I've become a pot addict.
No, not that kind of pot. I've never even tried that kind of pot. I stay away from all drugs except Crestor, which shows you the kind of party I am.
But now, I'm addicted to sample pots of paint.
No joke. I can't quit, and it all started so innocently.
With gateway enamel.
Here's what happened. I had just finished writing my next book, and if you're a loyal reader of this column, you know that as soon as I type The End, I have to begin something. And not something that's work, but something that's fun, like painting the family room.
A freshly painted family room is fun for middle-aged women. In fact, a freshly painted family room is orgasmic for middle-aged women.
At my age, sex involves latex. And not that kind of latex.
Anyway, after my last book, I painted the family room and I did it myself. But this time, I had started thinking that my office needed to be repainted, but I wanted it done right this time, which meant by somebody who paints underneath the pictures on the wall.
In other words, not me.
I also wanted to pick the right color, and I've learned from my painting mistakes. If you recall, the shutters on the house were painted yellow, which I hoped would be sunshiny, but turned out bright enough to be a source of solar energy. And it was too expensive a mistake to correct, so I had to live with it.
I've made other expensive mistakes, notably Thing Two, but luckily, I didn't have to live with that one. Divorce is like remodeling your life. It's not a failure, it's a home improvement.
If you can change your family room, you can change your family.
But I digress.
I saw an ad for some high-end paint, and I liked the colors, but since it was expensive, I went online and ordered three sample pots, which is very unusual for me. I think the world divides into test-patch people and the rest of us. By this I mean, do you know those laundry bleaches, skin creams, hair dyes, and other scary things that tell you to test it on a patch of shirt, arm, or hair first?
Well, I never listen.
I go whole-hog, right from the outset. I'm all in, from the jump. I say go for it and let the chips fall, which may be related to the divorce part, but let's not tarry, I'm trying to change my ways. So I got the sample pots and started sampling.
I was pretty sure one of the blue shades should work, but when I got them on my office wall, they were too restful. If I rest in my office, I can't afford to buy pretentious paint.
So the sample pots did their job, but I had three blue stripes on my office wall, which committed me to painting it, for sure. And by the way, I got a little crazy and painted some sample stripes on the second-floor hallway, so now I was committed to that, too. I went back online and ordered four more sample pots of a tasteful tan, then painted four more stripes, but again no dice. They were all too flesh-colored, and they looked like skin walls, which would be fine in Stephen King's office, but not mine.
Still, I was having a blast. It was a rush to paint outside the lines, and the stripes morphed into blocks, blotches, and then swirls. I understood the rush that an artist might get, even though I was just a lady in the suburbs, vandalizing my own hallway.
I went back online again and ordered three pots of reddish shades, but they were too bright, and then I ordered two more greenish shades, but they clashed with the rug, then I went for two more pinkish pots, and before I knew it, I had become a sample-pot addict.
Now, my second floor looks like a demented rainbow, I've spent too much money, and I am no closer to choosing an office color. In fact, I forget the name of the color I almost like, because I didn't write down its name next to the sample blotch.
And I keep dreaming of ordering another few sample pots, of the lavender colors.
One is too many, and a thousand not enough.
Look for Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella's new book, "Best Friends, Occasional Enemies: The Lighter Side of Life as a Mother and Daughter," coming Tuesday. Visit Lisa at scottoline.com.