The doorbell rings at 9 a.m. I had no idea we have a doorbell. I feel so middle-class.
You must remember that for a night person, 9 a.m. is somewhere around 3 a.m. Mo isn’t budging. Luckily I slept in my clothes (don’t ask), so it’s an easy transition to the door.
It’s the UPS guy. “Amanda?” he asks. “Yes,” I assure him. UPS guys are in a hurry. I guess they are not particular about gender.
It’s a spectacularly heavy box. I know something is up when Mo, who generally takes about seven hours to wake up, is suddenly right behind me with bright eyes.
She explains this is her Christmas present from me. You have to understand that Mo gets a LOT of Christmas presents from me. I appear to be a very generous Christmas kind of guy.
She grinds coffee for about 10 minutes, carries over a 120-ounce cup, and opens the box. It’s paint.
Tube after tube after tube of oil paint. I have no idea how much cadmium is involved, but I make a mental to be nice to her forever, or noon, whichever comes first.
She pores over them with the adoration that normal people reserve for a new box of running shoes. By normal people, of course, I mean weirdos.
I think back to my childhood years and the joy of opening a new box of 64 Crayolas. Bliss. Mo is lucky enough never to have outgrown that joy.
She tries to explain the subtleties. She has several shades of white. I don’t get it. White is white. No, she says. There are many different whites. I’m clueless. I mentally substitute Jack White and Betty White, and I guess it makes sense. Of course, now I will be mentally body-painting Betty White to the soundtrack of “Icky Thump” for the rest of the day. Oh, well. The sacrifices we make for art.
But she’s really, really happy, and you can’t put a price on that. OK, maybe $340.04. But still.
She proudly displays a huge tube of blue. She’s been out of blue for a while, the victim of an endless series of seascapes. Did I mention we live next to the Gulf of Mexico? The paucity of the blues in our household has resulted in a recent series of paisley seascape scenes. Interesting in a ’60s sort of way.
She declares she now has enough blue to paint here for a year. She warns that after that we will have to move. I assume to someplace where the landscape is paisley.
I smile and agree.
And make a mental note for what to buy her for Christmas next year. And to avoid meatloaf for the next few months. Just in case …