You’re renting a spacious, beautiful house that you’ve grown quite fond of over the years. The rent is cheap, the landlord is wonderful, you’ve fixed the place up just the way you like, you couldn’t possibly be more comfortable or happy in any other home. Sadly, your landlord dies, his son is your new landlord, and he assures you he will be just as good a landlord as his father, if not better.
Well, things roll along fine. Then one day you return home from a week’s vacation. Your new landlord is standing in front of your freshly painted house wiping his hands on a rag, and admiring the fine job that was completed just moments before your arrival.
Your house is now purple. A very brilliant purple. Shiny, Barney purple. With orange, yellow, and fuchsia trim. You want to cry. (Go ahead. I would. I’m glad I don’t live there.) You’re speechless. Your landlord, on the other hand, is literally quivering with excitement and pride. You smile/wince, quietly thank him, and comment that you are grateful that your house will be easy for your dates to find. You slip inside your front door, drop your bags, and bawl your head off.
Several boxes of tissue later, the shock has worn off. The redness has disappeared from your nose. You’ve gathered yourself, and begin to formulate a plan, everything short of moving, which is out of the question. You could “accidently” burn the house down. (No, you love this house. That would be a waste. All the things you care about are inside it.) You could pray for a tornado that might strip the house of all its paint. (Fat chance.) You could plant many trees around it and fertilize them hourly. (That would take too long.) You could wear a disguise. (Except everyone already knows who you are and where you live, Hello.) You could offer to repaint the house at your expense. (You’re really going to spend all that money painting a newly painted house?) You begin to accept it, and tell yourself, “It’s only cosmetic. The inside, where I really live, is still the same. I don’t have to look at it… much. It’s the same house, the same safe, comfortable place I come home to, and the rent is still cheap. The landlord, aside from the fact that he’s a color blind lunatic, is still nice, and he is kind of cute…” (You see where I’m going here?)
So, you continue life as you knew it, or something somewhat close to that. You patiently answer children’s innocent questions, and constantly reassure them, “No, this is not where Barney lives.” You tolerate the blatant stares, the occasional snickers, and rationalize that if they really knew who lived inside, the color of the house wouldn’t really matter. You live on the inside, not seeing the outside like everyone else does. And from the inside looking out, everything is the same. You have the same likes and dislikes, the same talents, the same sense of humor, the same tastes, the same personality, the same fears and insecurities, and the same friends and family. You are still the same person. Only the outside of where you live is different. Not bad, not ugly, just different.