Everyone loves these “House Rules” wall hangings. I married into the Case Family. We don’t need a cute poster. They have only five rules.
- Go to church.
- Respect your Mamma.
- Wash your hands.
- Mind your manners.
- NEVER, under any circumstances, paint wood furniture.
I’m a Jackson. I don’t understand Rule #5. Quite frankly, I think Rule #5 is absurd. However, there’s no reason to start fights.
See, Charlie and I don’t fight a lot. Mostly he just doesn’t see the point in it. I lived through enough epic battles in my youth, I’ve had my fill of it. So we’re usually able to resolve disagreements pretty efficiently.
We have quite a bit of wooden furniture in our house. It’s all stained…as the Cases would expect. My house looks like brown with a side of brown. We’re the decorating equivalent of gas station food. I’m kind of sick of it.
My grandmother died more than a year ago. Through a series of events, the dining table my parents had when I was growing up had ended up in her house. My mother gave it to me. It needs badly to be stripped and re-done.
I’m so flipping excited! This is my chance! I can paint this table. It’s not some Case family heirloom. No one will be crushed that I ruined their stuff. It’s mine, and I’m going to mark my territory.
I’d sorta glossed over my plans with Charlie because I didn’t want to discuss it. I was just gonna do it, and I didn’t much care what he said. But his parents were here a couple of weekends ago. His mother was admiring the table. She asked what my plans were for refinishing. I told her as soon as THE WEDDING was behind us, I was gonna clean it up.
She asked what color I planned to stain it. I sorta mumbled, “I’m gonna paint it.” Well, I might as well have said I planned to burn all the Bibles in the house and bathe their grandson in the sacrificial blood of a goat. “You’re going.to.paint.it?”
About that time, father-in-law perked up, “She’s gonna do WHAT to that table?!” I sighed. I was in for it now.
“I KNOW that this violates the Case family rules. But I’m going to paint that table, and I’m not gonna hear about it.”
They just didn’t know what to do, “You’re going to ruin it! You can’t paint wood!”
“I’m going to paint the wood. Let it go.” They dropped it, but there was significant grumbling… a little while later, “What color?!”
“Haint Blue.” They couldn’t look at me after that.
You might be wondering why Charlie never spoke up during this whole episode. It’s because he is a smart man.
He agrees with his parents. I know he does. But he lives with me. Siding with them in front of me would go rather poorly for him, so he did the incredibly wise thing of becoming obsessed with smoking a ham for the rest of the day.
But now that he actually knows I’ve thrown down the gauntlet, he’s decided to get interested in the particular shade of blue.
I’m painting it Haint Blue, the color Southerners used to paint their porch ceilings to either ward off evil spirits or confuse mosquitoes…which is sorta the same thing.
The trouble is, Haint Blue is not just one particular color. According to Sherwin Williams, there are three options of Haint Blue:
I told Charlie I would give him this list of Sherwin Williams approved options. He could pick which one he wanted. But it’s sort of a trap. I mean, there’s a right answer here.
I liked Pool Blue. Charlie liked none of them. That led to another fight. Friends were drug into the grudge match. None of them wanted anything to do with this. There was a lot of throwing up hands and, “Oh, I’m not getting near this one!”
Finally, a color was selected, but only after a restraining order had been issued on me by all Sherwin Williams stores in the Little Rock area. It’s a long story.
In the end, it’s still possible one day I will stand in front of a judge trying to explain that yes, we love each other truly, madly, deeply, but the jackass couldn’t pick the right shade of blue, and I just can’t live with someone like that. Could you?