Fifty Shades of Green

Summer vacation is in full tilt around here. I’ve made it halfway through the summer with my sanity nearly intact, there has been no potato salad induced botulism and all our fingers are still secured after the 4th of July Pyro Fest.

I say that my sanity is “nearly intact” because I was accused of coming across as “a little unhinged” from my last post. This statement from a dear friend who I know to have sound hinges and it gave me pause. Have I come unhinged? Do I blog as though my hardware and wiring could use some attention? MarthaUnhinged? Dunno. I wasn’t going to blog at all this summer in order to give full attention to my hinges. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that my hinges are what they are and if I could change them–you know, screw them on tighter–I probably wouldn’t because I’ve grown accustomed. I guess you could say I’m comfortable with my dysfunctional inner goddess.

Now that I’ve got that off my chest…let’s turn to the real reason you tuned into this post at all–the reference to the title: 50 Shades of Green. You randy lot of pervs!

You’ll be terribly disappointed when I tell you that it is innocently and only about the painting job we did this weekend at my husband’s parent’s house. For the past 40 years their little rambler has been a shade of green you’d only want to see on a popsicle and never a house exterior. We laid out several chips for them to consider–a dizzying challenge compared with the choices from 1973. Additionally, my in-laws are in their 80’s which makes them dubious about anything that smacks of nouveau palette. They are comfortable with their sherbet green house and any suggestion that they update with a more subtle earthtone, like Ryegrass or Tansy Green was met with a raised eyebrow and a head shake.

After much cajoling, a decision was made with minimal comment from their daughter-in-law (though I bit my lip a lot)…Lime Rickey. A shade of green somewhere between ectoplasm and retina-burning chartreuse. Well, it was certainly a departure from sherbet, but still not a go-to house color unless you really don’t like your neighbors much. While my husband power washed I was given the job of fetching the 5 gallon pail of Lime Rickey (insert booze joke here). When I gave the man at Sherwin Williams our swatch of intention,  his eyes bugged out cartoonily, then he drew my attention to the small symbol which indicates that Lime Rickey is an “interior only shade”.

Now, believe it or not, I had come to terms with their choice because I’ve been doing a considerable amount of soul-searching with regard to my earlier mentioned hinges. The realization that I came to while coming back from the store for the paint was that they are 87-year-old people, this is the last time that they will make paint choices for the outside of their house. My happiness doesn’t hang in the balance of this one choice. Their independence, and ability to choose freely, does.

It was a beautiful day–their loved ones assembled to do the work, all of us laughing, mopping sweaty faces, singing badly with the radio and working to help them achieve this small victory. It shouldn’t have mattered if they chose to paint their place purple with orange polka-dots. So when the Sherwin Williams guy said to me “No Lime Rickey”, I was a bit sad. I was even sadder when I called to relay the news that they had to pick a new color. There may be 50 shades of any given color, but they had chosen one that they loved for 40 years once and you don’t mess with that kind of math. Sherbet it is.

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6 Responses to Fifty Shades of Green

  1. Gretchen says:

    Very touching. You are a wise and wonderful daughter-in-law (and stepdaughter.) Miss you!

  2. WSW says:

    I would imagine the lime sherbet is all of a piece with the harvest gold and/or avocado appliances, as in my own in-laws’ house. Once you’ve got your theme, it’s best to stick with it.

    • seejaytoo says:

      Don’t forget the burnt orange carpeting and sunburst clock. Wonder if our kid’s kids will make fun of our IKEA furnishings…

  3. rationalconsumer says:

    And when I am an old woman I will wear purple!

  4. seejaytoo says:

    I’ll see your purple and raise you a plaid (I will never wear a big red hat, though–that’s just tacky).

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