It's not about the house.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

I See A White Door And I Want To Paint It Green

Here’s a story about why the door is green now:

The color came from when I re-did the (inside of) the porch. I won’t paint an actual room, because Johnny is so good at it it’s frightening, and he’s proud of how good he is at it, and he can’t stand to see shoddy work, and shoddy work is pretty much my specialty.

(Witness exhibit #1: the closet. This also explains why he simply cannot let the closet look like that, even if it is just a closet and who cares and who’s ever going to see it anyway? “I will,” he says. Fine.)

I really didn’t do such a bad job on the porch, although I skipped the joint compound out there all together, see?:

What the hell, it’s just a porch, right?

In fact, that’s the very green paint I’m talking about you can see in that there picture. For this – I don’t know if it’s “decorative” so much as “hiding the seams between the wall boards (and ceiling – actually mostly ceiling, because the walls are mostly window).” Maybe whoever put it up was just as good at joint compound as I am.

It looks like this (and this is really most of it):

So I figured I’d need, oh, about a gallon of green paint.

What can I say? You lose, you learn.

Needless to say, there was about, oh, a gallon of green paint leftover, and one day I came home to find Johnny had re-painted the door.

The door was in rough shape, yes, but there were lots of other things that needed more immediate attention. The door, in fact, was in such rough shape that we’d talked about replacing it. Eventually. When we were rich again. So I didn’t see what sense it made to paint it now.

(This is usually my logic: why do anything with the wood paneling in the dining room, for example, when we’re only going to pull it down eventually? And then you wake up one morning three years into your sentence at the blue house – one random morning, not necessarily today – but definitely after a month of equatorial humidity, to discover this:

one piece has completely separated from the wall. Aren’t you glad you didn’t do anything about it sooner?

And not only that but now apparently you’ve been demoted. You are no longer first person plural but rather second person singular. What does that make you now? A Duchess?)

Anyway, so Johnny painted the door last year or so. Then last month, when we were helping Andy down at his house, I overheard Johnny telling him his own front door should be green, even offering that we had a bit (oh, almost a gallon) of leftover paint.

“It’s good luck to paint your front door green,” I heard him saying. “It brings the money in.”

“Yeah, Andy, take his advice!” I hollered from the other room. “Don’t you know it’s worked so well so far for us!”

Oh you didn’t think I was going to keep my fat mouth shut, did you?

Well, Andy and Johnny wandered over to where I was working and gave me a little lesson in humility.

“Haven’t I been working?” Johnny said.

“Don’t you have whatever with your writing now?” says Andy. Bless his heart, he really doesn't understand what I have got going on, but he does know it's a good thing. “And didn’t your ladies give you a very generous gift last year?”

And then Johnny, with the kick to the solar plexus:

“Have we ever once had to struggle to pay the mortgage?”


Yes, yes, yes and no. Thankfully, no.

So paint your doors green, everybody. I’d hate to think what our lives would have been like if Johnny hadn’t painted ours.

Which brings to mind one of my favorite quotes ever, although I have no idea about the guy who said it. I read it in the paper once and cut it out. If anybody out there can enlighten me, I would appreciate it:

“How can they say my life isn’t a success? Have I not for 60 years got enough to eat and escaped being eaten?”
— Logan Pearsall Smith

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