"Yes, but Tony Stewart also thinks I should wear orange T-shirts," I replied. "That ain't gonna happen, either."
Let me explain. During the races, the networks play specialized commercials for the NASCAR market. The tasty Tony Stewart appears in a series of cute commercials for his sponsor Home Depot. (That accounts for the orange.) In one, he's doing a meet-and-greet at a Home Depot when a fan places two paint chips--one green, one gray--in front of him and asks which one is better for a bathroom. Tony opines that while the "Celery Ice" is very popular this year, he prefers the "sophistication" of "Smoke Gray." Of course, his nickname *is* Smoke, because he makes most other drivers eat his smoke, but let's forget about that for a moment.
L'Ailee's bathroom used to be gray. Then I moved in. The only people who look good in a gray room lit by fluorescents have Snow White coloring with gray eyes, like herself. L'Ailee basically used her own beautiful gray eyes and black-and-white coloring as an inspiration for her home's color scheme before I moved in; her wardrobe also revolves around black, red, and various shades of gray. She even initially came to like Kevin Harvick because she liked his car's black-silver-red color scheme and figured she could wear that cap during her first race at an actual track. It works for her.
However, people like me, whose coloring is often described as "golden" by the marketing folks at cosmetic companies, look awful in that kind of light and can never, ever get their makeup right if they're using a mirror in that room. When I visited, I actually went out to the balcony so I could apply my makeup in a hand-held mirror outside, in the natural light! But when I moved, I knew there was no way I was gonna be doing that in the winter, and anyway, I shouldn't have to. So we repainted the bathroom a neutral white. We've been fighting the color wars in our home ever since. I happen to like the blues and greens and aquas that flatter me, and if I'm accused of using my own blueish-greenish eyes that change color depending on my mood and clothing as an inspiration, well, I'm peace with that.
So that commercial comes on, and everyone who was gathered in our living room to watch the race knows that backstory. She grinned sharkily when she heard Tony Stewart express his preference for gray in a bathroom, and when she turned to me to drive the point home. Everyone giggled at the ensuing discussion.
"I am just saying, he has good taste," L'Ailee said.
"That's what the scriptwriter had him say. Anyway, I really don't care." And then I said something genius. "I wouldn't keep the bathroom gray for *you*, and you're way hotter than he is."
She looked very surprised for a second, then burst out laughing, covering her face.
"You killed that one dead!" one of my friends declared. "Good one!"
L'Ailee looked up. "You don't understand. I had points ready, and what is that, responses to points?"
"Rebuttals," I interjected unthinkingly. I'm always supplying her with the word she wants.
"I had those and I was ready to debate, but I was not ready for that!"
I grinned, probably as sharkily as L'Ailee had. "That's why I won my school the debate championship, babydoll."
"She's just using cheap flattery, [L'Ailee]!" another friend called out. "Fight back."
"It worked!" L'Ailee exclaimed.
"Anyway, you hated the gray, too," I pointed out to that friend. "So hush up."
L'Ailee kissed my cheek and addressed the room. "She *is* good at debate!"
That was really the highlight for us. Tony's lead in the championship points narrowed. We like Carl Edwards and his smile and his backflips, so it didn't hurt to see him win, but we didn't like seeing him get closer to Tony (me) and put "Flyin'" Ryan Newman further back in the points (her). And then she decided that she could TiVo the "Law and Order: Criminal Intent" movie to watch on her day off tomorrow, which freed her to do what we will henceforth, for a few weeks, be referring to as "physical reward challenges." (After Survivor last week, Mom kept calling, and then she demanded to know what I had been doing on Friday when I called back, and that was my response. Mom will be less inquisitive for at least a month, which is a good thing because we'll be staying at a hotel close to her for Thanksgiving.) Winning-driver "physical reward challenges" will be coming up in the next couple weeks, we hope, and then it's on to those wonderful wintery because-there's-no-race-on-and-we-just-wanna-snuggle-under-the-blankets "physical reward challenges." Routine can be a very good thing.
As for today, I'm just hoping she enjoys her movie. She gets extremely bored when she's got the day off and me and all her friends are working.