Dorothy Parker once said (in words to that effect) that writing was not much fun. The joy lay in “having written”. In other words, when the task is done then the fruits of those labors can be reveled in if a body has written to one’s satisfaction.
I think the same can be said of home-decorating. For about two years we have been “talking about” redecorating our living room-dining room combo. We have repainted literally every other room in the house and they all look just swell. But, the most cavernous rooms are yet to see brush and roller.
But, about a month ago we finally broke down and bought the paint. We thought that would spur us to immediate action. We cannot get to “having painted” unless we start to do it. Right? In the 30-odd days since then the paint (brushes, rollers, masking tape etc.) have been reposing in the garage, unattended. The best I’ve managed to offer about the matter is to say: “Got to get to that paintin’ one of these days, Ma,” sounding considerably like Pa Kettle.
But, yesterday we decided to (as WC Fields would have it) take the bull by the tail and look the situation in the face. It was a quiet Sunday afternoon and I almost astonished myself to hear myself saying: “Let’s take the pictures off the wall in the dining room and maybe empty out the (huge and commodious) bookcase. Then I can patch anything that needs patching, and maybe we can at least get the dining room part done, before we attack the living room.” To my near consternation, Wendy agreed that it was time and it was a good idea. It was only a suggestion, I was about to say, but then swallowed my pending indolence and actually got up began moving pictures from the wall.
Taking down the pictures. How can that be so difficult. That done, the memsahib then said: “Where do you want to put the books?” Oh God, she wants to do the bookcase. That is really going to be like work.
But, we did that, too. And it was an enchanting, almost enlightening experience to so do. I hadn’t really looked through the collection that was contained therein. You see, I inherited some rather ancient volumes from grandparents on two sides of my family. Some of these were unearthed, including a goodly handful of 18th Century tomes (and many 19th century ones, including a six volume leather-bound set of the works of Nathaniel Hawthorne). The ones from the earlier century were the more intriguing since they were printed with that typographical affectation known as the ‘long S’, in which all lower-case esses (except for the final one in a word) look like the letter ‘f’. Once I read why that was done, but I can no longer remember. Now, don’t get me wrong about these books. I know they’re valuable and I truly should get them appraised so that I can spend the rest of my declining years lying under a palm beside an azure sea and not give a fig about painting rooms. Worked for Gauguin, so why not me?
But, when that is done, we’ll have no choice but to tackle the living room. The prospect fills me with angst. You see, the LR has a high vaulted ceiling. I look up and it reminds me of the time I once saw the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. All those lovely Michelangelo paintings with which we are all familiar are virtually in the stratosphere when viewed from the floor when one is stuff into a room with seemingly hundreds of sweaty people in a Roman summer, all of us gawping heavenward.
But, I know when the dining room is done, it will have to be taken on, including the aspect that involves climbing up real high on a shaky ladder.
Shit. I look forward most definitely to “having painted” that one.