Monday, March 22, 2010

The Curious Case of the Blue Paint

     Paula entered the double wide lugging Rubbermaid tubs filled with fabric, wallpaper, and enough knick knacks to make a ninety year old woman jealous. She was also dragging bags stuffed with paint brushes, rollers, tape, paint trays, paint sticks,and those little tools used to pry the lids off.  Tied to her waist was a little red wagon that carried paint cans of assorted colors.
     "You're accessorizing at Hope Depot again. Nice, but takes a little getting used to," I remark.
     "I'm here to spruce up your home."
     "Thanks, Martha Stewart, but its a trailer. The wallpaper is what keeps the walls from collapsing in on us. Its permanent and can't be removed."
     She raises a roller in one hand and a brush in the other.  "But it can be painted!" She does a dramatic game show wave...or maybe it was more like a magician's assistant. "Let's get started."
     At 3 a.m. she gathered up the leftover materials, stuffed them back into bags, tubs and piled it all on the little red wagon and headed out. I weakly waved goodnight and mumbled something like, "thramk shoe." Then I collapsed on the freshly vaccuumed sofa. (I didn't even realize those things needed vaccuuming!) I dreamed the Cat in the Hat had invaded my home with Things 1 and 2, put things in disarray, back in order and left without leaving evidence that they had even been there.
     Paula, however had left plenty of evidence. I entered my bathroom...only it wasn't my bathroom. There was a new shower curtain, fresh paint, decorative border paper and neatly arranged counter tops. I dashed to the kids' bathroom. It also had been made-over from blah bath to spa bath! Did I leave her here alone? I barely remembered the evening before. I went and checked the trash. There was no sign of foul play, including no beer, wine or liquor bottles.  I vaguely remembered her telling me to keep an eye on the kids or clean my closet, while she busied herself.
     "What happened? Everything is beautiful! Thank you so much!"
     "My pleasure," she assured me. "I've been wanting to do something special for you, because you all have been such good friends to us."
     "Wow. Thank you. I do have one question. Do you have anymore of the navy blue paint? I'd like to put some on the walls in the boys' room."
     "I know. You asked me last night. I left it for you. Gotta go! Love ya!"
     Hmmm...I didn't notice the paint. I'll look again. I looked everywhere. Closets, behind doors, outside, under the beds. Then I had a marvelous idea, "Ask her where she put it." So I did.
     "I handed it to you when I left. Ciao!" (She's very busy...)
     I looked again. Oh well. She obviously thought she gave it to me but didn't.
     A week later I was at her house for lunch.  I tried to ask the question in  a subtle manner.
     "Did you ever find the blue paint?"
     "The blue paint that you were going to leave at my house for me to do the boys' room. Did you ever find it?"
     "No," (she seemed a tad miffed. I don't know why...she had come to my house and redecorated my home and here I was so concerned about a can of blue paint. I was getting a little crazy...)
     "I didn't bring it home. I gave it to you."
     That should have been the end of it, but for some strange reason I could NOT let it go.
     While she was in the bathroom I peeked into her garage. ( I also open medicine cabinets. Be warned.)
Trust me, the people at The Container Store come to her house, specifically her garage, for inspiration. That's how organized she is. Her garage is lined with gorgeous shelves, each carefully labeled and stacked with boxes that are also labled and color-coordinated. I quickly (like .36 seconds) find her shelves of paint cans with all the labels facing outward with a streak of paint carefully brushed across the front so one knows immediately what color is to be found inside the can. There are also colored labels on the shelves themselves to tell a person what color is missing and where it goes when it is returned. I can not miss the gaping space marked with a label in bold lettering: NAVY BLUE.
     "Maybe she misplaced it." I glanced into the sparkling garage that is the envy of Home Depot and realized how idiotic that thought was.
     I wish I could tell you I just let it go. That I never thought about such a trivial thing as blue paint anymore, but it was a complete mystery. I couldn't explain what happened to it. I had looked in every conceivable place and absolutely the worst of all: I was still convinced she had it.
     Fortunately our friendship was (and is) very strong and had withstood many storms. I did my best not to mention it, although whenever we were together it haunted the crevices of my memory.
     We invited her family over almost a year later. We had finished a great meal and were just laughing and enjoying ourselves and then we began to reminisce.
     "Do you remember when you came over to help me spruce up the double wide and took that blue paint home with you? hahahaha!"
     Oh my gosh, what am I saying?
     "hahaha. I remember coming to help you clean your house and I left the blue paint here.HAHA."
     Enter the five year old. "Are you talking about the blue paint in the freezer?"
     Nobody moved! Seriously we didn't move. It was really weird. Paula and I looked at each other and looked back at the five year old. We had to raise our voices above the men's howling laughter.
     "WHAT DO YOU MEAN?" I screamed.
     "There's a can of blue paint in the freezer." 
     "I CAN'T HEAR YOU.  HEY! (to the fellas) Can you knock it off a minute?"
     "I said, there's a can of blue paint in the freezer," responds the five year old. "I thought you were trying to make it purple."
     Ah, yes. Of course. The old "turn-paint-colors-by-putting-it-in-the-freezer" trick.
     I calmly walk to the upright freezer in the hallway and open it. Staring back at me are three packs of three year old deer meat (not gonna happen), two ziploc bags of boiled cabbage (an experiment in vegetable freezing gone awry), lots of freezer ice (broken defroster) and on the bottom shelf a frost-covered can of navy blue paint.
     Mystery solved. Paula comes over, help me spruce my home, in my exhaustion I fall asleep on the couch, while I'm sleeping the Cat in the Hat comes in with Thing 1 and Thing 2. Thing 1 gets hungry, looks in the freezer for snack, finds old catfish, snatches it, looks around for something to replace it so I won't notice anything missing, sees blue paint, puts it in the freezer, they exit, case closed.


  1. Oh no, that is too funny! So glad you found the paint since it sounds like you really didn't want to let that go!! :) Happy Monday!

  2. First, when is Paula coming to my house? Second, your explanation is completely plausible. I agree. Case closed.

  3. Oh your blgo makes me laugh out loud and I need a good laugh this morning! Visiting from Southern Mamas and we are glad to have you! Come check me out if you get the chance. I am doing a great giveaway this week!

  4. HAHAHA!! Sounds just like something I would do!

  5. Oh my, laughing like crazy. You had me going, I thought she painted the room blue for you. What a great story!!

  6. I am going to check in my freezer right now for an assortment of things I have been looking for....

  7. That's hilarious! Love your blog! Reminds me of home :) Thanks for visiting mine!

    I'm a follower now!


  8. Wow, that Paula is sure a friend! I am glad you found the paint, probably you don't go into that freezer much, not if there is old deer meat in there!

  9. Too funny! :-D Totally sounds like something I would do -- not putting the paint in the freezer, but not letting like that go! ;-)

  10. hahahahhaahah!

    so what did you do with the paint? because i'm thinking you could've worked up some pretty good art by combining it with the deer meat and cabbage.

    also. i started another comment with laughter. it's your fault.

  11. I'm crackin up!!!!! Love your blog!

  12. I just found you on Southern Mommas and had to follow you after that great introduction! You definitely made me smile today! If you get a chance, please stop by and follow this Texan gal back too! Have a great day!

  13. Leanne,

    That is quite a story. Hilarious! At least you found the paint. That's quite the friend you have. Are people in your area all this friendly. I might move. LOL

  14. Love your story.. I also put things in strange places ..... at times that I have to slap myself for being in a fog that day.
    Love the story of the paint can.

  15. You are TOOOO funny! Love your blog title, your site, and your attitude! I'll be back! Following you from McLinky.

    Chris :-)

  16. That was a fabulous story. :)

  17. That's a great story! Really funny!

    Here from SITS.

  18. Came via SITS- hilarious post!! adding you to my follow list straight away!!

  19. I'm glad somebody else does things like that!

    God Bless you~


  20. Love your blog! Found it while doing a search for double wides.


"Thank you, and do come back now, ya heah?"
(No she didn't...yes she did.)