Friday, September 28, 2012

Turquoise Paint

When I was eight, we lived in a tiny "shotgun house" with an extra room bumped out on the side. My younger brothers and I shared that room and my parents slept in the "dining" room. The entire house was four rooms plus a bathroom. As compensation for having to share with my brothers, I was permitted to pick out the paint color for the room.

Perhaps it was because we lived in the deserts of Arizona, but I chose turquoise as the color. It wasn't a soft, gauzy color, nor was it the pretty bluey-green color in the photograph. No, it was the harsh green-blue of the turquoise stone fresh out of the depths of a copper mine.

Gamely, my parents painted the room and I reveled in the bright color until we moved to a different tiny house the next year. There I had the sun porch for my very own while my brothers slept on the enclosed front porch.

Several years later, when I was in my teens and we lived in Indiana, our family made a pilgrimage to the various places we'd lived in Arizona. The woman who lived in that house with the turquoise paint graciously invited us inside.

And that room still had the turquoise paint on the walls.

Dad asked her about it. She said they couldn't find anything except black that would cover the paint so they left it as is. That was many years ago and no doubt--if the house is still standing--someone has used the modern paint technology to cover that turquoise paint.

Looking back from my adult viewpoint it occurs to me we often make choices we might later wish we hadn't. Sometimes, the choices we blithely make in a moment of pique or fit of triumph have consequences we are not constrained to live with. Instead, an innocent bystander might have to deal with our choice.

Sometimes...a total stranger is stuck with the turquoise paint.



  1. LOL....when I was 5, my room was turquoise, and I wanted it painted pink. I think Dad said it took several coats before it stopped showing through! I spent nearly two weeks sleeping in my sister's room while it was being painted. And then in 1988, I painted it a pale blue. And I think only took one coat:)

  2. Back in the 60's my brother, then in high school, drew "flower power" on our basement wall with magic markers. When my parents sold the house in 77, it was still there. No matter how many coats of paint my dad put over it, the marker eventually bled through and resurfaced.

  3. Oh I love turquoise. One of my bathrooms is a vibrant turquoise. Even the cats do a double-take when they walk into the bathroom.

  4. As kids, the first house, that wasn't a married quarters, we got to choose what paint we wanted in our bedrooms. I chose this intense, shocking pink. It was still on the walls when the house was sold in 2005 and I still liked it. I haven't changed much

  5. Heh. Sounds like we're all still kin...