He might have cussed. I might have said, "But don't you think it looks so much better?"
He tends to think everything is just fine the way it is and often doesn't understand my need to change things up. I put a new-agey spin on it to justify my thought process and say, "This wall color and couch is stagnant much like my life right now. We need gray everything. Look at these swatches. Which do you like better? Storm cloud or anonymous? They might look different but they're not so really look at them."
His defense mechanism is to leave town to escape the madness.
My current project is my writing-bill-paying-clothes room. It hasn't been painted in years, and come to find out, no furniture has ever been moved and vacuumed behind.
I need calm. I need to bring up my six foot wallpaper hanging table that is about eighty years old and spread myself all over it. I need my nature chotchkes and favorite books close by and my clutter gone.
As is my style, I grossly underestimated how long this thing in my head would take to come to fruition. Three days, max, I thought. But the Royals are playing in the World Series and they need me to cheer. Then I caught a cold. I am far from done and Mark will be home in two days. It is chaos in the bedroom where everything has been put so I have room to paint.
Welcome to my cluster, honey.
When I worked at the bank, Phyllis asked me if I wanted to be on a softball team. I declined. I had never played before and went through four, long years of high school being called "Peeps"(even by the gym teacher) because I ran like a chicken.
That really was enough humiliation to last a lifetime.
Phyllis was relentless. "You don't have to be good. It's just for fun."
I joined. She was a big, fat liar.
These women were competitive. Long-time softball players who could knock the ball to the next zip code, they were out to kick ass, take no prisoners and win. I was there to have something to do a couple of nights a week and drink beer afterwards because my husband often worked late.
It didn't take long for it to become apparent that I had no softball skills. Even though I had three brothers that played Little League and we always played ball in the backyard, it all seemed hard and foreign to me. I became the catcher because the furthest I could throw the ball was back to the pitcher and that was on a bounce and a slow roll. I frequently made it on base because I hit the ball so softly that no infielder was expecting a baby bunt when nobody was on base.
Towards the end of the season, a batter from the opposing team sent one sailing out to left field. Our player chased it down and sent it back to me like it was shot out of a cannon. I was terrified because that ball was coming for my face and I knew I sucked, but Lord Have Mercy I caught that thing and tagged the runner out at home plate.
We whooped and hollered even though we lost the game because not a single person on that team, especially me, ever thought I would catch that ball.
We were at a wedding last weekend and a darling, young girl sat down beside me and said, "I feel like a stalker and we've never met but I read your blog and I wanted to tell you that I love it. I know you're not from the south but you write like a Southerner. Like William Faulkner. In fact, I've told all my friends and they read your blog too."
That's when the room started to spin and I felt faint.
Then I got awkward and dorky and Peeplike and talked too much. "Did you read the one......." I asked. "Oh, I've read them all," she answered." And it felt like the holy spirit scooched between us to say, "Listen up, girl" because I have struggled mightily to get something written once a week.
"My daughter says I need to write more," I said. "I would be in agreement with her," my new friend said.
The next day I decided that the place I write has to reflect the expectations I have of myself going forward. It has to be serene with the things I love close by and I have to show up more for practice. It has to be dusted off now and then.
When it's done my old wallpaper hanging desk will look out onto the fall trees, then the bare, snow-covered ones that will give way to spring. My goal is to spend time there every day. I can picture it all just like that ball sailing towards me at home plate.
And guess what? I can see me catching it.