Okay, now that I have your attention, I’m not referring to the recent best-selling novel that’s the fastest selling paperback book in history. No, I’m talking about a different kind of book. The one you get at a paint store that has every color known and “mostly unknown” to man. The dreaded paint color fan deck. Talk about punishment. That’s what it feels like when my wife goes about picking a paint color for one of our home improvement projects. A typical fan deck has more than 1,600 different paint colors to choose from. Seriously, 1,600! Don’t get me wrong, when she does get to the color it’s always the right one. It’s just sometimes the journey is a little circuitous. We’ll start our journey in one paint store, but by the time the journey is over I’m on a first name basis with numerous paint store clerks. They just elected a new Pope in like, two days. Picking a paint color takes her a little longer. This is how it works, she chooses the color and I do the painting. She does ask my opinion, I’m just not sure why. She’ll tape three to four paint color swatches on the wall and they all look the same color to me. Sometimes I wonder if this is some kind of psychological test for men she read about in one of her magazines? I can see the headline now. “Is your man a “Functional Grey” or a “Tantalizing Teal?” Give him this five minute test to uncover his true colors.” And wouldn’t the worst job in the world have to be the poor soul who has to come up with 1,600 different names for each paint color? With names like; Laughing Orange, Humorous Green and Gutsy Grape you have to wonder how one could keep one’s sanity. “Hey honey how was work today?” “It was Pleasantly Peachy!” That would last about one day at my house and they’d be looking for a new job. This isn’t a black and white issue. Especially considering that there are multiple colors of black and white. It’s just one of the many ways men and women are different. So the next time S&M is brought up around your house, she’s more than likely referring to “Snowdrop and Muslin.” Grab a paint brush and get busy, a color has been chosen!
Pete Ruffing is the Sales Director at M3 Group in downtown Lansing. He and his wife of 14 years Brenda live in Okemos.