Saturday, April 16, 2011


Shortly after Christmas, the television that we had in the living room died. It was not obvious at first that the problem was the television, since we also have a cable box to get high definition channels, but after a trip from the cable guy, we had the trouble narrowed down to the TV. We took it to a local repair shop and mirable dictu, they said they could fix it for a reasonable price. They just needed to order a part.

Several weeks later, not having heard from the repair shop, we called. The part, they assured us, was on backorder. When my husband inquired as to what "backorder" meant, he was informed that the company took orders for the part, and when they had enough orders, they would make the parts.

February moved into March. An earthquake struck Japan, where the factory is. "You know," my husband said, "I don't think they are going to be in any hurry to manufacture us a part."

March became April and we finally decided to buy a new television. The morning of the day that we planned to go shopping, my husband had a thought. "Before we get the new TV, I should paint this room."

Now there is no question the living room needed repainting. The last time it had been painted was 18 years ago. I had long since been longing for a different color, but the living room is something like 25' by 18', with a cathedral ceiling that is 11' tall in the middle of the longest wall. Not only that, it has the enormous armoire in it.  Every time I discussed painting the room with my husband, he said it would be impossible to move the armoire. When I mentioned that there are these people called painters who do these things for a living, he said, "Do you know how much that would cost?" My husband does not like paying people to do what he can do himself, even when he isn't actually doing it himself.

So I was happy to drag myself to Lowe's, along with a 3 by 5 foot carpet remnant that we use as a doormat, and a sofa cushion, to look for paint. After all, I had had about 10 years to think about what color I wanted, a gold that would pick up the background color in the sofa. I was not about to let hubby have second thoughts about painting the room.

I found a color that looked perfect on its little chip, we bought two gallons, and headed home to clear the armoire and bookshelves and move furniture. Shortly after lunch, hubby was painting.

The color, which had looked a muted gold on the paint chip, looked a harsh lemon yellow on the wall. What was even more confusing was that when I held the color chip up to the paint, it matched exactly. If I looked down one wall to the perpendicular wall, the color looked like the color I wanted in one spot and not in another.

I know from experience that my husband was not going to stop painting and start over with another color. He had done that once while painting his sister's house and swore never again. I bear a big grudge against his sister for that. I decided not to panic, and to see how the color looked once it dried. I remember that the tan color on the outside of our house looked yellow when we first put it on, too.

My patience paid off. By the next day, when hubby finished painting the last wall, the color looked the way it was supposed to. In a few more days, when we were able to hang the paintings and move the furniture back against the walls, so all 600 or so square feet of color weren't shining down on us, I was convinced I had not made a huge mistake after all.

In the meantime,while prepping the room,  we were able to vacuum behind the furniture, wash down the dusty bookcase and wainscoting, and get rid of a lot of old books and trinkets that we were moving back and forth. It hasn't been this clean in years, probably 18 of them.

Oh, yeah, and we got a new TV, too. A flat screen, which is all they make these days. One so light that I can tuck it under one arm and carry it around, so we didn't actually need to paint the room before buying the TV, but I decided not to point that out to hubby.

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