Tuesday, February 14, 2012

unwanted milestones

So tomorrow is my 30th birthday. I had very fond notions of doing some sort of quasi-pagan rain-dance type celebration nude on top of a mountaintop at midnight, commemorating the end of my fertility treatments for good.

But because I didn't get my act together last year and was distracted by things like moving and the home-purchase transaction from he!!, I was way behind on the six months of HCG shots I promised myself I would take before my "retirement." At the end of 2011, I got my act together and started actually working on taking the shots for consecutive cycles (if they can have a cumulative effect, which apparently they do in other people, I really ought to try to take them straight in a row). I just finished my fifth overall and third consecutive round of them (today is p+11), so I'm not going to be able to retire for another month. Among other things, this totally ruins my available answer to "What are you doing for your birthday?" I feel I could really knock off the "Oh but we have to celebrate!" lunacy if I could say that I was engaging in a pagan ritual to say goodbye to my fertility. (What do you think? Effective?) As it is, the explanation would be way too long, so I've just said that I will not speak to anyone who attempts to celebrate at/for/with me, which is far less effective because apparently people will not shut up.

I know I was a baby in the IF blogosphere when I started my blog (at 26) and I mean no implication that those of you who have already turned 30 have your lives entirely over. I assume you all understand this. Presumably some of my IRL friends (especially the single girls) who are over 30 find it difficult and/or offensive to understand my lack of desire to celebrate my birthday. But it's more complicated than being "old." I was married at 23. I was going to have five kids by the time I was 30. Now I need to schedule an OB/GYN appointment for the end of March so I can go on depo, which is really just a stalling tactic for a few years before I have a hysterectomy and turn in the biggest dreams I ever had for my life. I understand the crosses of women who are 35 and single are significant, but even though I am married, my complaints aren't petty. These may be the only ones I have that aren't "first-world problems," in fact.

My husband, at least, has acceded to my demands not to have ANYONE celebrate ANYTHING (principally because for several years he has insisted this himself). This is probably aided by the fact that as of 2AM this morning, I had come down with a stomach bug that kept me home from work and may do so again tomorrow. (Happy 30th birthday, me!) I've stopped vomiting, and for a few hours now I've kept down a bowl of cereal, a small piece of chicken, and an orange (and some ginger ale and tea), but I really don't feel it would be prudent to try anything heavier, and earlier today I came very close to blacking out in the bathroom. I'm especially frustrated because I've spent a whole day at home and there's an extensive list of things I'd like to get done, and I really haven't been able to do any of them. But I've offered up all the unpleasantness for my still-childless friends and those with gravely ill children. After spending so many years contemplating a permanent and worsening illness, a temporary one really seems like nothing. (So I guess that's not much to offer up. Sorry, guys.)

Moving on, therefore, to my far more consuming first-world problems, with which I hope you can help me: what color do I paint my hallway?

It's a two-story hallway, and thus one of the largest paintable surfaces in the house. Two of the bedrooms, the full bath, the dining room, and the living room open onto it, so the room-to-room "reveal" will be key in picking a color. In fact, if I were smart, I would have picked that color first, but I had so many more ideas about the other rooms, and so many of them were painted such awful colors that they got done first. The living room is medium gray and our bedroom is very light gray; the dining room has yellow-on-yellow damask wallpaper; but the second bedroom is intensely green (I had to color-match it to the wallpaper. I kind of like it, though). So things that go nicely with the first three rooms tend to go poorly with the fourth.

First I decided that I needed to find a color I hadn't done yet, and needed to start somewhere to find inspiration. So I found the Miller Paint historic reproduction colors palette at colorcharts.org, and perused it. I decided I liked Hawthorne Green, which appears (online) to be a color at the exact intersection of blue, green, and gray. I have blue, green, and gray, but none of that intermediate color, and I thought it would look lovely in the hallway. I then settled on Behr's pretentiously-named "Contemplation" as embodying all the things I liked about the color:

At the same time, I realized that I might not be branching out enough, and that there was significant potential for "Contemplation" to clash hideously with the green bedroom. (It does.) So I also got some color swatches in hues of taupe with significant pink or violet undertones - I don't have any purple on my walls yet. I got a sample of Behr's "Down Home," which is a nice color:

It goes better with the green bedroom by far. On the other hand, it's kind of an out-there choice from my point of view, and while "Contemplation" gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling, "Down Home" feels a little more edgy, and I am afraid that in a few years I might grow to hate it (and that a subsequent owner of the home would truly loathe it). So then the other day I was struck by inspiration. I want the hallway to be a really pale color; while it has a few windows, it's somewhat dark, and the current battleship gray feels oppressive. I want it to feel airy. So: what if I went for a super-light tint of the green color in the second bedroom? If I start by working around that color, I know it will "go." And I think the green would go with the two grays and the yellow wallpaper. And it's a pleasant, non-upsetting color. And while I'm trying to branch out, I only have one green room so far, whereas two are gray, two spaces are blue, and two will be yellow. I believe Behr's "Fairway Mist" (horrendous name) is the shade I'd need.

But here is my major concern: is it a color that's super-trendy right now? If so, in five years I'm going to hate it. I'm pretty sure that none of the other colors I've used is at the epicenter of any current trends. Light blue, light gray, butter yellow, and grass green have been around a long time, and will stick around. I hope.

What do you think?


  1. Personally, that last color is a little too pastel and bright for me. I do like it, but I would fear I'd grow tired of it after a year or so.

    You may not be celebrating today, but I am. Cuz I am extremely happy you were born :)
    Happy Birthday, friend!

  2. I'm with TCIE...it's a pretty color but I do agree that I'd probably get tired of it after a few years. Would a light mocha color go well? It might be a ridiculous suggestion...since I'm not there to look at the colors and have a hard time visualizing things like this.

    And I hope that, despite the stomach bug and lack of pagan rain dance, that you do still have a good bday. I agree with TCIE, I'm happy you were born too. :)

  3. Oh my gosh, Happy Birthday! Like TCIE, I will celebrate you in my own way. I'm very sorry you're sick, throwing up sucks no matter what the reason. I think my 30th birthday was important given that's the same year I paid off my student loans; always a reason to celebrate.

    You are a brave, beautiful soul! The blogosphere wouldn't be remotely the same without you.

  4. I love love love the first color, but since it clashes with the green, I vote for the second one, "Down Home". It has a nice neutral feel to me, without being boring. I think the third one is way too bright to not get annoying after a couple years.

    What about a reddish color. I think that would complement the grays and yellows and maybe the green, depending on the shade of it.

  5. Happy Birthday! I'm glad you were born too!! :)

  6. I really like the gray. We painted our house very trendy colours for the time and almost seven years later I still love it.

    Happy belated birthday. I hope your belly is feeling better.

  7. Urg - I got confused about the days in your post (stupid time difference) and it looks like I missed your birthday - which happens to be the same as my sister's.
    So instead I am being mindful today (may I do that instead of celebrating?). Ich freue mich, dass es Dich (seit 30 Jahren!) gibt.

    And now to all but totally echo TCIE's post, fairway mist is "mint" or pistacheo and contemplation is the color I should have painted our bedroom. Has mint become super trendy? If it has, there could be advantages to living so far from the States. On the other hand, I agree that another gray space might not be the best way to go.

  8. Belated birthday (I didn't add "happy" out of respect but I do hope that it was surprisingly happy). I like the contemplation color but it happens to fall in my favorite color/hue/shade/saturation family.

  9. The last color is nice, I think. I think it would depend on the accent colors you put with it and what kind of furniture, etc. on whether it has staying power. I wouldn't call it trendy, anyway.
    And Happy Birthday! I know you weren't keen on celebrating, but I hope you had an enjoyable day nonetheless. I found 29 to be excruciating, but 30 to be just...meh. I, too, was married young (at 22) and planned on having 4 kids by the age of 30, so when I turned 29 and I just KNEW that I wasn't going to pop out even one kid by 30, I just lost it. 30 came around and I had already grieved...so it didn't strike me as hard as I thought it would. I don't plan on keeping track anymore, but maybe 35 will hit me hard, too. We'll see...

  10. Happy birthday, my friend! Welcome to the other side of 30. I understand how hard this milestone is....I spent all of 29 dreading it. Now that it has come and gone, 30 hasn't been so bad....but I am not really looking forward to 31. 30 at least was JUST BARELY in my thirties....thirty-one seems so much solidly there. And still no babies, despite a long time trying. I wish you a happy day, one with no vomiting, and only minor heartache. Big hugs from the other side.


  11. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  12. I like the green!

    Happy belated birthday! I hope you were well enough to do something good for yourself. I didn't love turning 30 at all. Now at 36, I have to say that 30 seemed so young! :) Guess it's all based on your perspective... Sending you love!

  13. I am awful with picking colors...that said...I would have to see what ALL the other rooms already look like.

    I can't go off of squares. UGH.

    I am glad you were born too!!!

  14. At first glance, I liked the green. But I do think that I would get tired of it since it does have a sort of pastel/springy/fresh look, sort of like this stairway: http://www.bowerpowerblog.com/2011/11/go-ahead-and-stair/

    What about a darker blue? Almost like an ink or navy color? I know it would be bold and dark, so if you don't have a window (or at least a good source of artificial light) it might end up tunnel-like as you climb the stairs. I do find dark colors can work well, especially when broken up with a gallery wall. I actually like how they did the gallery wall in the post I linked to, though it seems like that style of frame and art would be too modern for your home (just speculating). But some art with white mats would break up a strong color and lighten up a dark hallway. Bead board/board and batten would also do that (I wish I had a home where such wonderful things would make sense...)

    Ok I just re-read and noticed you said you want the hallway to feel airy. Dark blue is not exactly airy. The only other color that comes to my mind is something in the orange family. I know that sounds crazy. But think of Autumn colors-something muted enough to compliment the intense green, but with enough distinction to work with the greys. For the yellow damask, it's hard for me to envision because I have no idea what the yellow is like (bright and sunny vs more golden, etc).

    I'm going to end this less than helpful comment now. Let us know what you decide!

  15. Happy Belated Birthday! I dreaded turning 30. Now I dread turning 31 in a few months. I understand not wanting to celebrate.
    I'm a horrible paint selector, but I like the first shade of green in the picture ... "Contemplation"? I can't wait to see the color you pick! You have amazing taste!