My Blah Blah Blog

White Plight Redux


Per a New Year’s resolution, I wanted to paint a couple rooms white. How hard could that be? You buy paint, you slap it on. Done.

At the paint store, I gravitated towards a salesman who resembled the coach of the Boston Celtics. “Um, I’m looking for white paint,” I said, helpfully.

The Coach pulled out a color wheel that spreads open like a fan to reveal 657 different shades of white. I felt the tingling of a nascent panic attack.

“Can you narrow it down to the creamy ones?” I asked. The coach licked his fingers and snapped shut a third of the Panic Wheel, leaving me with only about 400 decisions to make. I grew a whiter shade of pale; moisture sprang from my armpits. “Uh, what do most people pick?” I asked, lamely.

“Lady, it’s a personal thing.” The coach checked his watch.

I started to get that feeling I get at the shoe store when I’ve tried on four pairs and none are good but I feel like I have to buy a pair anyway because I’ve made the man walk to the stock room four times. I needed to abort the paint mission before I felt obliged to buy a gallon of “Winter Dust” or some other irrelevant color.

I went home and launched a large-scale obsession. I asked the opinions of friends and relatives. I visited my neighbor on the pretext of borrowing a can opener and secured the name of her paint color. I called a hotel whose rooms I’d admired. I asked the bookseller, the neurologist, the florist, anywhere I saw a good white, I asked someone what it was.

When I’d finally assembled a group of color candidates, a portion of my dining room wall became a patchwork of samples, which I checked on at different times of day to note changes as the light shifted. I concealed my madness behind a portrait of my great-grandfather….

OK STOP. Actually, the above was written back when I started this blog, ten years ago. While I agree with you that revisiting old blogs sounds tedious (okay, maybe pathetic), what’s worth noting (to me, anyway) is how things have changed in a decade.

To wit: 1. I’m pretty sure the coach would not look at his watch. He’d look at his iPhone 7-ish. Unless he has an Apple watch. (Is that still a thing?)

And:    2. I no longer have any idea who the coach of the Celtics is. In fact, I can’t imagine I ever did. It’s only on a good day that I can tell you what sport the Celtics play. I’ve never even known whether to say “Seltics” or “Keltics,” let alone been able to pull the team’s coach from a lineup.

I’m guessing that the morning of my white plight the coach’s face was on prominent display in the newspaper because he was either sexting or running for public office or both. I temporarily held his image in my memory, allowing it to vanish shortly after my bewildering encounter with the coach’s paint store doppelganger.

Other than that? If anyone has thoughts on a good green for a bathroom please advise.




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