Or, Why my husband recently said, "Babe, with you it's never a dull moment."
On Saturday, I painted little kid trains on the wall of a "big boy" room for one of my sister-in-law's friends. On Friday night, I figured I'd go grab some paint on the way home from our weekly CiCi's pizza trip and be good to go. We headed to Wal-Mart (of course) and managed to add several non-painting items to our basket (also, of course). After discovering that the line of pre-mixed paint that I like to use was discontinued about a year ago, Mr. Mandolyn and I decided that we'd have a few pints of paint mixed in the paint department. There was no one at the paint counter (of course) so we took turned looking pathetic and asking other departments to please page someone for us. After almost half an hour, a nice lady from Lawn & Garden came to give it her best shot- she'd only mixed paint once before and it had been six months ago.
It was a bit of a joint effort, but she figured it out and matched the colors perfectly (the machine wasn't one of the new computerized ones). We were all making pleasant conversation as I grabbed the last pint of paint and set it down in the basket. Except that it didn't quite make it. It slipped from my hand with about an inch to go before hitting the bottom of the basket.
And then it happened.
It must have hit with just the right amount of force in just the right spot, because bright green paint EXPLODED. It didn't spill, it exploded. Six feet in the air. Mr. Mandolyn felt drops on the top of his head first. I, on the other hand, felt oozing latex paint dripping down the side of my face and before opening my eyes to observe the scene, thought, "Oh yeah, it's everywhere." And oh, it was. It was splattered all over my face, my hair, my shirt, my jeans, my shoes, my string bracelet, Mr. Mandolyn, the shopping cart, everything in the shopping cart, my purse, my windbreaker that had been crammed in the cart, and the floor at the Wal-Mart paint counter. You could have heard a pin drop. Everyone within sight stood with mouths hanging open. If it was caught on the store camera, I have no doubts it's on YouTube somewhere.
I didn't know where to start. I knew my clothes were ruined. There was just too much to try to race to get it off. Mr. Mandolyn happened to be wearing a shirt that was the exact color of the paint. (We thought he'd escaped relatively well, until we took a look at his undershirt that night. It looked like he'd been in a horrible accident and bled green.) Everyone rushed to help. It came off of my purse pretty well (thank you, $10.45 Sam Moon purse...I knew that purchase would eventually be justified) but everything else was not so lucky.
I could feel the hot tears welling up just from the sheer lack of control over the situation. A very unhelpful employee told the Lawn & Garden lady that she must have not put the lid back on right, although I saw her pound it with the mallet. The same employee also looked at me in disgust as she said, "Um, I need to get past you..." Right lady, and I need to NOT BE COVERED IN PAINT. Deal. I headed to the bathroom to try to save face- from embarrassment as well has from the goo that covered it and tears started to fall. A couple of people looked at me in shock and I answered their wonderment with, "Uh, disaster in the paint department." I pulled myself together, washed myself as best I could, and headed back. Maintenance teams and managers were helping my husband transfer what could be saved into a new cart and grabbing new products as necessary. One manager took me over to the clothing department and told me that they would give me a new outfit. He was so sweet, and was really trying to do the right thing, so I tried on some clothes. I just wasn't in the mood. Shopping for clothes for me is always a stressful adventure and at that point, I didn't want new clothes. I wanted my own to not be ruined. My sweet husband took one look at me and realized all of this and asked if we could have store credit instead. We'd use it to pay for the things we would by that night and he would take me to get new clothes later. No problem, they gladly gave us a gift card.
And then we laughed...because, well, damn. It was funny. We're the biggest thing to happen to that Wal-Mart in a long time. At least we gave countless people a good story to go home and share. We've been telling everyone about it, and so far, everyone has said, "Mandolyn, you do realize that this could really only happen to you, right?"
Oh yeah. I do.