By Jerry Zezima
As a guy who is off the wall, I like to give the brush-off to stuff that goes on the wall.
By that I mean paint. And, even worse, the process that goes into picking it out.
Color me confused when I go to a paint store, where I end up throwing shade at the thousands of shades of paint that my wife, Sue, wants me to consider when she is going to pick the one she wants anyway.
That is exactly what happened when Sue said she wanted me to paint both the living room and the dining room, which look good even though I painted them so long ago that the shade of paint I used (a pinkish tone called, I believe, “pinkish tone”) has been discontinued.
I knew this was not going to be an easy project when Sue told me that she had already gone to a paint store and had talked with a salesman who said he couldn’t help her pick out the right shade of paint because he is — are you ready for this? — color blind.
“You have to go back there with me so I can meet this guy,” I told Sue.
When we arrived, we were greeted by a salesman named James.
“Are you color blind?” I asked.
“No,” he responded quizzically. “Why?”
“My wife,” I said, pointing to Sue, “was in here recently and spoke with a salesman who said he’s color blind.”
“He was helping this woman who had a million and one questions,” Sue explained. “I guess he was overwhelmed. When he got to me, he said the store has 8,860 shades of paint and that he couldn’t help me pick out the right one because he’s color blind.”
“That’s insane!” James exclaimed. “He probably made it up because nobody wants to go through all those colors. Unless he’s keeping it a secret from me.”
“Maybe you can help,” Sue said as she looked through several rows of beige and pink samples. “This one,” she added, holding up a sample, “is too beige. And this one,” she said, pointing to another sample, “is pink teetering on beige.”
“What do you think?” James asked me.
“I think I’m bored teetering on senility,” I told him.
We all agreed that the problem with paint samples, which aren’t much bigger than postage stamps, is that it’s almost impossible to tell how a particular color will look on a wall.
That was evident when Sue brought home samples from her first trip to the store and asked me how they looked in the dining room.
“Do you like early sunset?” asked Sue, referring to one of the colors.
“I prefer daylight saving time,” I answered.
“You’re no help at all,” she huffed.
“Thank you,” I said.
Back at the store, Sue said she wanted to replicate the color in the dining room and the living room and described it to James.
“It sounds like dogwood,” he said.
“That’s it!” Sue squeaked.
“I can mix a small can for you to take home,” said James, who added that picking the right color is the toughest part of painting.
“It’s very stressful,” Sue agreed.
“The painting itself is easy,” said James.
“Especially if you have beer,” I chimed in.
When the paint was finished being shaken, not stirred, James handed the can to Sue.
“Let me know how it turns out,” he said. “If you don’t like it, we have thousands of other colors to choose from.”
When we got home, Sue found an old paintbrush, opened the can and brushed some paint on the living room wall.
“It’s too light,” she said.
“Wait for it to dry,” I suggested.
“I’ll have to put on a second coat,” Sue said.
“Are you cold?” I asked.
Sue shook her head and waited until the next day, when the paint had dried and her head had stopped shaking.
“It’s not the right color,” Sue announced after she tried again. “But I’m going to find it. We just have to go back to the store and get more samples.”
“Don’t ask me for any further advice,” I said.
“How come?” Sue asked.
“I forgot to tell you,” I said. “I’m color blind.”
Copyright 2022 by Jerry Zezima