The Iconic Purple Bandana
Written by Eva Sher
Imagine: in the midst of yet another NSOP event’s over-friendliness, you catch a glance of an amiable face adorning a purple bandana across the room. What are you to do but approach him? This is how Staff Writer Eva Sher met Bandana Boy.
A few days ago, I was in John Jay, and I found myself in the dessert section with Bandana Boy. He, as usual, was sporting his purple bandana. As I walked out, I realized that I had never seen him without his talisman. I decided to send him a text, which, now looking back, was kind of creepy, stating: “hey! seeing you reminded me I’ve been meaning to ask you about your purple bandana? I think it’s iconic and i just wanna know if there’s a meaning behind it or if you just like the color.” From that conversation, he agreed to meet with me to share his thoughts on his staple clothing item.
It all started even before NSOP, during COOP. He shared that he wore it during COOP and again during NSOP a few times, and he realized that whenever he wore it, he would get a lot of glances. From this, he realized that the bandana helped people recognize him. “If I wasn’t wearing it, people I had met before legitimately would not recognize me,” he laughed “it was a good conversation starter too.”
From NSOP on, my friend’s bandana became a point of recognition beyond making friends. He shared that a total stranger walked up to him once and said, “I feel like I have seen you a few times this past week with your purple bandana”, then proceeded to introduce himself.
On an even grander scale, Bandana Boy was featured on Columbia Crushes 2.0 only a few weeks into the school year. On September 18th, someone submitted: “Dear freshman: You were so awkwardly cute when we first met. I keep seeing you sporting your purple bandana and I wish I had the chance to know you better… or the courage to say hi without fleeing the scene ASAP. Tried to find you through mutuals on Facebook, but I guess you must be one of those non-Facebook freshmen – making me feel even older already. Visit our floor soon, please?”
I like to think of the bandana as my friend’s version of Billy Ray Cyrus’ fake mustache from Hannah Montana. When he puts it on, everyone knows who he is. But when he removes this one small feature, he plunges into total anonymity. When the bandana is off, he is a regular Columbia student like everyone else. When it’s off, “even [with] close friends, it’ll take a few seconds.”
Nowadays, you can see Bandana Boy sporting other colors. On his birthday, “several people gave [him] bandanas so [he] has a lot of colors now.” If you see someone walking around campus in a light blue bandana, know that it may, in fact, still be Bandana Boy. Or it could just be a wannabe. Who knows?