Anyone who tells you fixing up a fixer-upper is an easy project for a first time homebuyer may also try to sell you some prime oceanfront property in Montana so beware! Me? Personally, I own about a million acres in both Montana and Arizona where I hear the surf’s good some days! But seriously, home repair for the novice is definitely a process that requires significant levels of patience, understanding and cool temper as well as copious amount of liquid libation. My most recent foray into the building industry involves my master bathroom and the giant-blue-smurf mess I made about two years ago when I first bought the house and attempted projects with little to no sleep. Let me paint the picture for you (actually after you read this you may not want me anywhere near you with a bucket of paint):
It’s a quarter to midnight about a week into my nice, new 30 year mortgage, and I’ve managed to get most of my furniture into the new house by finagling my guy-friend’s trucks out from under them by promising beer (and quite possibly sexual favors that I never followed up on) and have started to tackle the task of painting. I’m pretty tired at this point in time as the good Lord decided to make that one of the hottest weeks in March ever seen on record. My dogs are so agitated because of the move that they can’t seem to get more than 5 inches away from me without freaking out that I am going to leave them so I am now technically hatching two dog-eggs (one of whom is 55 lbs and likes to sit on my foot).
Somehow I manage to maneuver around the dogs, fight off my tiredness and hold up the gallon of bright blue (okay, I have no idea why I chose this color so don’t ask) paint as I slowly brush the vibrant color onto the unprepared, still half wallpapered walls of my master bathroom. In retrospection, I made lots of bad judgment calls during this project, but we’ll focus instead on some of the funnier mistakes. So I’ve gotten about half the walls painted and it’s now closer to two a.m. than to one and my eyesight is starting to fail (some would say it failed the minute I picked out the bright blue paint chip).
It’s about this time that my grip on the paint can slips and what’s left in the can starts to tumble out of my hands. I hear myself scream “Nooooooo” but in the slow-motion voice and timeframe that follows it sounds more like “nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnoooooooooooowwwww” which is better than the four letter expletives I’m sure I was actually thinking of stringing together. I can literally hear the paint splashing down the walls, dripping onto the toilet, hitting the dogs (both of them) and dropping down my legs to puddle at my toes. Gabriel and Grace, both surprised at the sudden movement from the dropped can and my improvised crab dance as well as frightened from the splashes of goop hitting them, decide to bolt out from under me slinging even more paint throughout my bedroom and into the living room. Further frightened by my shrieking like a banshee, they proceed to jump on my bed, the sofa and finally the arm chair.
Meanwhile, I’ve forgotten that I’m covered in paint as well and start to run out after them only to realize once I’ve placed one smurf gut covered size nine and a half clodhopper on my tan carpet the mistake I’ve just made. So here I am, cussing up a storm of half formed four letter words (think Yosemite Sam), covered in gunk, trying desperately to walk only on the very small parts of my feet that aren’t covered in blue goo, fussing at my dogs who have now decided to wallow all over the sofa and arm chair thus furthering my level of agitation. Did I mention I was tired and agitated? Well, once I resigned myself to the fact that I was going to have a blue toilet and some paw sized mementoes of the evening’s festivities through out the house I was able to calm down enough to get most of the gunk cleaned up and myself in the shower.
I finally climbed into bed that night… err… morning sometime around six a.m. and proceeded to sleep well into the next afternoon. When I arose and padded into the bathroom I couldn’t help but laugh at the folly from the previous evening. Not only was the blue everywhere, but it was awful to boot. But flash back to the beginning of the story when I told you that I was painting unprepared, half wallpapered walls. Pulling wallpaper down is a chore in and of itself, but pulling down wallpaper that’s had paint soaking through it is a nightmare. Here it is two years later and I’ve just now (as of 11:45 last night) eradicated the last bits of the bad dream by putting the last bits of plaster on the walls in preparation of the new color that will be going on this week.
Oh, you’re wondering how I got the goo off the dogs aren’t you? Well, let’s just sum up just how bad a mom I am… I shaved them down and made them go naked for the rest of the summer. Who got the last laugh now? Ha!