Sally helps Jeannie paint the living room. They begin opposite sides of the room. Listening to news and music, they work without stopping.
Only when they meet in the middle do they realize Sally used “earth red” and Jeannie used “cloud blue.”
“We used different colors,” Jeannie wails.
“Well, you only need a white wall now,” Sally quips.
Before the wallpaper revolution, parents sometimes agreed to wallpaper a child’s room:
“Stop brushing that end down,” Keith yells.
“Stop yelling at me,” his wife yells back. “That’s just about the 10th time you’ve yelled so loud the neighbors can hear.”
“Wait, I need to pull this end up.”
“It’s crooked at the top,” Teri observes. “We can’t leave it that way.”
“I know that. What do you think I’m trying to do? Now we have to paste it again.”
They lift the fairy tales paper and carry it to the table. Keith begins pasting.
“Stop!” Jeri yells. “It’s torn on one side. We’ll have to cut another piece.”
“Did you drop the string from the corner and chalk like you’re supposed to?” Jeri says. “The piece on the wall seems to be leaning on the dresser.”
Keith wipes his hands.
“I’m going outside,” he says. “I need oxygen.”
Shirley Ramsey, a retired professor of journalism, lives in Norman.