My father refused to let my mother paint their house pink

Tracey Folly

*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events as told to me by my mother, who experienced them firsthand; used with permission.

He let his sister choose the color instead, and my mother is still mad about it.

My parents bought their first home in the 1960s.

It was a three-story, three-family house in a residential neighborhood. The house had a long driveway with a four-car garage in the back, and it was painted the ugliest shade of drab olive green.

My mother loved everything about her new house except the color. That was okay. The house was badly in need of a fresh coat of paint anyhow.

So my father told my mother he would paint the house any color she wanted, and my mother chose pink. To her surprise and delight, my father agreed to paint the three-story structure pink, just as my mother had asked. He told her he would bring home pink paint color chips after work so she could select the perfect shade of pink for their new house.

When my father got home from work that night, he brought along the paint samples. They were all shades of olive green.

My mother was very disappointed and said, "I thought you were going to bring me pink paint chips like I asked."

"My sister said we should just match the same color that's already on the shingles," he said. "She said pink is a silly color for a house. Besides, it will be easier because I won't have to prime it first."

My mother was furious, but she said nothing. She had already grown accustomed to not getting her way.

Instead of painting their house pink as promised, my parents painted it olive green, just like the ugly color already on it.

My mother has been mad about that ever since. To this day, she brings it up whenever she sees a pink house or an olive green one.

She frequently talks about the time my father did not let her choose what color to paint their house.

To this day, my mom is still fuming about how badly she wanted a different color other than green for her house and how she never got her pink house.

I can't say I blame her.

My mother got another chance to have a pink house when they purchased their current home in the early 1990s. It was thirty years after the incident with the olive green paint. This time, my mother said she wanted to paint the house yellow, and she got her way.

I'm surprised she didn't choose to paint it pink. Maybe the idea of a pink house left an unpleasant taste in her mouth after the incident with her sister-in-law so many decades ago.

Today, we all live in a cheerful yellow house by a lake, and my mother never has to live in a dreary olive green house in the city again.

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