Looks easy, doesn't it? I carried a little swatch of it to the paint store and started pulling swatches. Only then could I see that this yellow has the tiniest hint of green in it. None of the paint swatches had that same subtle hint of green. I finally chose what seemed the closest. I brought the paint home and in my house the swatch looked drab—brownish yuck. I swiped a bit onto the wall. Mustard, baby poop, harvest gold. I took a deep breath, reminded myself that context is everything and I was painting this over hated baby blue that was casting its icy spell over what I hoped was going to be a change to mellow yellow sunshine, and I worked on.
Once the blue was gone the yellow showed its true character. It is good! And once I could see that, I remembered what I learned from my brief career in interior design. Perfection is a myth and its pursuit is a tyranny. I remembered customers and clients, unhappy people, who suffered over matching unmatchable colors and fretted over microscopic flaws in a wood finish or a small wrinkle in upholstery or the height of a lamp, all of which made me know that was not a world I could ever live in. Perfect rooms and flawless surfaces were not for me and, really, what a superficial and pointless way to spend one's life and gifts. Not that I have anything against a pretty room—it just isn't worth obsessing over.
So, as I painted I did not worry about the little sheet rock imperfections, or the slightly wobbly line where the wall color meets the white ceiling. It will soon be filled with our much-loved, but far from pristine accumulations of furniture and art and god-knows-what and our messy habits of shoes under the bed, and piles of books and magazines, and Kleenex boxes and phone chargers and too many pillows. Martha doesn't live here. It's a place to relax, rest and enjoy and It's all coming together in a perfectly imperfect, and warm mellow yellow way.