picking paintIt was bound to happen sooner or later. And, NO, I did not spend the night in jail. Of course, the day is young yet, so that possibility still exists. And, I’m going to Ikea with Fang (my husband) later, so that may raise the odds on the prison thing. I may just have to grab whatever is handy — perhaps I’ll get lucky and there’ll be a Hemnes shelf within reach — and knock him over the head if his behavior at Ikea begins to devolve into anything like what I had to be party to at The Home Depot the other night.

What my mother-in-law always feared and, I suppose, has always been inevitable, is that I have finally sent Fang over the edge. It happened at The Home Depot. There I was, innocently trying to match a paint to my toenail polish color, when I heard my normally quiet husband shriek (I swear, he actually shrieked), “ARE YOU KIDDING ME? ARE YOU REALLY GOING TO PAINT THE BATHROOM TO MATCH YOUR TOES?” I just kind of shrugged and said, “Sure. Why not?” We all draw our inspiration from somewhere. I had drawn mine from those good people at Essie.

Here’s how it all began. One day last week, while relaxing in the “reading room” (that’s code for “John” around here), I realized how dissatisfied I was with the current wall color in the bathroom. I also noticed that I needed a new shower curtain — mostly because the ever-prepared Fangette has been using the one that was hanging there — the once crisply white one — to dry her hands with. Why get a hand towel when the shower curtain is always handy? Kids!

Even a good dousing in bleach couldn’t save the shower curtain. A quick trip to Marshall’s netted me a new gray, ruffled curtain. Of course, when I got home and put it up, I noticed how much I hated the wall color. It’s hard to describe, really. I think it was, at one time, trying to be pink, but it was closer to tan. Yeah. It was tannish-pink. It was also fugly.

Each time I visited the “reading room” I began to imagine a new wall color. I decided that I had to keep it in the pink family — because the bathtub is also trying to be pink. It is also not really pink, but it has a pink undertone to it. It’s another difficult to describe color. I think whoever painted the bathroom tried to match the wall color to the bathtub color. It was an unsuccessful attempt, but I do have to admire the effort.

As luck would have it, I had a pedicure appointment in the midst of my paint color dilemma. I suppose I had pink on my mind — because I have never had pink toenails in my life — and yet, there I was, gravitating toward the pinks. The pedicurist, in an effort to speed me along — time is money, after all — suggested that I try the new shade of fuschia that she had on her tray. She told me that it had just come in, that it was a new color from Essie. Okay. Whatever.

The minute she began applying it I knew I had found my new bathroom wall color. I came home and put my feet up against the shower curtain just to make sure that I wasn’t mistaken — even though I knew I wasn’t. My toenail to the shower curtain experiment yielded the expected results. Fuschia it would be!

In hindsight, what I should have done was this: I should have bought a bottle of the color and thrown it in my bag. I then could have taken it out, in a surreptitious fashion, at The Home Depot and matched it that way — and Fang never would have known where I got the idea for the color. But, I didn’t — mainly because I am cheap. Why waste $6 on a whole bottle of nail polish when I already had the color on my body?  Furthermore, I never would have expected him to have a mini nervous breakdown in the paint department as a result of my methodology. I know better now.

I was still kind of reeling from his shrieking when I noticed that he was also stomping, as in stomping away from me. I was like, “Wait a minute, buster! What’s going on? I need to get this paint.” When he turned around he was wearing a look that can best be described as incredulous. It was like he thought that I was going to abandon my painting plans in the face of a little shrieking and stomping. The thought crossed my mind that he really doesn’t know me at all, but was quickly replaced by my own incredulousness, as I noticed his arms flailing and realized that he was having what is commonly referred to as a “conniption fit” right in front of the paint chips.

Fang is a normally reserved and quiet guy. That’s not to say that I’ve never seen him have a conniption during our time together, mostly they are connected to the fact that I pay top dollar for bread and only eat two slices before it grows moldy — but these meltdowns usually occur in private — in the kitchen, where I keep the bread — he almost never carries on in public about anything.

The funny thing was that even though they had clearly witnessed my husband having a public display of lunacy, the paint desk workers didn’t bat an eyelash. They had no response whatsoever to the madman who was, not five feet away from them, shrieking, stomping, and flailing. They seemed to be taking a ”business as usual” approach to my husband’s hysterics. And so of course, while I was having my fuschia paint mixed — did you think I wouldn’t get it? — I had to ask the guy whether this type of thing happens all the time down at The Home Depot. He just looked at me, laughed a little, and said, “What? People arguing over paint colors? Happens all the time. You two were light stuff. I’ve seen folks come to blows!”

People coming to blows over paint? I’m definitely in the wrong line of work.

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