We moved into our brand new house in March 1999. Cliff decided the house should not be painted but we should stay with the original white walls. I felt like I was living in a sanitarium, and though there are times I feel I may belong in one; I just wasn’t ready for that yet. We had the bedrooms painted, all but our son’s room, who, like his Dad, liked the white walls. (Side note, 16 years ago, he married an ‘artsy’ girl. His walls are no longer white. Further proof that God has a wonderful sense of humor. But, I digress.) I asked and received one accent wall in the all white downstairs. It was in our living room and was painted a deep plum color. My ‘hope’ was that Cliff would see the color and like it, but all that it accomplished was to make the rest of the white walls look a dingy grey at certain times of the day.
I needed color, but could not convince the man. I asked if there was anything I could do to manipulate him. (I’m nothing, if not honest.) He smiled and said, “No”. He really liked the white walls. He likes “clean and neat” I am a bit more “haphazard”. Then I had an idea. Our guestroom, at the time, was downstairs. Cliff’s favorite color is green. I have no real favorite color, I pretty much like them all. Anyway, I saw a beautiful green color that I liked, and “suggested” that it might be nice for the guestroom. After all, nobody really sees that room and maybe he would like it. So we painted. He was unsure during the painting, thinking all four walls in a dark green color might not work. But, he trusted me and went with it. When all was said and done, he loved it!
I jumped at the opportunity and soon he was agreeing to beige walls and a navy blue dining room. There was no stopping me! After the beige walls, we moved on to a color that I loved called, “Champagne Gold”. Even our navy blue dining room succumbed to this, new favorite. The plum accent wall was now a “Garden Green” color that we both liked and one that blended very well with champagne gold. That was 10 years ago.
Time has marched on and the once rich champagne gold looks more like a flat lite beer; while the garden green looked like it had not been tended to in quite some time. We soon discovered that our upstairs hall had secretly become a canvas for little artists. Note, if this had been our children, I’d have been very upset. Because it was our grandkids, I thought it was adorable!
So, this week we painted. We started on Sunday afternoon. I dug out my painting shorts, shirt, underwear, and flip-flops, because I really do get it everywhere. I truly wish I was the type of person who could just pick up a brush and paint. My husband and daughter-in-love, Kylene, can do that, but, alas for me it is not to be. Five minutes in and I’m covered…I don’t know how. Remember these?
We fairly quickly agreed on “Modernist Gray” for the main walls, i.e. wherever the champagne gold was, i.e. everywhere. And, though my son tells me that accent walls are no longer “in”, quite frankly, I don’t care. We have two, both a beautiful “Northern Juniper” color…think a deep blue/green.
We started on Sunday afternoon and finished on Wednesday afternoon. We painted and, to break up the drone of roller and brush, we sang; not very well but we did. It was fun! I was singing old church songs from the 80’s. They tend to stick in my brain sometimes. Cliff recently saw the group Chicago on a television concert. And so, he serenaded me with, “Saturday, In The Park”. It was fun, but it wasn’t the 4th of July. Get it?
From there he sang, “If You Leave Me Now”. You know the one, “If you leave me now, you’ll take away the biggest part of me. Woohoo, no baby please don’t go.” That’s the only line he knew and the “…woohoo, no baby” became just “…woohoo.” He sang that over and over again for two days. It was stuck in his brain. By the end of the second day, I snapped. I yelled at the poor man. It wasn’t very nice, I was very tired, but that’s never a good excuse. He got a little quiet and then told me he felt like I was nicer to my parents than I was to him sometimes. I realized he was probably right. I love him more than anyone and, sometimes, treat others better. This is partly because I know and am secure in his love for me. I apologized for hurting his feels.
Even after 40 years of marriage, you can learn a lot about a person when you paint with them. Relationships are everything. Painting is really not that big a deal.