Several nights ago, I had a dream that someone painted over the purple trim on the house we now call "4041." The trim I simultaneously loved and apologized for; when I gave people directions to our house I always said, "it's the gray house with purple trim.........it's not as bad as it sounds." Pulling the trigger on the purple trim was one of the bigger and riskier decisions Mike and I have ever made together. As I mentioned in the previous post, we have no tolerance for a home that makes no statement. This is the structure that houses your life. It shelters your family and provides an environment in which to grow, develop, remember, reflect. Its face sends a message to passersby telling them what you're like.
One Christmas, we gave each other the gift of a new face for our home. Its dirty white exterior was making us sad and telling stories about us that weren't true. We experimented with lots of colors and landed on blue. But when the facade was painted, it looked like a giant popsicle. Or something Liam had painted. We said "STOP!" Unfortunately, winter was arriving - so the painters could stop but they couldn't repaint until spring. So we lived with the blue front/white back house for an entire winter, constantly assuring people that it was not on purpose and that it wasn't permanent. When spring arrived, the blue facade debacle spooked us and we realized we needed help. From a professional. With lots of experience with color theory. So we called a designer and said we didn't have a big project we just needed help with one decision. We would need her for less than an hour. She said "75 bucks." I said "right on." Did you know you could do that? You can get help from a professional designer for $75 at a time? We've often said that the purple trim was the best $75 we've ever spent. Since then, I've hired designers one hour at a time for things as small as hanging pictures or accessorizing my dining room. My designer friends are like artistic handymen. And I love them.
So this particular $75 produced a house draped in a fairy tale; Twilight Chimes and Violet Vespers to be exact. A house that now says "Some really fun people live here."
In my dream, someone painted the purple trim a bright white. It was garish and trashy. It said "This house is messy inside." My dream self felt panic building in her throat - but also knew there was nothing she could do. It wasn't her house anymore.