Monday, July 7, 2014

Paint and Soul Mates

    Target sells paint now. Not a big paint section, but I was surprised to see it there along with the brushes and rollers and trays that go with it. It's really only that they're featuring this particular brand of paint called Devine Color, a fairly expensive one at that, sold in the store in these odd little 2.6 quart containers (a clever way to avoid the sticker shock of one gallon). Nevertheless, the very limited selection of colors were all pretty and I was interested enough to look up the brand online and their website.

    I nerded out enough looking around on the website that I watched this little one minute video explaining something Devine Color calls Color Discovery Cards. It's basically a white card about the size of printer paper with a square hole or as they say, window, in the middle surrounded by 10-12 dots of paint around said window. You're supposed to look through the hole at the things in your room and look at the different colors from the paint collection around it, seeing what works and what doesn't. Oddly enough, the things said in this little one minute promotional video work strangely well if you think of it as dating advice. You are the room full of your own colors trying to find the right paint, so to speak.

    From the video: "Go back and forth between what you see through the window and the colors you see on the card. You will see colors that easily connect to one another. You will see colors that will emerge that you didn't see before. Or you might see colors on the card that are not in the room, but will surprise you by choosing you."

    I think there's something to learn from these Color Discovery Cards, and from thinking about color in general. Many people like to think about choosing someone to marry as the search for their soul mate, that one perfect person. Instead, I think we should look at it more like finding a paint color, primarily with this point in mind: there's more than one option that works, they just work differently. Different colors bring out different things in a room, and accentuate some things and downplay other things, just like different people bring out different aspects of your personality, and will help you grow or hinder you in different ways. Yes, some work better than others. Some are truly horrible together. But in general, there will be strengths and weaknesses about each choice, not one that is far and away better than the rest.

    And just like with color, whether you're painting, putting together something to wear, or matting a picture,  sometimes things work together that you never thought would work. Not only do I think people believe in the myth of the soul mate, but I also think they get a little closed minded about what will work and what won't. This isn't to say we shouldn't have standards or non-negotiable things that we avoid because they aren't healthy for us, but we need to be open to being surprised. Girls and guys like to create lists of what they want in a perfect mate made up of things that are not really that important. This list, in turn, often fuels the search for the mythical soul mate that will fit the qualifications. These same people will then marry someone completely different from the list because they met someone different from what they thought they wanted and fell in love with them anyway. To go back to paint, you may think you always wanted to paint your dining room a mossy green, and then you hold up the paint samples and you're not that into green. You consider other options, and surprise yourself when the room ends up a vivid teal, and it works!

    Instead of a puzzle piece just waiting for that one other piece that will perfectly fit you, be a room finding a paint color! Or if I quit being so annoyingly/humorously metaphorical, be a person who realizes there is more than one kind of soul mate.

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