We have a saying in my family when someone asks what one of us did all day at home. We often answer, "Oh, just stared at the walls." Of course we’re usually joking, but last Saturday, my husband and I literally stared at the walls all day.
After months of mulling over tiny color samples, we decided to paint our kitchen gold and burgundy. I carefully masked off all the woodwork the day before, so the next morning, the only chore my husband would have to do is to paint until he dropped from exhaustion. The gold color glided on perfectly. "I love it!" I exclaimed after he finished the second coat.
He washed out his brushes and began applying the burgundy color beneath the chair rail. I stared at the wall. I stared at the wall some more. "Honey," I began, "That burgundy looks red."
"Don’t even start," he retorted. "Burgundy is red!" He stood back and stared at the wall with me.
"Burgundy is actually more plum than red," I said as I pointed to the wall. "This is definitely red." I grabbed the paint sample. "This says the paint color is called ‘Madder Root.’"
My husband sighed. "The only thing that’s ‘madder’ right now is ME! I’m NOT repainting these walls!"
I sighed. He sighed. I sighed again. He sighed because I was sighing. I decided if we both didn’t stop sighing soon, we were going to start hyperventilating.
I crossed my arms. "Fine," I said, "Don’t repaint it. I can live with red even though the rooms won’t flow as one, the feng shui will be funky, the burgundy won’t match the other rooms, and the valances don’t coordinate with anything!"
"Fine!" he yelled. "I’m a guy and I only know about plums as a fruit, not a color. I just want to quit painting!"
An hour later, he finished the second coat of paint. We stood together and stared at the walls. "You did a good job with those red walls honey," I said as I patted his back.
He smirked. "I’m not repainting those burgundy walls."
"I know," I said. "Why don’t you call your Mom and tell her she can bring back the kids now?"
He dialed his Mom from the phone in the other room and I heard him say, "We just finished painting the walls burgundy."
I picked up the extension. "He means we accidentally painted the walls red when they were supposed to be burgundy."
"Uh-oh," his mother replied. "Looks like someone is painting the walls again next weekend."
As of today, I still don’t know if my husband is repainting the walls. Three days later, we’re still staring at the walls while contemplating the difference between plum and red and whether our feng shui is funky or not.
Through all of the paint fumes and postage stamp samples, I have taken away one important lesson. We colored our world and that’s never a bad thing … unless it’s a red world instead of a burgundy one.