A collection of grievances, memories, occasional musings, and everyday happenings

We Still Love You

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And continued:

It was Wednesday.  I was so excited about it. I even wrote a blog on it: Notaworkday Wednesday.  This day was particularly wonderful to me because it was my day off.  My place of employment has its employees work Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (if there’s a wedding), but never on a Wednesday.  Bliss.

My plan was solid.  (1) Attend Senior Bible class.  Take quiz.  Get irritated by other classmate’s opinions.  Attempt to disprove other classmate’s opinions.  (2) Go to Will’s house and finish painting the bed boards.  (3) Finish bed boards in exchange for a “Good job, Holly!” and a kiss from Will (Our relationship isn’t actually founded on whether or not I complete a task well).  (4) Have lunch with Will at his house.  (5) Enjoy my new purple yoga pants.  (6) Get a manicure and a pedicure.

It was a simple and easily flawless plan.

Item #1 was accomplished – I did go to class.  I did take a quiz (I think I did well?).  I did get irritated.  I didn’t disprove (ran out of time), but I did disapprove of other classmate’s opinions.  Half of item #2 was successful (arriving at Will’s house), but the other half was a depressing disaster.

On this day, I was wearing my navy blue TOMS, my new purple yoga pants, and a sweatshirt.  On this day, I chose to paint the bed boards (2) in this outfit.  On this day, I went against the ‘Don’t do it…’ warning in my head and decided I would put the boards on the sawhorse, which was currently located on the back right side of the driveway.  Done deal.

The reason I ignored the little Holly-voice of warning going off in my head was because I had never so much as gotten a splatter of this black stain on my hands.  I’ve always been beyond careful while staining because I don’t want to have to wash my hands and arms in Acetone in order to remove the stain.  It smells bad and I like to be clean.

So there I was – Smiling and humming beneath the sunshine, painting the first board without a single black dot on my skin.  I finished the first board and moved to the second.  From there, I still can’t fully describe what happened.  I don’t know if my hand got tired of holding the paint can and decided to act by its own will in order to relax, or if, perhaps, I miscalculated my grip on the paint can and thought I was holding on well enough to begin painting the last board.  Whatever the cause, the paint can left my hand.

Remember this?  The time Will accidently knocked over brown stain all over his parent’s nicely washed and white driveway, and Chip said he would have yelled at Will if it wasn’t for my presence, and we made fun of Will continuously for months?

Well this is what I did:

“I’ve made a huge mistake.” -©Gob Bluth, statement yelled and confirmed by Holly Greene.

I couldn’t believe it.  One minute I was holding a full can of Classic Black Stain, the next I was watching it bleed onto the driveway.  Panic and dread swept over me, and the only things I could say were, “Uhhh… ummmm!!! What… What do I do?!”

First, I looked at my shoes.  My fabulously worn out TOMS now had a nice splattering of stain on them.  Because TOMS tend to absorb any and all liquid immediately, I took them off.  **Special Note – If you ever spill paint/stain on your TOMS and still need to clean up the paint/stain, don’t take your shoes off.** I then looked at my new purple yoga pants.  Also splattered.  I didn’t take those off though.  I figured spilling black stain and being reported for public immodesty would be too much for my first day off.

Second, I thought back to the last stain mishap.  We used Acetone to try to remove the top layer of the stain.  Bingo.  I ran, now barefoot, to grab the only Acetone can I could find and proceeded to pour it onto the ever persistent spreading of the stain.  This probably would have helped, except that the can of Acetone was in fact not Acetone, but sludge, which was also black.  This brought back all panic.  Not only was the stain continuing to run, but now there was black sludge on top of it, destroying the possibility of Acetone saving the day.  During my panic, Mendy called.  I didn’t answer.  I’d give myself away and she’d know I was up to no good.  I winced, let the phone ring, then continued on.  I tried Paint Thinner, but all it did was create a small white spot through the stain, giving me nothing but false hope.  Water was my last and stupidest idea.  All it did was cause the stain to start spreading in a different direction – down the driveway.  I ran into the garage, grabbed paper towels, and tried to build a paper towel dam so the stain would discontinue its ruin.  The dam worked well enough.

Distraught, defeated, and now black-feeted, I sat myself down in the middle of the garage and waited for the end.  Will would be home any minute.

For the duration of the incident, I never cried.  I desperately wanted to, but I held it together.  I held it together until Will walked into the garage.  His truck pulled up, right to the front of the garage, which was open.  He could see me from the inside of his truck, but of course was unsure as to why I chose to sit on the ground, among all the machinery and garage-things.  He got out of his truck, asked me what was wrong and why my feet were black, and all I could do was point.  At first he didn’t know what I was motioning towards, but then he saw the blackness.

“Oh…”, he said.

When he turned to look back at me, I became like a child who has just fully realized that he or she is in trouble, but is truly, truly sorry.

Only, I wasn’t in trouble.  I burst into tears and told Will the story.  He was so sad that I was so sad, and all he could do to console me was say, “It’s ok!!” over and over and over, and over again once more.  We walked out together and looked at the damage, then at my feet.  Will laughed and spent the next half hour of his lunch break trying to convince me that his dad wasn’t going to disown me as his future daughter-in-law or yell at me when he got home.  I had to walk into the house with paper towels under my feet so the stain wouldn’t be tracked inside.  I showered, but left several black footprints on the shower floor.  During lunch, Will called his dad to explain what had happened.  He began with, “There’s been a small mishap… I uhh drove up to the garage and found Holly sitting on the ground crying, her feet were black…”

I could hear Chip laughing loudly on the other end.

About an hour after the incident, I got a text from my future father-in-law:

“Don’t worry about it!!! I love you anyway!” 

Phew.  Still loved.

The good news is, item #6 (manicure/pedicure) not only happened, but was then a requirement for work purposes:

The bad news is, the Black Stain Incident has now been added to the “HA! Remember when Holly…” list.

And the list will continue to grow.

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Author: Holly

Vienna-based American wife/mom/expat.

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