Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Purple Door

This column orginally apppeared in the Norton Mirror in 2003.

Early on in the relationship you are the Man of the House, the King of your Castle, the head of your family.

Then you come home one day, and your front door is purple. And now the world knows what you in your heart have known for some time. The King is dead. Long live the Queen.

Although most of my friends and acquaintances say it happened many years ago, for me official confirmation of my demise as pretender to the throne of my household came this weekend. Up until Sunday afternoon I was clinging to the pretense of power, putting up a solid front for the rest of the world. But now the symbol of my emasculation is emblazoned upon the front of my once revered domicile – that damn purple door.

It began last week, when my wife asked me (in that sly way that wives pretend to ask) what I thought about changing the color of the front door to our house. I reacted in typical male fashion. I told her there was nothing wrong with the color it was now, that I liked that color, and I did not want it to change. In my mind, thus endeth the discussion.

Then she asked me a trick question. She asked me what color our front door was. I scoffed at her ridiculous question, ignoring her knowing smile. I hemmed, I hawed, but she was not to be denied. I was finally forced to admit that I had no idea what color the front door of the house I have lived in for almost 14 years truly was. Damn those tricky females.

Despite this setback, I was adamant that the color not be changed. She said it was time to change it, and suggested black or purple. She says our house is grey, although the name of the paint color is Federal Blue. She said black would look good, but purple would really look wonderful.

I knew this was the time to stand firm. I said I did not agree, I thought the red (remember – red, I told myself) was the best color. I emphatically stated I did not like either black or purple, and would not grant my consent to such a drastic and outlandish change. It was out of the question, a bad idea, and I would not grant my needed agreement.

My wife looked at me in disgust, and told me I had no taste. It has been the same color for 14 years, she tried to reason with me. It will look classy and you’ll really like it when it’s done, she went on hopefully.

But it was no use. I felt like General Custer the night before Little Big Horn. I was calm, I was cool, and I was confident. The answer was no. Of course, I was smart enough not to state it as an order or an ultimatum. After all, 26 years of marriage had to teach me something.

My wife seemed to take it well. She shook her head, looked a little angry, but went on to bigger and better things. I swaggered off savoring the heady taste of my small victory, secure in the knowledge my red door was safe.

Then came the weekend, and work took me out of town. I talked to my wife several times while I was gone, and she couldn’t have been nicer. I was cautiously optimistic there would be no after-effects from the firm stand I had taken in turning her down flat.

Then Sunday afternoon I got home, turned my car into the driveway, and stopped short. There, glaring down at me like a maniacal giant jar of jelly, was my newly-painted purple front door. It was mocking me, and I knew in my heart I deserved it.

Oh, I went in and made the rather pointless complaints. I asked her why she painted the door after I said no. Her answer was simple and complete.

“I told you I wanted to do it”, she said.

I’m now telling people the purple door was my idea.

4 comments:

Cape Cod Gal said...

Ah ha! Here it is! I'm so adding you to my link. This is where Aaron gets it from! You are damn funny!!!

Bill Gouveia said...

Thanks CCG! And I love your blog, and will link it here too!

Lola said...

Oh, you poor, delusional man. You should have gone for the black. She gave you a manly out, and you didn't take it. I saw that purple door coming a mile away!

Love your blog, big daddy!

Bill Gouveia said...

Lola, some of us just never learn. Look at my son! He STILL thinks he has a say in things!