Sunday, July 26, 2009

Dante never wrote about this type of Hell

...but he should have.

Somewhere I read that the one thing that scares the Hell out of most real writers is an blank white screen on a word processor with nothing typed, a clean white piece of paper rolled into a typewriter empty of words, or a page in a spiral notebook with the only color being the horizontal lines on the page. For me Saturday morning had a similar feeling as I fell out of bed and made my way to my daughter's partially disassembled room to look at the fine light purple painted walls that I would soon be repainting the daring color of light pink. I looked in utter and abject terror at the room that I would soon be bound to in what amounted to as indentured servitude with my release conditional upon satisfactory completion of the project. Given my wife, Dragonwife, and daughter, Miss Wiggles, attitude about what they want I might as well as gone as far as to hang a sign saying: "All ye that enter here abandon all hope."

My morning coffee did me no favors by energizing me and I simply sat on the floor for almost an hour drinking it and listening to the weekend morning show on NPR unwilling to move. It seemed that the "blank walls" were laughing at me saying that I would never complete what I had to do. For several months my wife and daughter went over color samples comparing them to small pieces of cloth with elaborate pattens while did my best to ignore what it all meant. But yesterday it all came due and it was only after my daughter stated playing with the open cans of paint along with the kitten looking like it would jump into the paint pan with the roller sitting in about an half inch of what the can said was "blossom pink" did I find the motivation to actual start applying it to the walls.

After I started it went a lot better until I realized that the paint was so thin that it would take multiple coats and another trip to Home Depot for another gallon. Dragonwife graced me with several visits telling me about the spots of purple showing through. Bless her heart though she was on the deck in the backyard painting all of Wiggles' white furniture black and finding that most of what she had already done would peel off in big pieces of black rubbery sheets. The application of a sander with 60 grit sandpaper along with a serious primer got her back on course. I did have to thank her for almost painting the deck black with a couple of hundred paint drops which will be my responsibility to sand and paint at a later date.

By late Sunday afternoon the walls were done along with the room closet which for some reason for me is always a pain in its own smaller right. Started on the trim painting the baseboards and windows figuring that if I got that stuff the room and closet doors could wait till next weekend. Of course by the end of today Wiggles', as figured, decided that she didn't like the color and that she wanted the room painted red instead. Luckily the very cold beers I had in both my hands kept me calm, even with Dragonwife inspecting the my work.

A fried shrimp and flounder dinner later my weekend servitude was receding like a bad memory. That is until my wife brought out the new bedspread and curtains for my son's room with her wondering about the colors that would go with them. She was holding a collection of color samples about the same size as a deck of playing cards and went to the kitchen table to spread them out and compare much like someone playing solitaire. To damn bad I was the joker, or better yet, fool, of the deck. My son had escaped most of the weekend adventures being that his girlfriend was leaving for a summer camp in North Carolina for a week and he wanted to spend as much time as he could with her.

We start my son's room in a couple of weeks and I have news for my erstwhile oldest child and his social obligations. When I crack open the lids of paint to redo his room he can ask all his friends over to watch and even help but I will have some company and freely share my weekend misery.


Marja said...

haha you always make me laugh You'll be fine Mr BB You are doing well.
My husband is a handyman Often he does things like painting by himself (also because I leave some stripes I think) I don't mind painting but I hate the preparation.

sunshine said...

Awwww ((Hugs)) I feel your pain. Really I do.
I absolutly hate painting. Unfortunatly we have a student coming from Spain in about 5 weeks. He will be staying with us for 2 months and the only room I have available is in Major need of a repaint. Of course I have to strip the 1970's wallpaper off first. Uggggh......
That's the problem with painting. You do one room and then you realize how shit everything else is. So you have to keep on going and going and........
You're a good husband and Daddy. I'm sure your daughter is delighted. :)

Malicious Intent said...

Ohhhhh man....I could not help but sit here and giggle through that entire post. I am married to a professional painter. He does everything from residential to commercial. He was hanging off the side of an 8 story VA hospital the other day painting.

Shame we do not live near by, I would send him over to end your suffering. Kids bedroom...he could go in, prime, cut, paint and clean up in about 3 hours tops.

But since he is not...advice.

It appears (I may be wrong)that you started painting the walls before "cutting in." Ditch the blue tape, spend the money on a nice real painters brush with a good edge and just carefully cut in your edges around the ceiling, floor, windows and corners first as your prep work instead of wasting time on tape that half the time only peels away your paint. Then you can quickly roll out your walls. It will look better and save you time and money. Honestly...folks are made to think they need tape...unless your have tourettes or seizures and have a relatively steady hand, you'll be OK.

Beach Bum said...

Marja: Yeah, once I started rolling it wasn't too awful. Although having my daughter walk in and try was another thing that slowed me down.

Sunshine: Absolutely! This hit home especially for the baseboards, door frames , and doors. They all look like crap.
As for my daughter she couldn't care less now. She found a frog in the backyard today and forgot all about her room.

Malicious Intent: I have long since found out that house painting is a well defined talent bordering on art. Unfortunately, I have also found out that I have absolutely no talent doing it and can make a mess just by being withing two feet of an open paint can. Tried to do without the blue tape several times and it wasn't pretty.

Keshi said...

Nice relaxed post BB. I liked it alot :) And nice image too.

U dun seem to like painting lol! u know what...I had my place painted recently...although I didnt do it myself, I hated it cos I had to pull all my furniture around, and the house was in a total mess for 4 whole days. And at the end of it all, I was so exhausted just by watching it all!

But the fresh paint smell and the look was AWESOME :)

Good luck BB!


Anonymous said...

I believe in you! I know you can do it!

Ok, I'll go back to my coffee and leave you alone now.....of course you could just call yourself an "artist" and go for the throwing buckets of paint on the wall look and be done with it.

Randal Graves said...

You had to paint them a second time? Hell, if I were you, I'd start sniffing the contents of the can and drift off to fantasyland or follow anonymous and go all Jackson Pollock on the thing.

Vigilante said...

Last time Trophy Wife trusted me with a paint brush was decades ago. May have had something to do with a roiling, running paint fight that broke out between my son and I. Too bad You Tube wasn't around then. (Actually, maybe it was a good thing.)

Gwendolyn H. Barry said...

Last time I painted a child's room, it turned into a free styled mural by the little girls attending... they all joined in and well, a pony on a hill with a rainbow in the background surrounded by lemon colored walls was the result. Actually, everyone liked it. For years. And years. It was still there when we sold the old family homestead. Thanks for bringing back the memory! ta

Beach Bum said...

Keshi: Sitting here at my computer I'm having a hard time thinking of something I dislike to to more than paint. I'll have to get back to you on that one.

Anon: Throwing paint on the walls? If my wife read this she would have to chime in saying that is what she thought I did.

Randal: Dammit, the only positive aspect to painting and my wife has to go and buy paint with some freaking fresh scent like morning daisies. And she wouldn't give me any beer till after 5:00pm and she absoluetly wouldn't go with any of that "its five O'clock somewhere" crap.

Vigil: Okay, I'll fess up and say that some of my "painting accidents" are willful attempts to have my wife get frustrated and hire professional painters and leave me alone.

Gwen Barry: Now that reminds me of the time my wife tried to apply a wallpaper mural in my unborn son's room. We were newly married and she got all sticky having to remove her clothes and I got overly excited.

lime said...

i am the painter in this family. mr. lime has always stated his intense hatred of painting. i don't mind it, worked as a house painter one summer. have to admit i have a notoriously difficult time settling on a color though.

anyway, i'd help ya. i'd do the cutting in so you could roll and we could skip that whole silly taping business.

Beach Bum said...

Lime: I have help on the way. My son, Darth Spoilboy, has been over at his girlfriend's house all during this week helping his girlfriend's parents paint their house. I am now looking forward (well only slightly) to working on his room.

MadMike said...

LOL! I would rather take a beating than paint Beach. You are a better man than I. Loved the story.

Pagan Sphinx said...

House improvements suck so bad. It feels like only yesterday that we painted the side entryway and it's already looking like crap. WP (aka Mr. Right) thinks he lives in a barn. He does most of the painting but I have to clean up for years afterwards. Ugh.

I like your writing. Keep it coming!

Beach Bum said...

MadMike: As of today Miss Wiggles room is looking pretty good. The last things are curtains, which Dragonwife is making, and a Chinese painting that we have to hang.

In a couple of weeks we start on Spoilboy's room. But like I wrote he is doing more than just helping out.

Pagan Sphinx: Yeah, cleaning up really sucks. Especially after a day of painting and being tired.

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