There are a few things with, if I am your friend, you’d be wise not to ask me for help. One of those things is navigation. I never know where I am. Ever. And if I’m given a map, I’ll probably start imagining that all of the little rivers on it are actually snakes, and they’re having a snake war, and I’ll be bestowing ranks upon them before their (obvious) eventual battle. And when you ask me, “Okay, do I turn left or right on Constitution Ave,” I will probably respond with a blank look, and “Constitution? Nobody has even SURRENDERED yet!”
Another thing is painting. If I am asked to paint, or if I decide to paint, I will follow a number of very precise steps to paint the room in question:
-Step 1: Push all of the furniture approximately 18 inches from the wall.
-Step 2: Buy blue tape
-Step 3: Leave blue tape in the car
-Step 4: Start rolling giant, inconsistent swaths of paint on the largest wall surface immediately.
-Step 5: Get paint on the carpets, windowsills, windows, trim, furniture and on my own person.
-Step 6: Lose interest 15 minutes later and close the door to the offending room.
It’s not that I don’t care about the end product. It’s that I want the end product to happen around the same time that I choose a final paint color. Like in Microsoft Paint. I’m a product of my generation, and I can’t help that.
When I was 9 months pregnant, my husband made me help him prime two rooms in the basement of our new house. One was a violent, unnatural yellow with black trim. One was a frightening crimson. Your choice of basement bedrooms was basically a hive of enormous bees or The Magic School Bus Visits the Menstrual Cycle.
By the second day of our painting endeavor, the guy who was painting the upstairs floors of the house felt so bad for me that he threw in the basement for basically free. Win-win. And I’m pretty sure my now-born fetus will only fail the third grade once as a result of my primer inhalation.
We just got back from vacation in Pennsylvania and Washington D.C. Lots of fun, lots of food, saw an Obama motorcade progression, and maintained a body temperature of approximately 230 F for a full 10 days. Yay summer and humidity!
While we were gone, a designer and various crews began a total demolition and reconstruction of a new kitchen for us. Our previous kitchen was designed and installed by a man who inhaled much, much more paint primer than my offspring. It was awful. So we had to tear everything out, sell several kidneys and Nordic, college-educated eggs, and pay to have new footprint, new cabinets, new counters, new walls, new backsplash, and new paint colors. When we got home yesterday, our house was still a construction zone. Still is. It may be a while before I can cook anything more involved than “chips” or “Ambien.”
We were kind of at a loss as to what we should do with our non-functional house.
So we elected to paint the upstairs bedroom and make it an office. It’s been shuttered since we moved in, because the paint color looked like what happens to Emmett’s diapers when I let him eat too much dairy in an afternoon. We’re painting it a nice, very light, blue-gray color.
::::::::BACK TO TOPIC OF PAINTING:::::::::::
Chris has a different methodology when it comes to painting projects. He prefers the “remove everything from the room, including smoke detectors, light switches, window coverings, furniture, and oxygen” strategy. He spends HOURS taping, cutting in, adjusting, and cock-blocking my attempts at progress. I brought up a bottle of wine and offered to spectate.
Several glasses of wine into my spectating, I decided to grab a paintbrush and help on the other side of the room. The following verbal transaction took place:
Chris: What are you doing??
Me: I’m cutting in this shit and being helpful.
Chris: There’s no tarp on that side of the room to protect the carpet.
Me: Jesus will protect the carpet.
Chris: I would prefer if YOU would also protect the carpet. Not that there’s anything wrong with Jesus. It just may be difficult to alter physical paint with a metaphysical presence.
Me: I’m going to go write a blog now.
So that’s where we are at this juncture. My kitchen is so non-functional that I have to drink bathroom faucet water, which is brown, but turns out is not brown because of poop in the pipes, but rather because the city is flushing out our fire hydrants. And the office is getting painted rather quickly because Chris is afraid that I will come try to help again.
You don’t want my help. Like I said.
If you need help moving? I’m also a bad bet.
But if you need a multi-layer cake and 200 hors d’oeuvres by tomorrow morning at 7 for a staff meeting that you forgot? Go ahead and call me. I’m great for that kind of stuff. Also great at giving ideas. For free.
If you need help with that other stuff, though, I recommend calling my friend Bex. She’s absurdly good at all of this project business, and she’s the nicest human being alive when you ask her to help. She’ll even stop you when you start doing stupid (efficient) things, like packing a crystal vase with your books and labeling them “things that are heavy” when moving. And if you’re too tired to complete a project, she’s very maternal about giving you a look and saying “you need to finish this today, and when you’re done you can open a second bottle of wine.” Seriously. You guys need friends like her.