Being Beige (Andrew)

Out for dinner. Work thing. A few colleagues and a supplier. Usual dinner talk. Work. Weather. Who ordered what? When someone says they’d talking to their partner last night and they both decided that they were too “beige” and had both decided to get a tattoo.

That got us talking. Did anyone else consider themselves “beige” and, if so, did they want to be less beige? More… orange?

One man said he wanted to listen to more new music as he only listened to Ed Sheeran. 

One woman said she wanted to skydive.

Another said they wanted to travel more. 

And as we went round the table I could help thinking that all of the answers were, well, beige. 

Travel. Skydive. Get a tattoo. 

Were we talking about excitement or planning a gap year?

But afterwards, I felt ashamed for that thought. Who says that challenging yourself has to meet some kind of novelty threshold. That you can only be a rebel with a tattoo if that tattoo was of Ed Sheeran’s face on your face in a perma-ginger tattoo facemask. 

Or that you’d Skydived strapped to a cow. 

Or you travelling is not travelling unless you set out to discover the Lost City of Gold. 

(Which is pretty much how holidays worked in the old days. You didn’t go on holiday. You went on an expedition! If Christopher Columbus was alive today then you just know he’d have sent out a charity email before he sailed off to find America)

Anything can be a challenge. In some parts of Glasgow, some people rarely leave their postcode. Getting on the bus is a challenge. While, for me, Skydiving would literally be a step too far.

It’s up to everyone to decide what their challenge might be. And even then, to decide if they want to challenge themselves or not. Because it’s okay to be beige because being beige is entirely subjective. One person’s beige is another typical weekend. 

I have a colleague at work who dives every weekend and evert holiday. He swims around sunken wrecks, looks for fresh scallops in shallow waters and thinks nothing of having his oxygen tank fail – “just something that happens!” – and have to work out how to quickly get back to the surface before he drowns.

Yet he was the one who said he was beige!