Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Balance of Green

“Hello!  We’re here!” A cheery, feminine voice called out from the driveway.
“Are we expecting anyone?” Mr. Wonderful said as we stood in dirt up to our knees in the back yard. 
“No,” I said pausing with the shovel.
“Then what are that woman and man doing in our kitchen?”

Indeed.  A blond woman and a graying man had entered the house and were standing in our kitchen.  Rarely have I reacted—or sprinted—so fast.

“Can I help you?”  I said rushing into the house hoisting the garden shovel, prepared to use it as a weapon.
“We’re the neighbors.  Next door.  On the other side of the fence,” the blond woman said smiling. 
“We’re Mary and Mike,” the graying-haired man said.
“Here’s a cake I bought.  I hope you like pistachios.” 
“Ohhh!  So nice to meet you,” I said smiling at them.  “And thank you.” 

Mr. Wonderful had circled around and through the house and now appeared behind them with his arms raised holding a hacksaw.
“No, Honey!” I cried out.  “These are the neighbors.  They brought us cake!”  Mr. Wonderful lowered the hacksaw and shook their hands. 

And what delightful neighbors!  They were a 50-something couple—Mary and Mike—who had two careers and three kids, and all of them lived next door. 

“We’ve been watching you young people do work on this house.  It needed a lot of work,” Mary said. 
“A whole lot of work,” Michael added.
“Thanks…?” I said setting the cake on the table.  “Actually most of the work we’ve done so far has been painting.”
“You’ve inspired us.  We’re going to paint our daughter’s room,” Mary said digging in her purse.   
“Is there any color you would recommend to paint a girl’s room?” Michael asked.
“I don’t know your daughter,” I said.  “But my only advice is don’t paint any room green.  When we moved in we had a green room that was so ugly it took three coats of paint to cover it up.  Let me say it was an enormous effort but the world is now rid of an ugly space.”
“Here’s what I want to paint her room,” Mary said fishing a paint card out of her purse. 

It was green.  Puke green.  As ugly as the green we’d first had on our walls.  

“What do you think?” Mike asked.
“If it makes her happy, that’s all... that matters,” I said.
“You’re right.  She's going to love it,” Mary said as she and Mike admired the green card smiling.  I exchanged a look with Mr. Wonderful. 
“Good save,” he mouthed to me.

Color is such a personal preference.  

That afternoon I developed a theory: in the world, there must be a balance of color.  If one green is removed, another green is added.  It keeps the sides of work-done and work-to-be-done equal.  All while keeping paint stores in business. 

The green room is dead!  Long live the green room!