It's White, Seriously.

White. A simple color or the simple absence of color. The color of purity and innocence. Also the color of the last circle of hell. A devilish area where husbands are tortured by trying to define the different shades of white. Their crime? Painting. Their punishment? Confusion and more work.

The doors upstairs needed a good paint, it was time. I'm on a whole "improve the house" thing this month. Step one, paint. Hossmom has wanted a couple of rooms painted for a while now. So I have grabbed my brush, gave some women a lusty look to let them know how good I look painting, and grabbed some white paint. Just plain white paint, the most simple thing in the world.

I told my son to get his game face one, we were painting today. No screwing around. I told him that our strokes must be long and sure, our attention to detail focused and our rock music to be loud and offensive. He was all gung ho; he loves to paint.

Up we went and dipped our brushes into the innocence to the sounds of Steven Tyler telling us how to walk. We listened, we painted. My son has the temperament for this kind of thing. He finds it fun but he is also careful, unlike his sister who likes to go "improv" when we do this. She's in school, today it's me and my boy creating pearly whiteness and memories. The dog even helped. I told her not to sniff the wet door. She did anyway. No one listens to me in this house and that's why she has a white splotch on her nose. A side note for other painters out there, dog snot thins paint better than gasoline.

All day we painted, all day we repaired, all day we rocked out. My daughter's door was a bit of a challenge. Last year she ran out of tape and without tape she couldn't put her pictures up on her door. But if she was out of tape, she had an abundance of glue which works just as well, and it did. We spent an hour scraping crap off her door.

Our bedroom door was also a challenge. We lock the dogs in there from time to time when we have guests over. They take this as an invitation to claw the door like there are some Snausages on the other side which of course, there is not.

By the end of it, we had done four doors and finished our afternoon with a nice red wine and Metallica screaming about sandmen entering places. A good day.

Hossmom comes home. We are ready to show her our labors so that she can marvel in our productivity. This is why I stay home, I have taken care of the house! Worship me.

"Wow, that's white."

Yes honey, it is white. White is white and that is white. It's also dark outside (that's black) and the dog vomited some paint on the carpet (that's a yellow and white mix).

"It's really white."


"That's too white."


"I don't like it."


"Seriously, I don't like it."

Find my calm place, communicate like the books say you are supposed to. Do not punch a whole in the door like you want to. I ask her to further elaborate on her craziness. Understanding her mental illness and white paint is crucial to the continuation of our marriage.

"It's too white, it's too bright. We need softer white."

White is white. It does not have a "feel" If you touch it, it's just wet. It's not soft or hard. I am confused.

"It needs to have a higher gloss and be muted."

Must. Not. Punch. Door. Do. Not. Understand. How do we need it shinier and duller at the same time? I......I........my brain hurts. I'm beginning to think that this is some sort of ancient Chinese torture. Please god, just shoot me and get it over with.

"Sorry hun, we are going to have to redo it."

By we, I know that she means me. I like how she does that. "We" must take out the trash. "We" must do the dishes at night. "We" must go to work and make money. Ha! See, it works both ways baby! I'm going to pay for that.

But it's just white, I explain like it's the most obvious thing in the world. White is white and really, does this make that big of difference, the shade of white of a door. I point that out, she looks at me like I'm the one that suddenly went crazy. I'm starting to lose it a little bit, I'm starting to lash out. I tell her she hates white people too, it's sad really.

I point out all the repairs on the doors. No more glue marks, all the duck tape residue is scraped off. My Ipod has finished all it's songs. Please for the love of god, look at the level of work that went into this. And don't think it was just me sitting on the floor having a good time. Have you ever tried painting with a 4 year old that likes to point at things with a wet paintbrush. That takes a monk-like concentration, grasshopper.

"Yup, we have to redo it."

I lose my shit a little bit. I don't understand. It's like she's telling me I have crabs because she cheated on me with a hobo, which in hindsight, would probably have been less painful than telling me that my entire day's worth of work is for nothing.

I make the mistake of telling her that she can just "live with it." I then get a 30 minute lecture on the color spectrum and house harmony. In the end, I just cave because I have lost track of the conversation 10 minutes in. Somehow we ended up talking about proper table manners. I have no idea how we go here. I'm lost, confused and apparently I don't know what the color white is.

I could live with this color of white, I would be fine with it. White is white, there isn't much difference. Hossmom cannot. In the end, it's easier for me to just let it go, grab a new paint brush, a couple of kids and send her downstairs for a couple of days while I repaint the doors.

But in the future, just to make sure she is happy, "We" will both be present and accounted for when painting the rest of the house. "We" will be much happier and less likely to start throwing paint cans at someone's head if "we" have the right shade of white.


  1. Good god, you are in so much trouble.

  2. She probably also complained that dinner was cold when she showed up late without calling...

  3. Hossman dear. According to Georgia O'keefe there are 264 shades of white. When you translate that to all primary colors, and black it becomes mind boggling. Next time, including this reprint, when Hossmom Thinks about painting you tell her to go to the store and buy it. Let her take total responsibility for color selections--it's safer! MiL

  4. I think Hossmom should paint the door!