My Blah Blah Blog

White Plight Redux


Per a New Year’s resolution to brighten up the house, I decided 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.

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 and moisture sprang from my armpits. “Uh, what do most people pick?” I asked.

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

I was getting 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 and the florist. Anywhere I saw a good white, I asked 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. Today, the coach would not look at his watch, but rather his  iPhone 7-ish. Unless he has an Apple watch. (Is that still a thing?)

And:    2. Today, I have no 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 original 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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