This is what you see in our new home when you walk up the stairs from our living room. You can’t tell because the image is flattened, but if you turned right (instead of walking into the pink wall), you’d then begin up the second set of stairs leading to the second floor.
We wanted the wall of the stairway pink—and by Gumby, that’s the way our extremely intense Korean house painter, Eun Koo Kang, painted it.
Eun Koo, as it turns out, is a Seriously Devout Christian–which means, for instance, that he isn’t free to work Sundays, since he spends literally all day at church. Commendable man of faith!
Eun Koo also comes fully charged with all of the testosterone a man can process without actually turning into the Incredible Hulk. A true artist at his trade, Eun tried to hide his consternation at our having chosen to paint a perfectly good wall in our new home pink. But he failed at that.
“No, no,” he finally burst out brusquely. “Pink is not the color you want here.”
“But it is,” said my wife Cat. “That’s what we want. Pink. Right on that wall.”
Cat’s a petite, extremely good-natured woman. But you don’t mess with her about stuff like this. Eun Koo practically Tae Kwon Doed us out the door, he was so disgusted by our lack of color propriety. But finally he resigned himself to painting our wall pink.
Ever since I’ve been wondering what, exactly, Eun thought as he applied the first stroke of pink upon the wall that only moments before he had, in a final effort, encouraged us to paint, “Any color not crazy.” I figure one or some combination of the following went through Eun Koo’s mind as he applied that first stroke of glowing pink to our wall:
1. “What is wrong with eggshell? It is perfect.”
2. “I miss Korea. We’re such a sane people.”
3. “Why does the man allow his wife to tell him what color to paint the walls? He is weak.”
4. “I should dress in a little girl’s skirt while I apply this ridiculous color.”
5. “They will never know that beneath this paint lies the Korean characters for “God Is Outraged!”
6. “This actually looks kind of nice. I was wrong to show my condemnation. Humility is the key to grace. I must remember.”
7. “Come to think of it, what do I care? It’s their money.”
8. “The husband does have an engagingly animated, very expressive, almost manically creative way about him. Maybe he’s fegulah.”