There’s a strange closet in my new house. It was probably originally meant to be your typical under the stairs closet, but somewhere in 50 years and 9 owners it morphed. Someone put a phone jack in there and changed the door to a divided light glass door, not unlike what you see in an old phone booth. Then in the back, there’s wood paneling and an extra half door where the closet wraps around; At first glance looks like a fancy child’s lemonade stand.
Being fond of quirky details myself, I decided to go with it. I bought an old fashioned rotary style pay phone, and agonized over whether to paint the door Superman red or Doctor Who blue. I couldn’t decide, so I enlisted my facebook friends in the great debate and a search for enlightenment. That didn’t help at all. It was a pretty even split. Half wanted red, half blue. The folks who wanted red said there wasn’t enough blue in my living room (there is actually tons of it) and the folks who wanted blue, felt the red was too strong a statement. There were all manners of opinions. Interest in what color I chose peaked to a level usually reserved for a birth announcements, chronic illness, or a death in the family.
At the same time, world news was bleak; particularly in my home state of Texas. News outlets featured the growing migrant crisis and spotlighted parents and children being separated at the border, possibly to never be reunited again, or only after long anguishing waits and lots of trauma. The reunification plan seemed sketchy. So while I was trying to decide whether to paint my closet red or blue, my Republican and Democrat friends yelled at each other back and forth across facebook. I dredged through articles trying to find as much information on a unification plan as possible and found nothing. As usual the feds are scratching their heads, and the yelling escalated.
I had two cans of paint. Red and Blue.
Sometimes there just is no right answer. Should it be red or blue? Am I red or blue? Do I have to choose? Is it possible they could both be right, or both wrong in different ways and if we choose just one, we miss something vital the other could provide. A bit of light perhaps, a different perspective only one could bring.
So I was silent while I thought about this choice. Friends I saw kept asking me what color I chose and I hesitated to respond because the debate in my heart had turned from a simple choice of color, to something more meaningful. The cheerful unveiling and detailed photos I thought I would do ended up being half hearted and unenthusiastic. I sometimes have a hard time sharing things close to my heart. The decision fell flat to my own ears, not because there wasn’t enough to say about it, but because there was too much.
So apologies for my long awaited explanation. Here it is.
I painted my door both colors.
I would have never been comfortable with just red or just blue. Friends, this is isn’t team sports. It isn’t boys against girls, or gays against Christians. It isn’t team red, against team blue. Black or white. Those of you who have chosen the polarization of your perspectives standing 100% behind an extreme party (and that’s all you’ll get as red, or blue) sound completely insane. I won’t choose one.
No sane person believes in abortion up to 8.5 months. No sane person thinks ANYONE should be able to own a AR15, or that healthcare should be completely privatized, OR subsidized. No sane person accuses a racist, while spouting racist remarks. Yet pick a party, then raise your hand because you are guilty. You are either guilty of hate, or hopelessness and apathy. You’re allowing this to happen.
So while the world was fighting, I quietly slid one coat of paint after another over my door and thought about this. Today the inside is red and the outside is blue. I love it. Both colors bring value to my home in different ways. I hope you like it too.