Thursday, April 7, 2016

You're colouring? I'm judging.

I cannot understand this adult colouring book phenomenon. If you're not familiar with it, then, good for you; I suspect you're leading an interesting, fulfilling life.

In case you missed it, there's a big movement of (nearly all) women who, yes, colour. Yup, the verb. They colour inside the lines of pre-printed books, on paper, with crayons and pencil crayons. Most of the images I have seen are of fairies and flowers. I suspect there is likely a surfeit of unicorns. They colour in the pictures, just like they did when they were seven, although I hope with a bit more skill. It's a real thing. It's asinine.

The other day, I overheard two women talking about their colouring efforts and showing off their respective works, gushing over how marvelously relaxing it was and how there were times they just didn't want to engage their brains, and how colouring provided a creative outlet they just couldn't get anywhere else.

"Yes," I thought to myself, "God forbid you engage your brain. Or learn something, or be moved by actual art or create something lasting or useful, or feel anything but relaxation."

Well, actually, I didn't say that to myself. I said it out loud and the two women spent quite some time failing to convince me of the merits of their efforts, with several citations of relaxation as their prime motivator for taking up a child's activity. One of the two says she actually hurt herself while colouring, which tells me more about her physical fitness than anything else.

I. just. can't. even.

I am truly at a loss for words to describe my thorough disgust at this trend. I usually don't care what other people get up to in their spare time, but I'm practically apoplectic about this.

Is it the clear waste of paper and effort and brain power that annoys me so deeply?
Is it the breezy anti-intellectualism?
Is it my Scottish background and the horror I feel encountering a belief that relaxation should be the default aim in life?

I really can't say, but I will sort out my feelings after I read something challenging and take some exercise; perhaps I will ponder it more while working on my latest quilt or making a from-scratch dinner for my sweetheart.

If I have time, that is.


  1. Also not a fan of meditation I take it?

  2. Obviously, you are at completely as one with how you relax! ;-)

  3. So to belittle others for what they do in their free time, then proceed to write a blog about it, is considered a better use of time? That certainly does put you above them... Next time it wouldn't hurt to think before putting others down for things that have zero impact on your life. If you have time that is....

    1. Uh-oh, are you one of the gushers, Anonymous?

    2. Just because someone doesn't agree with your actions or opinions, doesn't mean the only answer is that they are taking it personally. Not a "gusher" as you call them.. Just someone who treats others the way they would like to be treated.

    3. Hi, Anonymous, thanks for commenting (it's so rare, I rarely check...)
      I think you may have missed my point. "I don't generally care what people get up to in their spare time," is what I wrote above, and it's true: NASCAR, the NFL or nudism, have at 'er, I say. But this particular past time freaks me out, and I don't know why. I'm trying to work it out with some humour in this blog.
      While I have no respect for the activity, please don't infer that I don't respect its practitioners as fellow humans. I'm sorry you thought that's what I was doing.

  4. With enough time and enough topics, anyone is bound to write something that others will bristle at. This is how we end up with blog posts such as "People who wear red on Thursdays are the new child molesters," "Golfers should die in a fire" and "Video gaming is not a hobby, it's an avenue for furthering the ideals of Satanism." This is why I've never tried developing a regular 'column' -- I don't think I have enough fresh insight to populate it.

    But, in this case, despite the author's apoplectic disgust at the asinine time-wasting of colouring, I will speak up to defend at least one use of these books.

    My wife discovered a palliative effect of focusing on colour choice and attention to detail as she whiled away a few months in hospital, living off an IV as she waited for life-altering surgery. By her account, it helped. She ended up with some pretty pictures, the nurses had something new to look at every day, and I was able to zoom past her in Candy Crush Soda as she had something more tangible to work on.

    A selection of the mandalas and other images are posted here:

    Meantime, I can only hope that the video gamers, golfers and Thursday red-wearers find a measure of peace in what they're doing, even as bloggers everywhere use them as fodder for fury.


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