Days of Rage

For a few days I have been rageful.The contractor and painter came to the new house yesterday and we talked about colors. I was outraged that L thought he was entitled to an opinion. I'm so used to making all the decisions about paint (always off-white, but still) and furniture and pictures and such. L has his house in Gary but he's lived here for years, with his apportioned half the bathroom and closet, dresser and most of a desk. (See how magnanimous I am!) I could tell L thought I was being extravagant and over-compensating when I asked the contractor how much it would cost to remove the paint from the trim around three windows. All the other window trim is the natural wood. I lived in this place, my condo, for nine years without doing anything except paint, and I'm determined to get all the changes made in the new place before we move in. I've been so lackadaisical and now I'm the Mad Perfectionist. At least we both agreed that we don't need to have the steps leading to the basement stripped. The treads are painted midnight blue and that's fine with us. The basement bathroom is dark pink and we'll leave it, too.

I told him yesterday how scared I was, that I hadn't actually lived full-time with anyone for 26 years, except once, for nine months. Am I deep down afraid of being taken over? That's not it. I am just so accustomed to my space. Which also translates to time; it took years and years to train me to discuss plans for the upcoming week with him. I was so used to not being accountable to anybody.

We took a field trip to G and F's house to see the yellow walls in the dining room. We rode bikes. On the way back, we encountered P, who told us that yellow walls are WASPy, and that he has a slate gray wall, and that I shouldn't discount neutrals. I told him I don't like wall colors with brown in them, which covers a lot of neutrals. He said that I was greedy because I'm going to have two (small) bedrooms as my office. I said I was thinking about red walls, and he cautioned me about them, saying instead I should save red for furniture.

L and I have both had yellow kitchen walls in houses of our families of origin, and we are 100 percent non-WASPS (though my father used to call himself a WASH--White Anglo-Saxon Hebrew). So that kills that theory about yellow walls and WASPS. I think yellow was a favorite kitchen color in the mid-20th century.

Today I was finally calm. We went to a paint store today and agreed on: creme brulee for the foyer and living room, light yellow for the dining room and hallway to kitchen and my second office, funky fruit (pale orange) or the kitchen, fresh mint for the bedroom walls,tear drop (pale blue) for the basement, french lilac for the first office. My first office will be spare, with a desk and a futon and maybe a bookshelf. I want it to be a clean, clear space. I'm influenced by the serenity of the lavender walls of Namaskar, where I took a yoga class on Monday. My second office will have my file cabinets and bookshelves, though I'm not sure how many will fit in it. I bought a little sample bottle of orangish paint for $4 and I'll try it out on the kitchen. I'm not sure whether orange is a good idea. The kitchen is blue now, and it's too dark. The former owners liked blue. The front steps and porch are blue, which we're keeping. I felt so American in the paint store, choosing colors for a home of our own. Our home. Our colors. Our desires. Home improvement is the opiate of the bourgeoisie.

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