For those of you wondering why, it has been said that Sir Isaac Newton invented the first color wheel. And it is because of said invention that I wish to go back in time and jam a hot, pointed piece of rebar into his retina and see what kinds of colors come spewing forth.
I worked at Home Depot for over 7 years. 3 of those were spent in the Paint Department. Now, I know what you're thinking. You're guessing that I pulled a lot of ass while mixing paint for the hot college student picking up a can of paint for her new dorm room. Or the lonely, recently divorced MILF who is painting the bedroom a new shade of black to hide the blood stains left over from when she caught her bastard husband banging the aforementioned college chick, and is just looking for a revenge lay. Sadly, the only types I seemed to have run into were the uninterested, solemn, bored housewives who saw the latest episode of Martha Stewart and wanted to paint the room with a crackle finish just because it looked easy. But even still, I did look damn sexy in my orange apron splattered with a multitude of colors from all the paint samples I mixed. I looked HOT!!!
But one day sticks out more than the others. As part of the services we offered, we would color match various items brought into the store. A paint chip, a piece of siding, a shirt, etc. But nothing gave me more heartburn than the angry, bitter, shrill of a woman who wanted her dark green shutter matched.
I looked up at her as she approached the paint counter and put on my best customer service face and smiled warmly as I greeted her.
"Good afternoon, Miss. How may I help you?"
"I would like a can of paint matched to this shutter, please."
"Of course, it would be my pleasure."
I should have run away, tearing all my clothes off and screaming like an escaped mental patient instead.
I put the shutter up to the color match machine and out spat the formula. I mix it, test a sample on a piece of wood and it looked spectacular!!! DaVinci himself couldn't have done a finer job. Too bad it wasn't DaVinci who I was helping.
"Um, that doesn't look like my shutter."
"WHAT????!!!!!!" I proclaim.
"Prey tell, what is it that you gazing upon, because it most certainly is not this magnificent can of color that I have labored over for you, my sweet, sweet, love."
"It's too blue. Can't you make it more green?"
"Miss, if I may be so bold. This is the absolute best that you will get. The color match system is not perfect, nor is it intended to be. But I assure you, looking at this stick side by side with your shutter, this is an exceptional match. No one will be able to tell the difference."
"But I can tell the difference."
So for the next half hour I add some yellow to take out the blue. "No, now it's too yellow."
I add some blue to take out the yellow. "It's too light, now."
I add some green and some black. "Now it's too dark." I think you get the point.
I went through 3 cans of paint and 2 quarts of tint when all was said and done. And each time, it wasn't good enough. I even had other customers come over to judge and they all said the first mix was the best. It didn't matter. Mr. McGoo's long lost inbred sister, Irene was having none of it. I didn't know what to do. Then the light bulb went off.
"Miss, could I speak with you privately for a moment?" She walked over to the back of the counter, an unsure look on her face.
"See, this is awfully embarrassing and I guess I should have brought this up earlier. I am trying the best I can. I love my job and really would hate to lose it over this. Sigh, I'm color blind. My manager doesn't know. If he did, he would fire me. Please don't tell. I will do the best I can to get you the color you need, but please don't say anything. I don't want to have to collect bottles out of trash cans and eat dog food in order to survive if I lost this job."
She must have been a mother, because what I saw in her eyes melted my heart and only a mother can have that look. Such compassion. Such concern. Such yearning to take me in and nurture away my pain. Such a fucking sap.....
"Oh, my. I'm so sorry!!! I had no idea. You know what? Um, this first can is fine. In fact, it's perfect. I'll take it." and she hurriedly grabbed her can and headed for the register.
And to this day, I cannot look at Hunter Green without a slight tear rolling down my cheek.....