I have long thought and said that teal is my favorite color. It’s beautiful, dark and comforting, rich, tranquil like the earth and woods. If it goes too far toward green, or toward blue, it’s not my teal. I have a teal jacket that’s several shades darker than the example above, but it is decidedly teal. I’ve forgotten how many times I returned jackets before I finally hit upon the perfect teal.
THIS (below) is the teal I found for my jacket. I suppose it’s a bit darker and more blue than the image above. But this is my teal. I really like this (imagine it in shiny nylon):
A teal can easily drift into blue or green, and I like blues and greens too. But if I want teal, it’s got to be in the middle, at precisely the right place.
My problem has always been that when I say teal, I have no idea if the other person really knows what I mean. Both of us are probably thinking of some sort of blue-green color, but that’s a very wide range. Turquoise is blue-green, but in no way approaches teal. I need a sample in my pocket so I can whip it out and say, “THIS is teal.” Or maybe carry around that undersea image. It looks very nearly perfect. (Perfect on my screen anyway. No telling what you may be seeing.)
Not that turquoise isn’t a nice color. I put on a turquoise shirt the other day and told myself it looked really nice and I should wear that color more often. It’s light, bright, airy. It’s springy, summery. It says “Southwest” loudly. It accents my faded eyes. But it is definitely not teal.
And yes, I’ve mentioned purple in the past. It’s my second favorite color and sometimes first, depending on the situation or item in question. (Teal car? Great! Purple car? Nah.) It’s another color that can be variously interpreted or defined, but not as often as teal. I’m speaking of deep, rich, unmistakeable PURPLE. Royal purples, jewel-tone purples. I’m willing to slide into a bluish lavender on occasion, or a good hot fuchsia, but get too close to Barbie pink and I’m gone. I know pink is supposed to be “universal” and look good on everybody (guys, too!), but I’m just not into girly pink. I’ve always been a tomboy, rejecting pink from the git-go. Guys can be sensitive about it, however. I once complemented my son on his pink shirt, and he insisted, defensively, that it was coral. (As an aside while I’m talking about colors men wear, one of my favorite combos on guys is a lavender shirt with a navy jacket.) And as everyone knows, around the world, blue is the most popular color.
I’ve embraced purple in my later years, perhaps influenced by the poem that says “When I grow old, I shall wear purple.” But I avoided it for many years, probably starting in high school because back then purple was considered a “gay” color, a color only “queers” wore. That was a big thing in high school (in Oklahoma in the late ’50s to ’61). And I once tried on a solid purple outfit, top and pants, or maybe it was a skirt. Anyway, I looked like a giant grape and abandoned it immediately.
Purple doesn’t seem as variable as teal. For example:
Not a lot of blue or red shades here. Purple is purple. And in my experience, purple demands attention. It’s not subtle.
Of course I could launch into all the shades and designations and codes that printers and graphic artists use, but that’s a whole ‘nother issue.
As for differing color perception, there’s been an ongoing question in my family for years. My son’s first car was a used 1980 Chevy Camaro, not as spiffy as the one below, but the same color. The long unanswered question remains: Is it brown or maroon? What do you think?