The time the mauve paint horrified the Manse Committee

mauve paint

What story could some small splotches of paint on a vintage linoleum floor possibly tell? As it turns out, a story that yours truly knows. Read on…

I know what you’re thinking. Really, I do. You’re thinking, “How much self-indulgent piffle can this woman turn out, writing not once but twice about splatters of colour that she finds on old linoleum floor mats?” But it’s my blog, you see. I can write what I like!

So yeah, tonight I’m going to tell you about my second discovery of a few small splotches of colour on a vintage linoleum mat here at the Manse, and all the memories it brought back. (The first such discovery, which was in the bedroom that my sister and I shared when I was growing up in this house, was of a few drops of purple nail polish that my early-teenage self once spilled while doing my nails, somewhere around 1973. You can read about it here.)

This most recent discovery, made just a couple of days ago, was in what I suppose is the Manse’s master bedroom – not that any of the bedrooms in our Victorian house is anything close to what one thinks of as master-bedroom size. It is the bedroom that Raymond and I use now, and that, when I was growing up at the Manse, was my parents’ bedroom. And that’s where we come to tonight’s story.

At some point relatively early on in my family’s 11 years in this house back in the 1960s and early 1970s, it was decided by the all-powerful Manse Committee of the pastoral charge of which my dad was the minister that the walls of my parents’ bedroom needed painting. Now, any move toward home improvements by the always-careful-with-its-money Manse Committee (in this regard it was like all Manse Committees everywhere, I believe; churches are reluctant to spend money on the homes where their ministers live, perhaps thinking – with some justification – that what suits one minister and his/her family may be hated by the next ones to come in) was a cause of great rejoicing by my mother the minister’s wife. And she was quite delighted when the committee invited her to choose the colour that the bedroom would be painted. She instantly responded with what has always been her favourite colour: mauve.

“Mauve?!?!?!?!” was the appalled response.

(I have to say I kind of agree with the Manse Committee on this one. I don’t find mauve objectionable, but I’d rather a bedroom be painted a happier, brighter colour. And really, it is kind of weird as a room-colour choice. Then again, those were the days when avocado green was the ne plus ultra…)

But having extended the offer to choose the colour, the Manse Committee couldn’t very well retract it. So mauve it was, and remained as long as we lived at the Manse. Sometime later – and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it was as soon as when the next minister moved in – the room was repainted the pleasant pale-yellow colour it is today.

mauve splashes

Lots of little mauve drips, or splashes. A sign that the painter was eager to get on to another job, and another colour?

So the other day – why it hadn’t happened earlier in the time since Raymond and I bought the Manse I cannot say – I suddenly noticed some small mauve-coloured splotches and splashes on the floor of the bedroom. And, you know – wow. Just like that, it was 1968 or so again. And I wondered if the dripped paint was a sign that whoever did the painting (I have no recollection of that) was as appalled by the colour choice as was the Manse Committee, and was rushing through the job to have done with the whole business as quickly as possible.

But whatever the cause of the mauve paint dripped all those years ago, I am thoroughly glad that it happened. And that the drips are still there, to be discovered by one of the only people alive who could have known the story behind them.

3 thoughts on “The time the mauve paint horrified the Manse Committee

  1. Wow, what a story! I hope you’ll keep the drips and drops as they are. It’s a nice reminder of your earlier times there (just as the same can be said when you discovered the curtains were still there.) For what it’s worth, I love mauve, and my bathroom is a very pale mauve. So there, former Manse Committee!

    • Happy to hear you say that, Sash! I fully intend to keep those little mauve-paint dribbles (and the vintage linoleum they’re on), but I wonder if Raymond might need some convincing about that…

      • Oh, I’m sure there will be no problem. If Raymond has accepted the curtains, then how could he resist the flooring & paint drips?

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