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Colors, colors everywhere...and all the brain did shrink!

It is near the end of the first week of "agreeing on a color to paint the den"; and as you lie in bed imagining the hues and shades of the latest possibilities, you realize that, now, even your dreams are in color.

After you had the outside of the house painted last summer by the Perennial Painters, and you started getting a flurry of "thumbs-up" from neighbors, friends and even strangers walking by, you realized that you must have done something right with the colors that you chose. [only your wife and kids know that you imitated the colors that cousin Lenny used on his house out in Denver.]

And now, all of a sudden, you feel the Martha Stewart emerging from deep within where she has been slumbering for a long, long time. Yes, it is time now to do something about the inside of the house that hasn't seen a paint roller since you moved in here eight years ago. Let's start with the den, you decide, whose avocado green walls can cause nausea even when you're not hung over.

You will surprise the wife, again, by lining up rows of paint swatches, that you grabbed at Home Depot, onto the kitchen table. When she arrived home from work, not only was she surprised, she was down right ecstatic upon thinking that you had finally come your senses in allowing her to choose the color to paint the den. She immediately grabbed her five favorites off the table and hurried into the den to figure out which of them would be the "Grand Champion".

Wait a minute, you think to yourself, my favorites didn't even make the cut. But before you can offer a complaint, she has returned to the kitchen giggling that she has crowned the Grand Champion...Lady Madonna Mauve, You take the swatch from her, hold it up to the light and mutter that you actually prefer Avocado Green to this.

That, of course, precipitates a now-nearly-week-long exercise in colorful futility. It became a challenge every day to see which one of you could bring home the most swatches. You awoke on the third morning knowing what the color had to be; and as you left for work, you told her to check the bathroom mirror where you had taped Bradford Taupe. You had just got out of the driveway when you got her text. "Way too grey!"

The color confrontation had morphed into a veritable battle of the sexes. She wanted soothing, soft and sexy. You were after stark, strong and manly. After all, the den was a man-cave.. sort of.

In a moment of resignation, you called Larry of Perennial Painters, whose crew had done such a terrific job painting the exterior of the house, and asked him if he could help you to break up the color stalemate.

With a fan deck of colors in his hand, Larry walks around the den holding it up to the brick fireplace, then the leather couch, then the curtains, then the hardwood floor. He dog ears three colors in the deck, gives you the deck, and bids you adieu. As he's walking out the door, Larry spins slightly toward the room, "Grand Canyon Chamoise is my preference; but think it over."

You and your wife silently return to the kitchen, push all the swatches sitting on the table into the waste paper basket, place his three choices onto the table and sit down. After a long moment, you look up at your wife who is already gazing at you. You reach across to caress her hand. "I've always wanted to visit the Grand Canyon; how about you?"


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