From Jane’s World
I’ve lived over half of my life surrounded by “renter white” walls. I started dreaming of color around thirteen years ago, the day I purchased my own home.
During this period, as a single woman, I was interested in attracting a companion. I studied feng shui and the Law of Attraction, and I read a book called If the Buddha Dated: A Handbook for Finding Love on a Spiritual Path.
I was anything but enlightened when I drove to Nelson Agricenter in Viroqua and asked Loann, the paint department manager, to mix me up the brightest fuchsia paint possible. I told her I’d learned that by painting my bedroom walls a hot deep pink color I would attract a partner. Loann merely nodded when she handed me my paint, leaving me to think perhaps I’d shared too much information.
I painted my bedroom and waited. After six months I drove back to Nelson’s and informed Loann that nothing had happened other than I was dead tired. Even with my eyes closed that wild fuchsia seeped through and brought me sleepless nights, but no partner. I was ready to switch the color to something more calming and conducive to a good night’s sleep. I choose a dusty pale blue and slept soundly, alone.
Back then my motto was “Paint is cheap!” Whenever I needed a boost in my spirits or a change in my life, I’d paint. Loann soon knew me by my first name, and my walls became a canvas for color after color.
But things change, and by the time I had attracted a lifetime partner (rich spicy orange—who knew?!) paint was no longer cheap and Loann had retired.
Recently I headed to Nelson’s again for the best deal in town, their annual “Buy one gallon and get one free” paint sale. I had decided it was time to honor my longtime dream of having the outside of my house painted the colors of chicory and Queen Anne’s lace. For years I had been telling anyone who’d listen that I felt every prison, every teenager’s room, and every couples’ counseling office should be painted those colors. If they were, I’d claim, there would be less fighting, less sassiness, and more loving. By using those colors on my own home I’d be promoting peace and a deep sense of wellness in my neighborhood, not to mention providing a much needed burst of color! I already knew my donkeys, pig, goats, ducks, geese, cats, and dogs would benefit from all that good feng shuiness.
As luck would have it, Loann, disguised as a cowboy, had come out of retirement to help with the biggest sale of the year. I asked Loann more questions than I should have on such a busy day, and had her look up my past colors in her computer to make a few updates.
I hovered around the paint counter for so long I began to sweat. Finally I started making my color choices, but soon it became more difficult. Somewhere along the way, I’d decided it was time to repaint every room inside the house too.
I had ten gallons of paint in my shopping cart but that was only enough for the exterior of my home. I needed at least ten more gallons for the interior, but the limit was ten on the two-for-one deal.
I waited and caught Loann’s attention. “Loann, Dane and I don’t live together. He has a farm in Readstown eleven miles from me. He does stay over a couple of days a week though.”
Loann glared at me, her mouth open, her fake mustache twitching.
I continued, “We have separate money. I mean, he works and I work. I mean, his money is his and mine is mine. Would he be able to get, with his money, but not for his house, ten more gallons of paint? I mean, you know, they’d really be for my house.”
Once again, too much information. More glaring and twitching, but she nodded yes. A small screech of joy escaped me, startling the people who by then had gathered around the paint counter to listen. I practically ran to the checkout counter with my ten gallons of exterior paint.
In the car I called Dane. “Hi babe, I need you. I mean you need to come to town. You’ll need your wallet. I’ll pay you back.”
“Loann said you could buy five gallons of paint and then get five free to use for my house. You don’t need to live with me.”
“Today. The sale ends today. Okay? It’s all ready and set aside. It’s interior eggshell paint. I can bring it back for the colors later. Thanks, babe. Hurry!”
A colorful month later I notice I’m more cheerful, and my neighbors all wave gaily when they pass by. And after eleven years of dating, Dane and I have had rings made for each other (thank you, spicy orange!) out of Michigan greenstones. I’m happy to say I no longer dream of color—I’m surrounded by it!
Originally Published April 25th, 2019 in the Crawford County Independent & Kickapoo Scout