I’m still working on refreshing the boys’ emasculating bathroom. Things have slowed downed considerably because they boys and I have been fighting a terrible cold, and while I do want to use the box cutters to slice off my nose, I don’t want to use them to slice peel-and-stick tiles into the 3,000 quadrangles that make up the perimeter of the bathroom.
Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention The Yellow Paint Debacle of 2009. When I was deciding how I would update the bathroom (until we can afford a remodel) I relied heavily on this picture I saw in Real Simple magazine. I thought it was bright, happy, and something I would like to see every morning. I also thought the yellow would match some cute, boyish accessories I found at Target. I considered it my opportunity to step out of the box and do something fun.
I should never, ever, step out of my box. My box is good. I like my box. My box likes me.
The yellow I chose was more of a green/yellow, similar to what I have in the toy room. BUT! Here is where I went terribly wrong. When I arrived at The Home Depot, green/yellow paint chip firmly in hand, I noticed they were having a sale on Behr paint. Perfect! I decided to get the Behr color matched version. People, never get the color-matched version, Behr or otherwise.
I had my suspicions when I entered the parking lot and took a closer look at the infinitesimally small dot of paint on my can. Weird. It looks a little…brighter than what I picked out. My gut was talking to me, but I ignored it. I thought it was asking for sugar.
I knew by the first roll of paint that the only way I would ever live with this color is if I walked around with a fifth of whiskey in my back pocket. But I persevered and painted all the doors and the cabinet, hoping that BANANA would grow on me. No such luck. Next to the pink sink and tub, the yellow cabinet turned into a circus tent. I would not have been surprised if ten clowns jumped out when I opened one of the drawers. In the distance I heard a Ringmaster call out, You chose the wrong paint….
Not only did it look like the circus had just rolled into town, this bathroom, painted pink and yellow, was unspeakably feminine and happy. My uterus started twitching. I could feel my ovaries producing eggs like popcorn. I suddenly had an urge to sing show tunes, buy cats, and crochet bookmarks.
There is a reason why God gave me a husband, two boys, and two male dogs. I like girly and happy in theory. I like it in the store. I like it in magazines. I even like it in other people’s homes. But in
my house it is an abomination. I dusted the estrogen off my shoulders and headed back to The Home Depot with the can of Happy! Yellow! in hand.
When I arrived, I stated the problem clearly to a portly fellow named Dan.
“Hello. I bought this can of Happy! Yellow! paint and, well, it just won’t work.”
“Oh, no! That’s too bad. Did the color separate? I can remix it if you like.”
“That won’t be necessary. Trust me, the color is all there. That’s the problem! It’s just not me. I bought this can of Happy! Yellow! because I was trying to be different. Bad idea. I’d like something a little more me.”
“Okay, what color were you looking for?”
“Well, do you have any Funeral Dirge?”
“Funeral Dirge? No, sorry. With the economy the way it is, that color has been back ordered for months.”
“Bummer. Okay, let me see your paint book. There has to be something…OH! This one is nice. One gallon of Boring & Safe, please.”
“I’m sorry, ma’am. The stay-at-home-mom right before you took our last can.”
“Which mom? Where?”
“That one over there. The one in capri pants.”
“Could you be more specific? Nevermind. Okay, so Funeral Dirge is back ordered and you just sold your last can of Boring & Safe. Do you have anything else that might work?”
“Well, we just got “Trying too Hard” as part of our spring collection. A lot of the artsy folk seem to like it.”
“Hmm. Thanks, but ‘trying too hard’ is what I was doing when I bought Happy! Yellow!”
“How about “White Bread America?”
“Getting there. Maybe something with a little more brown…hey! What’s this?”
“Ah, yes. That’s “Totally Predictable.” A classic. You’ve probably seen it a few times on Trading Spaces.”
“Well, it’s right up my alley. I’ll take a gallon.”
Ten minutes later I was home painting my first coat of “Totally Predictable” on the cabinets. I was very happy, indeed, to get rid of that ridiculously chirpy color. As the yellow disappeared, I could feel my body begin to settle down, my ovaries resting for the first time in hours underneath the warmth of the afternoon sun. As I dipped my brush in for another helping of blandness my paint can smiled and said, “Welcome home, Jules. Welcome home.”