Sunday, March 24, 2024

"The Prince of Paint"

By Jerry Zezima

Jerry had a little lamb.

It was a shade of paint.

It went right on the bathroom wall.

The fumes could make you faint.

That’s the nursery rhyme I composed while painting the wall of a bathroom in our house.

Fortunately, I wasn’t overcome by fumes, which might have improved the creative process, but I can say that the paint is a shade of beige called lambskin.

And I will add, with no small amount of pride, that I picked it out myself. In fact, I have become so good at selecting just the right color that I have crowned myself the Prince of Paint.

This is appropriate since I spend what my wife, Sue, considers an inordinate amount of time on the throne.

It was there that I mulled over the color choices for the bathroom that was about to be renovated.

It wasn’t the first porcelain palace that needed an overhaul. Last spring, the main bathroom had to be remodeled.

This required us to make so many trips to a home improvement store — for tile, a vanity, a sink, fixtures, a mirror, a toilet, a shower, a wastebasket, a towel rack, a toilet paper roller, a toothbrush holder, blinds and, of course, paint — that I’m surprised we weren’t given our own parking space.

My job was to choose the shade of paint that would go on the walls. My selection: serenata blue. It’s a cross between baby, pastel and robin’s egg, with a touch of sky thrown in.

Picasso had his Blue Period and I had mine. I even helped paint one of the walls. Sue liked it so much that she didn’t throw shade at me.

Now I had to do it all over again. And I wasn’t about to give this awesome responsibility the brush-off.

The problem with selecting paint is that there are so many shades to choose from. I found this out last year when I went with Sue to a paint store that had what a salesman said were 8,860 shades of paint.

Unlike another salesman Sue had previously met, this guy wasn’t color blind.

I don’t know how the first one got his job, but I can imagine the interview.

Manager: “What color would you paint a fire engine?”

Applicant: “Chartreuse.”

Manager: “You’re hired!”

This time, we had to select a different color theme for the bathroom, which had been yellow (make your own joke here) but which we thought should have a tan or green look.

The floor tile Sue picked turned out to be too dark, especially since she wanted to go with an oak or maple vanity. It also clashed with the niche that would be installed in the bathtub and shower.

So she chose lighter floor tile, which went nicely with the white vanity she decided to get.

Then came the big question: What color should the walls be painted?

That was my area of expertise. As Sue and our terrific contractor, Anthony, looked on, I went through a book of paint samples that rivaled “War and Peace” for sheer length.

Using my uncanny ability to match shade with theme, or vice versa, I selected lambskin. Little did I know that it would send those godawful lyrics coursing through my skull.

But it didn’t matter. I was determined to prove I wasn’t a flash in the pan. Or, more aptly, the tray.

After I rocked with a roller, smoothly applying a beautiful beige to one of the walls, I asked Sue what she thought.

“Once again, you made the perfect choice,” she said.

“I’m the Prince of Paint,” I boldly declared. “Now if you will excuse me, I have to use the throne.”

Copyright 2024 by Jerry Zezima

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