limited edition colors) or something equally ridiculous at the store! I begged for that thing! My mom didn’t think I needed it because I already had a ton of crayons at home but she finally relented! It was one of the happiest days of my life! It really is a shame you never got the 64 box…I remember you had to ask me one time was color indigo was!! haha!!

    • I am glad you liked it.
      I knew you would be one of those kids. All those storied about being a farmer and making do – yet, when it comes to art you are serious!
      Btw, it’s not a shame. I did just fine, thank you.

  8. I definitely think you can blame the crayons. Especially if this has been going on for a while.
    Too bad I never thought of coloring the page white. It would’ve been funny to see the teacher’s reaction. (Yep, I was (am?) a smart aleck, too.)
    But hey – fashion doesn’t matter, comfort does. So as long as it’s comfy and it kind of matches – don’t stress too much.

    BTW – I think there are a few packs in between 8 and 64. IIRC, we had packs of 24 or something like that.

    • Comfortable enough. Glad to know you are a fellow smart aleck.
      I know there are packs in between but I did not get those either.

  9. Yep…I’ve done that before too, only with socks. I wake up in the morning to a dimly lit room, put on my navy socks, only to find out that they are black. Just last week, I went THE WHOLE DAY with my shirt on inside out!? What? What does that?! Me, I guess.

    • You know what’s worse – I set the clothes out the night before. I can’t blame lack of sleep.
      Inside out – that is funny. No one said anything?

  10. Hilarious as always Larry! you made me laugh; wise ass with your white blizzard! Oh! I always had to go with the 64 pack, I needed them, I spent days colouring non-stop 🙂 when I was in fifth grade I had so many crayolas and pens that my mom thought it would be a good idea for me to give some to my neighbour, believe me when I say this “I cried” and I was very upset at my mom, now I get it! 🙂

    • Glad you like it. It was one I am proud of.
      Of course, you had the 64 pack – and look at you now. It starts young miss. Very giving child you were.

  11. I remember when I got my first pack of 64 crayons. It was after I was in a car accident and it had been a get-well gift. I coveted those crayons. I was very miserly and didn’t share with just any body. Much to the chagrin of my older brother.

      • Lol I didn’t even realize you had replied with a comment to my comment back in May!! No, I am not an artist. I am terrible at art, but I do colour as you now know. My brother, on the hand, is a good artist. I have a few of his pieces that he’s given as gifts over the years. Apparently the lack of me sharing did not cause his artist talents to suffer.

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