Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A Floral Reunion

My first instinct upon seeing the upstairs bathroom tub was to paint over the cutsie purple pansies with their yellow throats and overly bright green leaves. The treatment was a little precious for my taste, more Gatlinburg or Branson than Country Living.

Then the mother-in-law and a friend gushed that I just couldn't, and I thought of the work that some unknown soul put into them...and I weakened. I had plenty of other challenges to keep me busy for a while anyway, so I put the decision in the mental percolator and set about unpacking.

But buried in our boxes I found something that made me change my mind about obliterating the pansies--for now. That anonymous folksy artist wasn't the only person who's painted amateurish pansies. That's right, I did, way back in 1991 when I lived in Oregon with an artist for a best buddy who helped me experiment with water colors, among other things. Mine weren't very good either. (OK, so they're not good at all. Watercolors are seriously tricky, people.) Mine were, however, basically the exact same colors, leaves included.

What kind of weird kismet is it that they should match like that? I don't artistically like either my own or the tub's flowers, but I just have to leave them together for at least a while. It's as if they're long lost relatives. Besides, there are lots of tissue boxes with purple on them once you look, and it gives me a place to put my purple bottles that I picked up at Big Lots years ago for 89 cents each and a dish of purple rocks that I bought in St Louis on a trip with my son--the kinds of things that you hold onto without knowing why, until one day you move into a funky house with purple pansies on the tub.

Then again, I'm not sure how much purple I want to introduce into the room nor how long I can live with a flowery tub when my personal aesthetic usually runs toward a simple "paint it white" cottage/beach house/farmhouse look, but for now it just seems meant to be. I'll Let the twin daughters of different mothers bond for a bit while we tackle other projects and I ponder the big question raised by this quirky barn/house: Which wins--my taste or the history? Stay tuned.

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