Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Squint-eyed Woman

When a simple paint job goes wrong

I visited a friend, Marie, and noticed with surprise that everyone in her family was unusually polite and quiet. On my usual visits everyone was laughing, teasing each other and her ten years old son, Brian, was running around in one of his many hero costumes.

That day the tension was thick as honey in their home. We sat around the coffee table and had a light chat about everyday things. Brian sat close to his father on the couch and acted like a little angel. I felt the brewing tension ready to erupt, and I was frantically searching for an excuse to shorten my visit.

Marie sat across from me with a plotting cat expression and distant smile on her face. Once in a while she darted angry looks at her husband and son that lasted only for a fraction of a second.

When Marie went out to the kitchen to put on coffee, Brian whispered to his father, "Dad, we are in big trouble."

"I know, son! There is nothing more dangerous in the whole world than a squint-eyed woman . You never know if she's going to forgive you, or she's planning your slow and painful death, until she comes to her final decision."

"What happened? What's wrong?" I asked.

"Well, we painted the kitchen while Marie was at work and we got a little carried away. We had such a great time and we even cleaned up by the time she got home, but as soon as she saw it, the silent treatment began. I'm in big trouble." Peter sighed.

I stood up and went out to the kitchen. Marie silently looked at me with murderous look in her eyes, lifted her arm and pointed at the walls that was dark blue with big, yellow stars painted all over it.

Trying to hide a laugh I managed to say, "They meant well Marie, give them some credit for the effort."

"Oh, I will give it to them alright! They will pay for this for a long-long time. I specifically told them vanilla color, and look what they did! I'm gonna... Oh, I'm going to..." she yelled with daggers in her eyes.

"Okay girlfriend, we're going to the movies." Marie opened her mouth to protest, "Go get ready, no objection!" I ordered her firmly, so she turned and went upstairs.

In the living room I told Peter, "I know you meant well, you had your fun too, but now to the store you go to get the vanilla color paint. You will paint the walls and clean up the kitchen by the time we get home. Otherwise, you two will stay in the doghouse for a long time."

The boys looked at each other, they stood up and stormed out the front door.

Marie wasn't a good companion that night. I struggled to get her her mind off her kitchen wall but she just sat there quietly as if she was plotting the punishment of her husband. A few hours later when I drove her home, Peter and little Brian were anxiously waiting in the living room. Marie walked into the kitchen and I was right behind her.

The kitchen was spotless and the walls had a fresh coat of vanilla color paint. The next day, with Marie's approval, they painted Brian's room blue with yellow stars.