Saturday, July 14, 2007

Don't Try This At Home...

I penned this one last week. The sun is now shining in Texas and the professional painters are on the way. Can you imagine the color of this font... on my walls?

The Texas rains have kept us inside for much of the summer. So I came up with a bright idea for productive indoor fun. Why don't we paint the walls in our kitchen and great room? I ran this good idea by Todd who is working exhaustively this summer (16 days, four hours, and 32 minutes of madness to go, but who's counting?).

His response: "You've got to be kidding."

I took that as a challenge. So off we went to the nearby home improvement store for a full array of painting essentials. I picked out a couple joy-and -peace-invoking colors by manufacturer's swatch. My goal was to replicate the hues and spirit of pure, frothing esprit in that memorable painting scene from Bridge to Teribithia. I picked a chestnut brown with subtle flecks of gold and a cheerful shimmery lemon... along with four rollers and brushes for my crew and me.

Taping the baseboards and molding was our first obstacle. This was all the fun of wrapping two seasons of Christmas presents... without the gifts. The spot where the molding meets the ceiling was totally beyond reach. So I went off in search of Todd's fancy schmancy new ladder. I learned it has incredible safety features. It simply doesn't open. So if you can't use it, you can't get hurt! How's that for a winning product feature! I stood on it anyway... just leaned the thing unopened against the wall and went for it. (Todd: well, er, ahem... did I happen to mention this?)

So we're now taped up with a semi-functional ladder system in place. We begin to pour, dip and roll our dreamy paints. But somehow the dream turned frightful. Can someone tell me how it is moral, ethical, even legal in America to sell people paint that doesn't resemble the swatch? So much for sparkling chestnut and lemony shimmer. The chestnut looks like 16-year-old mulch and the lemon resembles pea soup that has sat crusting on the stove overnight. (My compassionate paint supplier assures me the color disparity is attributable to variances in lighting, not his swatches. That makes some sense, but doesn't help us get from pea soup to lemon shimmer...)

So, now I have pulled something in my neck, Colin has a quarter cup of pea soup mushed into his golden locks, John has dripped mulchy gunk behind the tarp and it has oozed onto our slate, and I am three-and-a-half seconds away from Hoover Dam busting waterworks.

And for all of our effort, the walls look like death!

I've been praying for clarity of purpose. One thing I know for sure... I was not created to paint.

(My very encouraging friend said, "How bad can it be?" My response, as showcased in the above photo is, that bad! The wall on the right is covered in primer (as were we) and the little swipes of green pea stuff were supposed to be shimmery lemon. Todd is too gentlemanly to say "I told you so," so I'm saying it for him!)

On my iPod... King for a Day by XTC


dog said...

I absolutely LOVE your humor. I am "totally" with you on the painting. Hiring professionals was the way to go!!! I like to start those projects around my house too- it quickly makes my husband realize that we need to get the job done professionally. Good excuse to make something happen quicker than it normally would.

Sarah Onderdonk said...

ha! i may try that with respect to a couple things 'round the house. but todd was way in front of me on this one. you know you've got a good husband when he walks in the door... takes a look at what wifey has done to the walls of his castle... and says, "Hi, honey. How was your day...?"