There’s a universal law that painting any room will require 1.2 tins of paint. No matter how carefully you plan, it’s impossible to buy exactly the right quantity. So, what do you do with all that really expensive left over semi-gloss? My advice is – throw it away!! Under no circumstances should you listen to the little voice that whispers “hey, you could use that bit to do a quick touch up in the …….” Anyway, more about that later.
I’ve been reminded recently how much of our lives is devoted to questions of portions and shares. Like last Sunday afternoon. It’s about 3:00PM and I’m sitting at a birthday party for a five year old, talking with my new-found sort-of relative (well he’s David’s brother-in-law’s sister-in-law’s sister’s husband, so I guess that means we’re related.) We’re watching a group of under-sixes playing musical chairs. As expected, the youngest contestant is eliminated first, but that’s OK because she gets to help work the music machine from here on in. Then, the inevitable happens. The music stops and one of the next-youngest finds there is no chair to sit on. Tears. “But there’s no chair for me!” Quick conference of parents. “OK everyone. You all win.” My relative and I speculate that we spend all our time teaching kids to share, and then set them up with a game of ever diminishing resources.
Amazingly, this “me first” attitude doesn’t manifest itself much in the local adult population. Take four-way stops for example. Intersections with stop signs on all four corners are really popular here. I was a bit unsure at first – do you give way to the left? The right? What if you’re turning? No worries – you just go in the order you arrived.
And then there’s lunch. Kirsty, Nanette and I slipped down to the US today for a quick shopping trip sans kids. We roll into our favourite lunch stop. I can’t remember whose turn it is to pay. Yeah, sure – duh!
OK, back to the painting story. Well, it goes like this. You may recall that I recently finished an Amazing job transforming Kirsty’s main bathroom, sorry, washroom, with a few licks of paint. I look at the left-overs. About half a tin of the main colour, quarter of a tin of the contrast colour, and who knows how much of the colour that was tried then abandoned. That little voice says “hey, you could use that bit to do a quick touch up in the downstairs washroom.” Great idea. Said washroom walls were sort of whitewashed by the previous owners to cover the lime green that was painted over the cherry red wood stain (I kid you not). A quick recoat would make the world of difference. Anyway, the idea was enthusiastically received and expanded on by the ladies of the house so, 24 hours of scraping, sanding, brushing and rolling (and two trips to the store to get more paint) later, it’s finally finished. Kirsty inspects. “Do you think that maybe that colour is a bit too ….” “Nope!” “But don’t you have some of that other paint lef….” “No. I threw it away.”