So, what color is a camel?

Features column

Photo by Vicki Harris

Photo by Vicki Harris

I get Linus. Completely. One hundred percent.

I get Linus because he has a need to carry around a blanket, a blue one that he, on occasion, throws over his shoulder, drags on the floor and even wraps around his head. I get Linus because I, too, have a blanket. And I am not ashamed.

My blanket isn’t blue, though. It’s beige and really, really soft and quite small, actually, and I’ve had it for years. I used to say that my little blanket is camel colored and then someone asked me if I had ever seen a camel so how would I know. I couldn’t rightly answer that because, in truth, I have never seen a camel with my own two eyes, so now I just call it beige.

My husband has an array of things he calls my blanket, like bag lady, old lady shawl and, my personal favorite, brown thing. Once or twice I corrected him that it is camel-colored, not brown, but I gave up correcting him because of the whole never-seen-a-camel thing.

Linus is almost never without his blue blanket and sometimes even sucks his thumb as he holds it. I am without my blanket quite a lot, actually, especially during warmer times of the year. Unless you count times I take it in the car on long road trips even in the summer to wrap up in as I sit in the passenger’s seat fending off near death by pneumonia from the ever-blowing cold air vent, a victim, I am, of the “I’m driving so I get to control the air conditioning” rule we have in our family.

Much of the time it lays dormant on our bed, my beige blanket does, but not now. When the first sign of a nip in the air came along a week or so ago, it became my best friend and almost as soon as I get home each day and most all of the day on weekends, I wrap it around my shoulders as I go about my business and bundle up with it on the sofa. However, unlike Linus, I don’t suck my thumb when I hold my blanket.

Hot sauce cured me of that.

I sucked my thumb for years and my parents tried all sorts of things to get me to stop. As best I can recall, I preferred my left thumb over my right thumb, but I don’t remember why. Maybe it was because I could suck my left thumb and still have my right hand free to knock my siblings in the head for teasing me about it. I would fight you over my thumb.

My parents tried to convince me that other people might tease me, too, if I didn’t stop. I didn’t care what people thought about me sucking my thumb, but I did care when my daddy put hot sauce on my thumbs and threatened to keep doing it if I didn’t stop. So I did.

For Linus, losing his blanket sent him into intense emotional distress. Lucy tried to burn it, but it was rescued. She also buried it. Thankfully, Snoopy saved the day and dug it up, but only because he secretly coveted it and wanted to keep it for himself. Which makes me think ...

“Great, it’s that time of year again for the old lady shawl,” my husband says as I throw my beige softy over my shoulders to fight off a chill. He doth mock me too much, I think. Maybe he secretly wishes he had one. One of his own, of course.

Maybe I’ll get him one. Camel, of course. But because I’ve never actually seen a camel with my own two eyes I’ll probably just call it beige. Or brown. Maybe I’ll just go with blue. And then he will understand how great a blanket can be. And he’ll get me. Completely.

One hundred percent.

Contact columnist Mandy Flynn at flyn1862@bellsouth.net.