or possibly Supurplous.

My 9-year-old daughter came up with this fabulous new word for me today. I’d just begun an explanation of what was a new word to her– superfluous– when she repeated back in a confused tone, “Su-purple-ous?” I corrected her pronunciation, but then stopped to contemplate the deliciousness of her version. Mm, yesssss. Supurpleous. That’s me all over.

I can trace back by obsession with the colour purple to a character in a book I read as a young impressionable child: The Letter, the Witch, and the Ring by John Bellairs. This happens to be the third book in his Lewis Barnavelt series but it was the one I read first. (And I was disappointed to learn that the main character, Rose Rita, took a back seat to Lewis in the first two books.) In this book I was introduced to Mrs Zimmerman. Mrs Zimmerman is a witch. She’s old and clever. And she always dresses in purple, because that’s what she likes. I felt an instant kinship with Mrs Zimmerman, and from that day onward I vowed to fill my wardrobe and house with purple things.

I can’t say that I’ve ever achieved a Mrs Zimmerman level of purpleness. As much as I may wish to buy a dressy purple blouse, sometimes they’re just not available, or not in a style I’m willing to wear. I’ve had to accept that some shades of purple, particularly the lavender tones, just aren’t flattering on me. In the years when purple isn’t on the fashion designers’ radar as the new hot colour, I’ve had to make do with other bits of the rainbow. And for years I complained that although there are so many new colourful accessories for the kitchen, none of them were ever in purple (though I know there is a line of Kitchenaid products now in purple. If I didn’t already own a green stand mixer…). You know how long I’ve spent looking for purple kitchen dish towels? They only ever seen to come in green, blue, or red.

Not everything in my house is purple. My husband likes the colour, too, but I think even he’d get sick of it if I tried to paint all the walls in shades of grape. My bedding is purple. My bathroom towels are purple. Actually, I don’t normally dress all-out purple: usually I’ll pair a purple shirt with black pants or jeans. But, I admit, sometimes things can get particularly supurpleous. Not everything in my wardrobe is purple, but it continues to slowly move in that direction. Maybe by the time I’m as old as Mrs Zimmerman the transformation will be complete.

Supurpleous. Seriously, can you ever really have too much purple?

I do have to get some purple shoes.

(Actually, I have a nice pair of purple runners, but they’re no good in the snow.)

Final note: my husband and I had a debate about whether it should be “supurpleous” or “supurplous.” He argued the first looked like it ought to be pronounced “su-PER-plee-us”, and I said the second looked like it would be pronounced “su-PER-plus”. Neither was really what I wanted it to sound like– “su-PURPLE-ous”– so given that both were flawed I just went with the one that had “purple” in it.