Thursday, August 25, 2011

Brown Paint

I would hope by now, if you are a regular reader of this blog, I have established the fact that, although a bit OCD at times, I am, for the most part, a fairly intelligent woman.  I am able to conduct my daily affairs with a good degree of competence....if pushed, most of my friends would say I was sane.

Yet...there are some places that make me feel like I am over-using a limited supply of brain cells.

Today it was the paint store.

Clearly I have, in my 41 years on this planet, been to a paint store before.  Indeed I have purchased paint many times.  Furthermore I actually have an account at this paint store and have painted both the inside and outside of my current home....with paint......that I purchased.

I approached the store with nary a care in the world.

As I parked it dawned on me that I may not have all the information I needed.  I am purchasing this paint for a project at one of my daycares so I called the Contractor (aka my husband Allan) and asked some questions.  "How much paint do you need?"  I suggested a big can, he informed me a gallon (correct term) would be fine.  I asked if primer was necessary (you see how I am trying to establish that I am not a complete fool about paint)...."Probably" but to ask "them" about that. 

You see I am not afraid to ask questions.  I am a resourceful person.  A problem-solver.  When I take my car to the mechanic I do not stand there replicating the clang clang noise emanating from the rear right wheel because I ask Allan before I go and then I say there is a noise in the rear right wheel that may be the...... (insert correct term) starting to wear.  The mechanic looks impressed although when he has diagnosed the actual problem he calls Allan so maybe he knows I am putting on a brave face when, in fact, I know little to nothing about the rear right wheel other than it clangs.

So I breezed into the paint store today every bit the savvy Executive Director on a well-informed mission.

I asked about the primer.  I immediately got the pitying look from the lady helping me that I would be so stupid as to not know primer was essential.  My jaw started clenching and I pasted the fake "just shut up and give me the damn stuff" smile on my face.  She felt she should drive home her point by involving the two guys in the paint area who OF COURSE agreed one cannot, under any circumstances, paint wood without primer.

Fine, not really surprised - lets get some primer mixed up then. smile.

"What colour?" she then asks, all innocent and friendly......

"Brown". smile.  Not realising what I have just done.

"Let's have a look at the paint chip wall" she says

Noooooooooooooo not the paint chip no no.

"Sure" I say.

Of course, I had completely forgotten there were 50 billion "browns".  You think I am over-stating things. I Am Not. There are 50 billion "browns" with greeny-blue undertones and another 50 billion with reddy-orange undertones.

I grabbed one - looked good - handed it to the lady.

She sensed I was grasping (certainly not giving my choice the attention it was due) and suggested she had paint chip books we could look at but I clutched my paint chip and declared I was very happy with my choice (trying to look down at it with one eye to make sure I wasn't completely screwing this up)

"What type of finish would you like and what grade of paint?"

For the love of Pete - REALLY?  She thrusts a book at me with various options.

I confidently point at the one in the middle.  I believe it is a flat finish with a mid to high end grade.  Like.I.Care.

Great!  They get to the mixing and the shaking and I go to pay trying to salvage the last shreds of my confidence.

While they are looking up my account and commenting that it's been a while since I shopped at their store - OK lady I know, I know - I valiantly try to salvage some self-respect by commenting that the wall behind the till looks like the "Timothy Straw" I have in my living room.  Without even looking up she says "No, it's Jalapeno Pepper".  Of course it is. smile.

When the mixing is complete she opens the paint to show me the brown. I smile "Looks brown".  She says "It looks like melted chocolate". Of course it does. smile

She puts the 2 gallons in a box and asks if I need help. 

I know I haven't exactly shone in this paint store exchange but to suggest I can't carry the box to my car is a downright insult.  I want to take the wooden stir sticks she has put in the box and beat her with them.

"No thanks. I am good". smile.

I pick up the box and walk out of the store and........promptly drop my keys.

Bad word.

Now I have to bend down, pray my purse doesn't swing around and either give me a black eye or knock the box of paint out of my hands.  I try and make the key grab as graceful as possible and avert a disaster and do not look back but I feel "them" looking. 

Keys back in hand - purse still on shoulder and paint still in box - score!! 

Then I hit the unlock button on my key fob.

Except it isn't.  Its the alarm.  Of course it is. no smile.

If "they" weren't looking before "they" are now.

Now I can't even shut off the bloody thing all the while balancing 2 gallons of paint.  Now I want to use the wooden stir stick to poke my own eye out because I am sure that would be less painful and less humiliating than this.

I manage to shut off the alarm, open the car, get the paint and myself in the car, turn the ignition on and swiftly depart the parking lot without hitting anything.

Of course I did. smile.


  1. Thank you for this DELIGHTFUL anecdote to brighten my day- what a way with words you have. Yes, I am totally laughing at your expense, but you asked for it. smile. thank you. smile.

  2. The Timothy Straw moment was the most humiliating...... on the upside you should check out Jalapeno Pepper....... ;)