Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Flavor and Taste--Painting the House

“What do you think of white?" I said laying a paint sample card on the dinner table.
“Too cold,” my husband said pushing it aside like a dirty dish.
“How about red?”
“Too hot.”
“Too wine-y.”
“That's not a bad thing.”
“Speak for yourself.”

I'm a big fan of Burgundy, Bordeaux and Cabernet. Those colors aren't too shabby either. In fact, I wanted one of them to grace The House’s exterior walls, trim or even gutters. But Mr. Wonderful had other ideas about what colors we should paint our humble abode.

“How about this brown,” he said flapping a paint card in one hand.
“Too dark,” I said shaking my head.
“Too boring.”
“Too grim.”

And The House remained unpainted.

We had put off painting The House’s exterior for far too long for one reason: Mr. Wonderful and I couldn’t agree on colors. I was rooting for the bright hues of French Vanilla, White Wine and Chardonnay. He preferred the murky ones of Almond Latte, Roasted Coffee and Fresh Arabica. I liked Old Vineyard; he liked Double-Shot Brew. I liked Wine White; he liked Coffee Brown. And then it hit me: we each preferred the colors of our favorite beverages. Wineaux me liked the colors with vino-oriented names and espresso-lover him liked the coffee-related names.

“The names are distracting us,” I said clearing from the table my wine glass and his espresso cup. “We’re going to look at the color, not drink it.”
“Speak for yourself,” he said eyeing the espresso machine with desire.

And The House remained unpainted.

The next weekend we decided to forgo looking at names and choose paint samples based purely on the colors. I gravitated to the rich hues of a maple tree in autumn while he went for more earthy colors. I liked Northern Territory, Saddle Up and Santa Fe Sunset. He preferred Red Rocks, Red Clay and Red Dirt Pile. I wanted Scandinavian Modern; he wanted Arts and Crafts. I wanted light; he wanted dark. I wanted beautiful; he wanted depressing. Then it hit me: my spouse was lacking in taste. Specifically my taste.

And The House remained unpainted.

But taste in color can be acquired. Just ask Iggy Pop: the rocker and former drug addict who is now addicted to… vintage red wine and opera. And since Mr. Wonderful was a fan of Mr. Pop, I thought there was hope for my spouse. My man could learn my taste. Purposefully I left my preferred paint samples lying around The House: on the coffee table, across the kitchen counters, encircling the bathroom sink. I even wore my preferred autumnal colors, which all happened to come in wool sweaters.

Mr. Wonderful slammed a glass of ice cold lemonade. “That’s some sweater you’re wearing.”
“Isn’t it beautiful? It’s a Maple Red,” I said wiping the sweat from my forehead.
“It looks hot.”
“It’s a warm color.”
“No, it looks like you’re overheating in that thing. What a horrible color. I would never wear it or have it around The House.”
“But I like it,” I said sweating bullets.
“Suit yourself.”

My plan had backfired. Mr. Wonderful wan’t going to become a fan of my colors and on sheer principle I wasn’t going to become a fan of his.

And The House remained unpainted.

More time passed without colors chosen or even discussed. Something had to happen. Someone had to say “uncle”. But I wasn’t going to say it be—

“UNCLE!” I shouted. “If we can’t use my colors then we’ll do the thing I wanted to avoid.”
“Use my colors?” he said with a lilt in his voice.

We went back the the store and pored over the countless cards and for each hue we found a bajillion hues that each of us liked, then we wittled it down to one color that was the closest to those that we both wanted individually. As a compromise we chose Almond Latte for him, Corbusier’s Red Kiss for me and Brown Mish-Mash for us. It took weeks but finally we had our colors. Hooray!

Compromising wasn’t so bad. Actually it was pretty good. In order to get results, other couples should do it, my mother-in-law should do it, even Congress should try it every now and then. Compromising may have even helped my relationship with Mr. Wonderful… Nah.

Most importantly, this compromise meant: The House would no longer be unpainted. It was going to get painted—finally! Now that’s something to be thankful for!

Next: They Paint The House and We Watch.