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"Other Colors"
by Orhan Pamuk

by Nathaniel Philbrick

August 28, 2009

Pick a color

”Pick a color,” is what the painter said to me as he handed me his “Paint Color Selector” containing 1,320 paint colors. I have trouble if the menu offers more than two or three things. I don’t like to make choices. I look at the home magazines and see bright colors and think, “That looks nice”. The next magazine might feature pastels and I think “That looks nice”. Wallpaper is making a come back and that is good because both of my bathrooms have some wallpaper although now at least one of them has had holes cut into the wallpaper and the painter said that he doesn’t know how to patch it. Sigh. I guess I will paint over it. Can you paint over wall paper or do I have to take it off? I wanted to save the paper in Mark’s room and turn it back into the antique room but I am going to have to patch it myself, I think. There are five or six areas that need patching. Another sigh.

I looked and looked at colors and remembered all the colors I had considered some time ago when I was painting in the hallway and living room. I finally found a color that was very nearly the same color although it is by a different maker. It is called “Moonlight Maiden”. It is sort of a warm creamy color. The woodwork and doors and trim are all white and it looks quite nice and light and cheerful although it was sort of a surprise to see that is what developed. I actually like it.

Why didn’t I pick something else? One that was suggested by the builder was “Navajo White” and I immediately rejected that. That is evidently the go-to color for new construction and is just off white. So I picked something very close to what I had agonized over and picked before. Just remember, I almost always choose vanilla ice-cream.

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