Thursday, June 2, 2011

Fresh Paint and Memories

Our original plans for the Memorial Day weekend included, well, nothing, which is why I took Friday off as well to paint. I figured it would be a great chance to get that ugly chore done and still have some weekend left to luxuriate in. By the time the weekend arrived, due to several last minute invites, it ended up being quite full, but at least it was full of fun, except for the painting.

The painting is over and done with, thank goodness, but it turned out to be a day of trial and error. Several weeks ago Mr. Helen and I went and picked out several paint chips and brought them home. I taped them to the kitchen walls and let them sit until we decided which we wanted. My plan was to make the walls a bit darker and leave the window and door trims an off white. He bought a gallon of the (more expensive) primer and paint in one and set everything out for me so that I could get a move on Friday morning,

I went to bed early Thursday night with such expectation and was up and at ‘em ready to paint by 7 am. I started with a small square of wall by edging it first. As the paint is going on, I’m thinking “this doesn’t look like what I picked out…” so I go and find the chip. Yep, looks like the chip. But why does it look so different on the wall? So, I stop painting and step all the way to the other end of the kitchen to look at it. Horrible. It was horrible. And even though I knew that paint was expensive, I also knew I couldn’t live with that color.

Long story short, I went back to Home Depot, picked out 2 more colors and had actual samples mixed up. (Whyyyyyyy didn’t I do that in the first place?!!) Took the samples home and painted one of them on the wall in several places. Why only one? Because when I opened the second sample, I had picked out the exact color I currently have on the walls (which I had no way of knowing since it was painted before we bought the house). In the end I went with the original color (which is a very neutral non-color named Smoked Oyster) all over again! Maybe that was a good thing since this mini fiasco put me behind by three hours. Gah. At least the kitchen looks fresh and clean, even if it is the same color!


I mentioned that the other thing I had planned was a mini-reunion with my ninth grade biology partner. Mr. Helen was really fascinated by the whole thing. As he was born and raised in the city we currently live in, he has lots of ex-girlfiriends history here. For all of our relationship, it has always been me who has done the meeting of old friends. I moved too many times time to count growing up so the fact that I even had a friend that went that far back was amazing to Mr. Helen. What astonished him even more was that when Dave walked into the house and started telling the story of how we became friends, Mr. Helen said he told it almost word for word as I did.

When I went into 9th grade, I was once again a new kid in town. To make matters worse it was the second move in as many years. Believe me, it’s hard when you’re 14 years old and you literally have no childhood friends except your little brother. The one redeeming thing about this move was that the high school was a regional high school which meant that 5 different towns sent kids there. Even though I was a new kid, everything was new to everyone else too. First day of biology class, the teacher tells everyone to find someone and partner up. I’m not usually shy but I think I was just overwhelmed with everything and so, I did not choose. A couple of minutes later the teacher asks, “OK, who does not have a partner?” Dave and I were the only two in the room who raised their hands, and the rest is history! As it turned out we had many, many classes together and became the best of buddies for the next two years. Then I moved.

As you can imagine moving again was quite unsettling and horrifying to a 16 year old (and the reason why I doubled up credits and graduated a year early from high school). Dave was my one friend who stayed in touch through college and even through my move to Africa. The last time I saw him, he had just graduated from Brown University and I was back in the USA. He had come to the area I live in to go protest the building of a nuclear submarine or something like that – yep he was a bit of a tree hugger. Then we just lost touch, until a couple of years ago through the magic of Facebook he popped up as a recommended friend for me.

I am so glad that he did and our reunion was wonderful! Do you realize how hard it is to catch up over 30 years in just 4 hours? Hard people. But we had a grand time trying! The only thing we wished is that he had thought to bring his yearbook – but next time – as we are going to try to make this an at least a once a year thing.

No photos that are blasts from the past, but we took a couple on Memorial Day. Dave told me he would send me the ones taken with his better camera but not until he gets back to Cali – his 90 year old parents don’t have a computer, can you believe it?!! For now, here is one that Mr. Helen took with my crappy iPhone camera because of course, I couldn’t find my brand new camera (which I eventually found buried in my brand new pocketbook – but that’s a story for another post.)

He's just the same (I swear, he still only weighs 135 lbs. soaking wet!) and he says I am too... at the same time, we are better versions of our 16 year old selves - a little older, grayer (not me!), and lots wiser.


  1. I love that you see Dave as just the same! In the eyes of a true friend, that is what we see in each flaws, just a friend. :)

    Have a wonderful day, my flawless friend.

  2. What a great story! Aren't you glad he was the other student who needed a partner? Small reunions are always so much better than big crowd reunions. You look spectacular!

  3. What a wonderful story! I'm so glad that you and Dave reconnected. That's just awesome.

    Oh, and I hear you on the paint story. I've learned that lesson - buy the sample. It's so worth it. Glad you love your new/old oyster color.

  4. I love that you had a mini reunion! I moved a lot too because my dad was in the Air Force and I have lost touch with everyone before high school. Facebook has been great for keeping in touch with high school friends.

  5. Buying the same paint twice? I've done that, except I actually painted the entire room before noticing DAYS later that it looked awfully similar. When I finally realized it, I couldn't help but smack myself upside the head. I ended up laying a coat of wash over it to both brighten and give it a bit of interest. No way was I repainting.
    So glad you found something you're happy with. I love having choices, but in the paint department, there are just way to many!

  6. Too cute! I love reunion stories. So sweet!

  7. Did you guys do any Bio projects?

  8. I would have been EXACTLY the same in biology class!

    And that paint story--what a nightmare. I really am particular about colors, and I know they don't look the same BIG as they do as paint chips. That was a great idea getting the samples mixed up. And isn't it hard to paint a kitchen? Lots of little places to get around, and all the counter stuff to put away? Anyway, I admire you for doing it!

  9. I love it that you guys got to meet up and have such a great reunion!

    Paint. Grrr. Sounds like a stressful and frustrating way to spend a few hours. I'm glad you're happy with it.

  10. How cool that you got to reunite with Dave! Sounds like a great time!

  11. I LOVE that photo of you and absolutely wonderful that the two of you reconnected.

    I have to share this here...I'm not sharing in public yet: you know that shooting that happened here on Ocean Ave. last Saturday night? Well, it turns out the main guy involved is a guy from my high school class...and we went to high school in a town about 100 miles away...AND he had been living just a block down the road from me for the past six years!! AND...I had a crush on him in high school and the summer after our senior year we met at a party and made out! He gave me a hicky!

    A detective from the CT State police came this morning to look at my yearbook, which has a picture of him and some other info that they wanted. HOW WEIRD IS THAT?

  12. There is something to be said for the wisdom of the ages (aging) but i can't think of what it is.

    I'm glad you got together. Dripping wet 135lbs. Hopefully there won't be any tornadoes in his path in future or he'll be flying through the air with the greatest of ease.

  13. The photo of the 2 of you is great. You both look so happy, it's obvious you both were glad to catch up with each other.

    We have to paint our living room but we've been postphoning it for 2 years now. I hate doing this kind of work (well actually R. does all the work) but I don't like things get messy.

    Funny fact (and totally irrelevant :) ) I work at the Dutch version of Home Depot :)

  14. What a great story! It reminds me of my grade school boyfriend. Yep, I "dated" the same boy from 4th grade to 8th grade - I ended up going to public school, and he went to a private high school. Needless to say, we just went our separate ways after that.

    Fast forward to a couple months ago, I am on facebook, which I rarely go on (I need to embrace social media, but I am not there yet!). Anyway, a window pops up and says "hey, you have been the topic of conversation the last week in my house."

    Yep, it was grade school boyfriend Bob, and he has twin 13 year old boys who were asking him questions about his first kiss and first girlfriend. Of course, they couldn't believe that our first kiss was at the age of 9, but it was. He and I remembered everything as if it were yesterday, from the bracelets he used to bring me back from his spring breaks to Florida.

    And I wish I could paint, but I've been banned - Tony always ends up hiring a professional after I've had my turn!

  15. Awww, meeting up with an old school friend, what a beautiful story. There are definitely friends from school I would love to catch up with again, even though at the time I believed I had very few friends. I was very shy at school, even though we never moved around!

    (Come to think of it: I'm still shy!)

  16. What a great get together! Time sometimes doesn't change anything, you know?

  17. How FUN to reconnect with an old friend. Love reading this story! Have a great day Helen!!

  18. what shelley said
    the eyes of a true friend and when you love someone from your core---you never ever see the external.

  19. Awwwww! I had a similar reunion experience a couple of weeks ago, and I still get a glowing feeling inside when I think about it. I'm so happy for you and Dave. Yay Facebook for reviving long-lost friendships!