We had been wanting to paint the kitchen cabinets for a while now, and that was the perfect activity to take us away from the political noise...
It’s been a distracting week to say the least. Add that to a disruptive seven months and you have the makings of a year we only wish we could forget.
It used to be a presidential election came and went. You went into the booth on the same day most everyone else did, closed the drape behind you and heard a satisfying click when you pulled the lever for your candidate. You walked out and may have watched election results that night on TV. The following day, life went back to normal.
This year, of course, is wildly different. As of Sunday, 45 hours before voting centers opened on Election Day, the Washington Post reported that over 90 million people had voted already in early voting around the country. I was one of the 1.1 million in New York City. I walked the mile to a church in SoHo on Halloween versus waiting for what might be endless lines on Tuesday in my usual polling place down the block.
New York City gave me a dual-purpose pen to use for my hybrid electronic voting procedure. First step, use the rubber tip to sign my name on a tablet as I would on a credit card terminal. Then I used the ink pen to fill in the circles on my paper ballot. I walked it over to a scanner, fed it in and proudly took my “I Voted Early!” sticker. I felt confident the process was secure and accurate, but I miss the tactile satisfaction I used to get from pulling a lever.
As if voting wasn’t enough political participation for the day, I went home, turned on my PC and followed blow-by-blow Twitter accounts of Americans hellbent on disrupting the political process. Facebook was no escape. When I wasn’t being served ads pushing me to vote (if Facebook knows my size, age and gender as evidence by ads I’m served, why doesn’t it know that I voted?), it was full of more reports warning of impending civil unrest.
Elections now are a constant in our lives, one blending into the next. The internet has given the presidential election cycle its own 24/7 news channel — a bunch of them. So much so, that when one of my favorite Washington TV shows, Madam Secretary, had a season involving a presidential election, I lost interest. TV is supposed to be an escape from the day-to-day, not a reflection of the constant drumbeat of the political cycle.
With that drumbeat exploding into a pounding barrage in the run-up to Election Day, my partner, Liz, and I needed a distraction … several really. After all, there’s just so much wine you can consume. And so many Fun Size M&M’s you can pilfer from the plastic jack-o’ lantern for the trick-or-treaters who didn’t materialize in this COVID-plagued year.
We had been wanting to paint the kitchen cabinets for a while now, and that was the perfect activity to take us away from the political noise. Liz came up with a great idea to break up the monotony of our all-white cabinets by accenting them with the color theme of our Villeroy & Boch Twist Alea Caro dishes in little boxes on the cabinet doors. Capital idea with a big-time challenge: getting the colors to match.
Turns out there’s an app for that! I’m not sure which Liz was more excited about — sprucing up the kitchen, or using the cool Home Depot ProjectColor mobile app to match and select colors. To start, we took a picture of a coffee mug with the pattern of seven colors we were looking to match. We selected the “Color Match” tab on the app and placed a pointer over each color square to get the closest match to a Behr paint color.
The app gives three options: what it thinks is the closest match, then a close second and third on either side. It was tricky with the colors from our pattern because the blocks don’t have uniform color. They’re darker in some places than in others, bringing up an entirely different trio of potential matches altogether. We dithered, negotiated and finally settled on the seven colors we’d use as accents for our cabinets. Then I ambled up the street to Home Depot to pull paint chips from the display and take them to the paint man behind the counter for mixing.
Best laid plans…. When I went to snatch seven small pails of the white base paint required to create the colors for our fun blocks, I encountered near-empty shelves. “Covid,” I was told by a salesman, palms up. “My guy didn’t bring in the shipment last week.”
It seems like there’s going to be a lot of that as the holiday shopping season kicks into full gear. More disruption in a year plagued with more than its fair share. Fedex’s website has a fairly dire warning: “COVID-19 has disrupted supply chains globally, and air cargo capacity is extremely constrained….” The shipper is adjusting its services and transit times, including “temporary suspension of FedEx Express Money-Back Guarantee.”
We’d better do that online shopping a lot earlier this year and cross fingers that the supply chain can deliver. Meantime, we’ll turn to the little things to get us through…like a little splash of color.