Friday, August 3, 2012

Men Plan, God Laughs

Or rather, we plan poorly, and God says, "What the hell, guys? That's not the way you do it. Oh, whatever. It's your life...I'm not gonna tell you what to do with it."

Bear was a total sweetheart and pretty much painted the two walls in the livingroom himself, on top of doing the first coat of the stairwell edging, putting together the bed, and moving the drawers for the desk and bureau upstairs in the morning. I was exhausted from my Sunday morning job of playing with and watching over a very rambunctious 3.5 y/o (normally there are more of my "little monsters" at the nursery, but it's been a slow summer), and when I finally got out to the house and took his mom for a tour, I realized how tired I was. Being the champ and sweetest man he is, he told me to turn on the portable air conditioner and take a test-run of the new Queen bed. I slept like a log for 2 hours.

When I finally woke up, he was already on the second wall edging. Good lord, man. Impatience to finish is his forte, and right now it's the perfect fuel to drive the paint-train all the way to Endsville.

We had some pretty tough hurdles this time around, though. Namely, a very bad drywall job from way before our current homeowners. Whoever did this either didn't really care, didn't even know what the heck they were doing, or a bit of both. I'm not sure what's worse. It is compounded by the fact that the current paint is semi-gloss, which is an absolute b!tch to paint over, and the fact that the stairwells are so tall.

Bad drywall. Bad.

Our goal right now, being a bit on the empty-wallet side and not planning through enough, is to just live with it until next summer. Next summer we'll rent some scaffolding and clean up our job with a new gallon of white eggshell paint. I was all for doing it with the ladder and some wooden boards, but Bear must have been recently spoken to by OSHA after our employment of chairs as height-adjusters, because he said that idea was "extremely unsafe and likely to cause injury." Anyway, Bear is shorter than I am, but I still had to paint this with...a paintbrush on a stick. Literally, we taped a paintbrush to a paint-roller extender and I got to it. Can you believe it?!

Yes, you can. Because I did an awful job, regardless of the lumpy drywall base I had to deal with.

Impatience and apathy do not mix well.

At this point, even with the fan downstairs running, it was murder-my-child hot. I was soaked in sweat, dribbled in paint, doused in frustration. And I. Did. Not. Care. I was at the end of the rope with patience for such an awful drywall job that a frothy-mouthed Lewis Black was made to look like a calm, reasonable saint. I was dizzy, hungry, tired from my job in the morning, and fed up. By the end I was cursing loudly and wildly waving the paintbrush stick around with enough chutzpah to send Bear up to check on me. We did two coats and said, "Hell with it. It's done for now. There's always next summer. The color is up within reason, and that is good enough."

Onto the livingroom. God just shrugs his shoulders at this point. And laughs. I'm pretty sure a higher power has a great sense of humor after watching humanity for hundreds of thousands of years.

The ceilings in the livingroom are 10 feet tall, and the walls are coated with some odd, textured crud. We were certain after Bear painted one wall that this would take two coats minimum. We were certain that "We have made a huge mistake" in buying only one gallon. Luckily, now that we've sold off some more furniture we can afford to get another one when we finish this upcoming weekend. Again, paint is expensive. Who knew trying to get a little color in our Home would cost us the piggy bank and the dresser it sat on. But it's working out, because we got rid of furniture we don't need, sold it to people who do need it, and got paint in return. Things usually work out in the end.

You can't see it, but the wood has old paint on it. Bear has plans to go back and fix up the wood, because it's original and just too darn pretty for him to leave it like it is right now.

The biggest wall down. One more coat of paint to go.

What you don't see yet are the two windows and doors that we'll have to paint around. And based on Bear's current job with careful edging, it looks like that'll be my job.

Bad Bear. Bad.

He is not, as I said, a patient man. Who can blame him? At this point, he had done so much in the day that he just wanted it over with. We're going to have some thinking and testing to do to see if we can get those mistakes off, or if it'll have to wait until next summer when we buy the white paint and repaint the ceiling in the stairwell. For now, we're okay with it, because most of our mistakes will be hidden by furniture or less-perfectionistically-searching eyes than ours. That's our other problem. Perfection. We want it, it's not possible, and we can't stand it. Even Martha Stewart, in all her glorious neatness, is not perfect.

But Bear and I have a story we like to remember when we start getting overtly fussy about perfection:

A foreign man was traveling across the world looking for the best Persian rugs. Each one, he was told by his friends back in England, was absolutely perfect and took hundreds of hours to create. Being a collector of the finest wares of the world, he put his mind to buying the most beautiful and faultless Persian rug he could find. He searched for weeks across Turkey, finding rugs that were elegant, but too dull, or colorful, but with ugly designs or bad weave. None were to his standards. Then, he came to a shop the locals said housed a devout Muslim man, an artist who Allah had blessed with the gift of absolute human perfection in creating the most perfect rugs in all of the Middle East. So he went to the man's shop and perused as the creator looked on and explained to him the meaning of the designs and the effort it took to make a single rug. He seemed very pleased with his work, but not arrogant. Finally, the English man said, "They are all splendid. Indeed, they are the most intricate, colorful, and plush rugs I have ever seen in my travels, in all my life, and most possibly in all the world. But, my good man, each of these rugs has a mis-stitch in them! Look here!" The artist smiled and bowed to him, saying, "Yes, sir. They each have a single flaw. I put one in each rug so that I may be humble." Feeling ill-used by being mislead into believing the rugs were faultless, the English man threw up his hands and angrily said, "You have tried to trick me and I must begin my search for the perfect rug all over again!" Still smiling, the artist said, "Then you must search a long time, for only in the home of Allah are the rugs without flaw. I am only human."

See you at the yard sale,

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