Sometimes love is blind — and ‘orange’ you glad?
Posted: Friday, September 10, 2010 8:01 pm
By: By CHRIS MENEES
Orange isn’t my color.
But it’s the official color of my husband’s bathroom.
Tennessee orange, to be exact.
My Big Orange-loving husband has talked about having a Tennessee Vols-themed bathroom ever since we bought our house 3 1/2 years ago. I always brushed it off, thinking the desire would pass.
Little did I know I would someday be an accessory to the crime.
The old bathroom was perfectly lovely with its pale burgundy striped wallpaper and flowered border. Granted, it wasn’t manly, but it was pretty.
My beloved started out subtle in making his intentions known. He bought a very large, very orange Tennessee Vols rug and plopped it down right in the middle of the bathroom floor. When I pointed out that it didn’t match the burgundy decor, he brought in a small plastic UT football helmet and playfully perched it on top of the bathroom cabinet.
“The helmet doesn’t match either,” I said.
“It matches the rug,” he said proudly.
“But the rug doesn’t match anything,” I insisted.
“It matches the helmet,” he countered.
It was a battle of the wits and I was clearly unarmed.
For the next three years, I turned a blind eye to the two orange and white accessories and was only reminded of their existence when cleaning his bathroom. They were out of sight, out of mind.
Then, about six weeks ago, the unthinkable happened. Hubby came home with bright orange bath towels and washcloths. The old burgundy bath towels were out and the new orange ones were in.
I conceded defeat. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. If he could have a plan for phasing in the Tennessee orange, I’d just take it to the next level — abruptly and completely by surprise.
For weeks, I secretly plotted my game plan. I collected paint swatches in every shade of orange imaginable — with names that included words like “pumpkin” and “autumn” — and agonized over finding the perfect color. I hoarded orange accessories that included a clock and throw rugs, and I cleared my calendar for an evening I knew my husband would be out of town overnight.
After all, a bathroom is small and I could easily strip off old wallpaper and slap on a coat of paint in one evening’s time, right? Right.
As soon as he left home that morning, I jumped out of bed and started ripping off wallpaper border. There was no turning back.
When I left work that afternoon, I raced to a local home improvement store armed with a shopping list of wallpaper remover, drop cloths, rollers, brushes and, of course, orange paint. I nervously showed the young man at the paint counter my favorite pick from the color swatches — to which he cheerfully replied, “No problem, ma’am, Tennessee orange is already in our computer.”
Hyped up on caffeine and ready to pull off the surprise of the century, I moved out all the furnishings and began peeling off layers of wallpaper a little after 4 p.m. Six hours later, I found myself sitting on the floor staring at painfully bare walls and a drop cloth littered with shreds of torn wallpaper and splatters of sheetrock mud from blemish repairs — and wondering what I’d gotten myself into.
Those six hours included an unplanned trip back to town for a clean drop cloth — as well as more caffeine — and spending far longer than anticipated to remove fixtures and to tape off white trim that didn’t need to be orange.
It’s all a blur, but I think the painting finally commenced somewhere around 11 p.m. The big moment had arrived. I loaded a roller with orange paint, took one swipe down the wall and stepped back. It was so bright, it hurt — but there was no choice other than to continue.
Four hours later, in the very wee hours of the next morning, I stood in the middle of the freshly-painted orange bathroom feeling somewhat flushed (pun intended) and thought out loud, “Whoa, where are my sunglasses?”
And I couldn’t help but smile as I thought how much my husband would absolutely love it.
After a 90-minute nap, I reluctantly rolled out of bed to start replacing fixtures and furnishings — including the Tennessee rug, the small helmet and the orange towels that started it all.
As the sun rose that morning through the bathroom window, it cast an orange glow out into the hallway. It was rivaled only by the smile on my husband’s face when he first eyed the new bathroom.
Oh, the things we do for love.
Of course, it’s also said that love is blind. In this case, I hope it’s color blind.