Paint by the Letters

Corinth, Miss.

All you need to know about my town of Corinth, Miss., is right here on the top shelf of our local paint store, where, by the way, the staff spent almost half an hour carefully blending and matching paint for our bathroom. The young man helping me found our house colors in the battered metal card-catalog files lining one wall — they were listed under our address, which he knew as soon as I told him the name of the builder. I’d never seen anybody blend and match paint before — fascinating! He mixed proportions of shades identified by letters, spread a bit of the result on the color card of the original, dried it with an ancient-looking hair dryer and then studied it carefully, bringing in his co-worker to discuss the merits of “maybe a little more C?” or “there’s too much B in that.” Finally he was satisfied and charged me less than a typical Starbucks trip (because who can resist a Peppermint Brownie Cake Pop, Frosted Snowperson Cookie and a way-cute coffee mug along with a triple venti latte?). While the guys were working, I turned down their offer of water or coffee, talked to the store’s resident dog and imagined I was picking paint colors for our dream home. (I especially liked Ralph Lauren‘s River Rock finishes and double-especially liked the Swamp Willow color entirely due to the fun factor of saying “Oh, that’s Swamp Willow” whenever anybody might compliment our paint choice.) I also eavesdropped on accidentally overheard some excellent gossip about the cousin of the sister of the pastor of the attorney who’d taken somebody’s son-in-law’s divorce case. If there’s a local family-run paint store in your town, go hang out there. And buy some paint.

Home Repairs

I’ll admit it: I was feeling over-confident. I mean, I’d replaced the dented and yellowing window blinds in the workshop on my own — well, I was successful after three trips to Lowe’s to get the right size of blind and with supportive help (“That’s great! You’re doing great!!!”) from Younger Daughter and of course I had to redo it because the first time I put the blinds in backwards, but still. I’d negotiated with painters to come spruce up our kitchen ceiling and the kitchen-to-garage door. I’d even pulled down all the no-longer-working tiny little outdoor lights we’d strung along the deck … five years ago for an after-prom party. Yes, our plan to declutter and brighten and clean up our house to impress potential buyers was going along great. Except for, as I explained in my weekly newspaper column, one stubborn closet doorknob. But I did not let it defeat me! Competence prevailed. It, naturally,  just wasn’t mine.