I've got the Blues...

A few years ago, just days after my March birthday, I was in the mood for some spring cleaning.  It was actually late in the afternoon, but I'd walked into my laundry/utility room and I had had it!  It was such a mess!  Of course, I blamed most of the mess on my husband.  My husband, while a wonderful and sweet other half is a pack rat.  I may or may not struggle with that, but I was tripping over HIS mess in MY laundry room! Of course, the log in my eye seemed much smaller than the speck in his. 

I quickly began hurling the mess and insults into piles of keep,toss, and "I'm glad no one is listening".  I couldn't believe how ridiculous his level of unconcern had been for my happiness. He would not toss out some of his "stuff" that he might "use" someday for my sanity.  Parts and pieces, a basket of old t-shirts, paint, a fireman's ax my dad had just given him.  No, my husband is not a fireman, it was a "cool old ax head that just needed a new handle!".  So my father, also a man who appreciates the art of a unique find, replaced the handle, polished it and yes, it was also in my laundry room.  I moved it out of the way and into a small space that was between my washing machine and a counter.

My task was coming to an end.  The dimming of the sunshine into dusk was my cue that dinner needed to be made.  I turned and "arrrgh!" That stupid basket of old shirts and rags that continued to be in my way was the last straw.  I was going to throw those useless things away!  Every last one of them!  My complaining about my husband had become a verbal smog and the fumes of it were probably drifting throughout the rest of the house.  Finally, as I was bringing all my frustration and cleaning to a close, I bumped into a few items I'd moved out of the way and had intended to move to the shed.  Clank.   Fizz.  Hiss.

There are moments when a sound hits your eardrum, sends the message to your brain and your brain is searching all memory files to find a match. That was one of those moments.  Snake? No match.  Broken pipe? No match.  Hissing spray can that lost it's spraying mechanism, rendering full can of whatever completely useless? Match!  Yes, spray can of blue paint!  I saw it, but the cap was still on. Strange, but why the noise?  Within seconds, the fog of my complaining was outmatched with the paint fog of blue tractor paint.  Tractor paint you ask? Yes, tractor paint for all those blue tractors we need to touch up at a moments notice!

The clank I'd heard was the full can of blue paint falling at the precise angle to hit the ax head, puncture it and allow all the contents to spray out with such force it put the can into a death spin.  What did I do?  What any red blooded woman would do.  I screamed.  I screamed as my mind was trying to process this new experience, I grabbed the can (while screaming) put my finger over the puncture (while screaming) and then realized all that was left was a drop that sprayed out on my fingers when I let go (no screaming, just shock).  It was as if the can spat on me.  It laughed in my face.  Wait, my face?  My feet, I couldn't move my toes.  I couldn't see my toes.  My newly pedicured as a birthday gift from my mom toes.  My flip flops.  My new birthday flip flops.  As a Floridian you have nice, comfortable pair of flip flops that you wear around the house.  They. Were. Blue.

My cabinets-blue.  My washer and dryer-blue.  Parts of my floor-blue.  I stood their frozen as if I was going to hear a live audience laugh and we were going to cut to commercial.  "Mom?"  I hear the hesitant voice of my daughter, who had at least a 20 second delay coming to see what had been the cause of all the screaming.  I could have been slaying dragons! Did they think those sounds were normal coming from the laundry room?  "Turn around" she said.  I turned around and she, trying not to laugh, saw the blue.  Somehow the paint had missed my face.  Shock covered our faces and laughter was put on pause for the moment. 

My thoughts were racing.  Where is my clean up crew?  Wait, I am the clean up crew. This is MY, real life.  I walked out the back door and seriously considered to continue walking down my driveway and never coming back, but I was blue!  I grabbed the water hose, leaving blue hand-prints, which I still faintly see to this day!  I then scolded myself for being so stupid! Water will not clean up the fast drying paint.  I needed something stronger.  I needed paint thinner.  It was around this time that my husband called from work.  Husbands are normally at work or out of town when these exciting events happen at home. ( Wives may or may not imagine their husbands listening to elevator music and being served beverages while laughing it up when we are at home slaying blue dragons!)

"I am covered in your blue can of paint!" I growled words at him through the phone.  "What?!"  he responded.
I proceeded to tell him that I was cleaning HIS mess and HIS paint and HIS ax....
"Get my new can of mineral spirits and wipe it up".  Says man, with plan, who is not within arms reach of wife.  He was imagining a small spill.  I quickly found his can of mineral spirits, headed back to the mess and there I saw what I really needed:  the entire basket of old shirts and rags.  The ones I was on the verge of going crazy over just moments before.  That basket I'd been moving out of my way for months.  The basket that had me so frustrated, well now they were going to be used.  "Now you can use those rags you were complaining about" said that still small voice to my heart.  That still, small voice I'd been too busy fussing and complaining about my other half to hear.  I'd not heard His words, "Whatever you do, work heartily as to the Lord and not to men" or "Do all things without murmuring or complaining".

Ouch.  I was rebuked.  I was blue.  I think I may have simultaneously cried and laughed.  I still laugh every time I see the remains of blue specks that I couldn't clean up that night.  The ax still has blue splatter.  My husband felt sorry enough about my botched mani/pedi birthday that he took me back that weekend and I had a do over.  Try explaining all that blue under your nails to the woman who had just done them the week before.  Then try explaining it in another language. She kept giving me strange looks.  Needless to say, I used up every t-shirt and rag in that basket, I got to throw them all away!   

We all have our moments.  Moments that we think no one is listening. Moments we think our way is the best way.  Moments we are not loving our loved ones.  My laundry/utility room got disorganized again, cleaned again, disorganized again....  The struggle is real.  I love my husband and he loves me even when we are blue and unlovable. I probably will get caught up in a fuming fuss at some point in the future, but not before I remember the day, I was singing the blues.  The blues God heard and not only gave me something blue to sing about, but  a use for the old t-shirts.

-Melissa Pyle