“Do you know the red lady?” asked my coworker at the grocery store — a tall girl with long brown hair and a bored attitude. I was sixteen and rapidly checking out cigarettes and baby formula from the express line.  I nodded.

On our break, we talked about the red lady — who I was surprised remembered me.

The red lady was the grandmother of a boy who went to my high school. She was tiny and fierce — in the way of Italian grandmothers. She always dressed for the grocery store — overcoat, dress, shoes, purse and felt hat all in shades of vibrant red.

If anyone ever complimented her outfit, she explained that red was her color. She would tell you that everyone should have a color. It’s not the color that looks good on them. It’s the color that makes them feel best.

She looked good in the red though — in the way that the Queen of England is not the Queen of England unless she wears a vibrant outfit. She was the red lady and I remember that long after I have forgotten her full name.