My favorite color is green. I don’t know why. It just is.

My living room is painted green (shire fields), the downstairs bathroom is green (tent) and a bedroom is green (also tent). Tops in varying shades of green hang in my closet. I even have green pants (eucalyptus) and green running shorts (emerald), and of course a green biking jacket (neon). At upcoming holiday events, I’ll be the one wearing green in a sea of red.

When my daughters were young teens/tweens, I wanted to buy a pair of green tennis shoes. They rolled their eyes and begged me not to make the super embarrassing purchase. To be fair, the shoes were a particularly bright shade of green. Later, I bought a pair of lighter green shoes which I still own and occasionally wear.

Scientists have various theories about color preferences. Are they hard-wired? The result of evolution? Influenced by culture? Some studies demonstrate color preferences based on objects or experiences associated with a particular color. For example, a plump red strawberry might lead you to like red, whereas the sight of blood could have the opposite effect. The first time I tried a green drink I had to close my eyes. There was something about the slimy color that made the drink taste disgusting! And I will never like cooked peas or Lima beans. Yet, I still love green.

Hands down the favorite color worldwide is blue – even among Republicans (more on that later). An overwhelming majority of people, no matter the culture, like blue with the other colors dividing up a smaller slice of the color pie.

So if women like blue as much as men do, why are baby girls assigned pink? I dressed my first daughter in a mixture of colors. She would say I went out of my way to avoid pink (ok, maybe I did). And growing up what do you think her favorite color was? Pink! Does that mean color choice is a result of something forbidden?

Assigning boys blue and girls pink got me to wondering about why in current politics Democrats are blue while Republicans are red. Various articles from different sources all agreed the blue and red assignation to American political parties started during the 1976 presidential election when NBC’s first all color TV programming unveiled a red and blue lighted map to designate which candidate won which state. NBC assigned Democrats red and Republicans blue because blue was typically associated with the more conservative parties in Europe and elsewhere. Not every TV network made the same color choice – some picked red for Republicans and blue for Democrats. It wasn’t until the 2000 election when it was agreed Republicans got red and Democrats blue. There’s varying accounts of how that happened.

Maybe I like green because my eyes are green (hardwired?), and I’ve been told I look good in the color (positive experience?). Maybe I like green just because I think it’s pretty. Now where are those olive green shoes I recently bought?