The most fun of all will be getting to watch it dry

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?

Anyway, we got the books shifted. I then patched assorted holes and blemishes, and hopefully by next weekend we can turn our labors to the actual painting of the dining room. That will be good.

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.

Advertisements

13 responses to “The most fun of all will be getting to watch it dry

  1. Well, Ian, since I don’t climb shaky ladders, the best I can offer is “good luck.”

    The last room I tried to paint with my mother and a friend from school was in the late seventies. My friend and I were in secondary school, and since we lived abroad in government-provided housing, painting a girls’ room from something approximating battle ship gray to pale yellow was fun to do…

    Best of luck with your efforts!

  2. Yay! Get ‘er done!
    Rather than a shaky ladder, I suggest renting a bit of scaffolding: 1) much more stable than a ladder; 2) don’t have to go up and down so many times; 3) the cost of the rent will ensure you get the job done sooner.

  3. Do not remind me…we took out the ceiling in the old…servants..part of the house..and then guess who got the lucky number for prancing onto a stepladder set on the scaffolding for painting the ceiling!
    Michelangelo had it easy.

  4. Once I start, I don’t actually mind painting. Like you, though, it’s that starting thing that’s the huge stumbling block. And I’ve never done a ceiling. I never intend to either, as I’m very nervous of heights. I have actually paid perfect strangers to come into my home to paint the ceilings. Maybe you should consider that – I thought it was money VERY well spent.

  5. Off topic; just because I thought you’d like this brought to your attention:

  6. There’s a meditative quality to painting I think. There’s also the sore arms and back and twisted ankles from falling off the ladder and stepping into the paint tray (yes, I did that).

    Have you considered having someone in to to the living room?

  7. Sisters Pinklea and Jazz: I have definitely considered having somebody in to do the living room part. Wendy, however, stalwartly believes we can do it ourselves. So I say Wendy can therefore stalwartly climb the ladder. And Pinklea, no I don’t do ceilings either, and never, ever shall.

  8. G: Thank you for the video. Interesting and some good wisdom therein. It’s an aspect of addiction recovery I’d not considered for my book and perhaps it’s one that should be addressed.

  9. When we first bought our house, I loved the whole renovating, redecorating thing. Now…..not so much ! In fact, our rather large dining room needs doing and given that you are now a dining room expert, do you fancy the job ????

  10. Firstly I think this is one of those times – for the vaulted ceiling anyway – when you say to hell with expense and hire some pros. Beats spending the holidays in the ER. Wait a minute – maybe not!
    Anyway funny Sistine Chapel story to tell. It’s 1982 and I’m with a group of Contiki travelers – 61 days of camping across Europe. 50+ barely post-adolescent Canadians, Aussies and Kiwis. You can only imagine.
    I’m walking through the Sistine Chapel with my friend Sue, from Brisbane. She looks up and in a broad Aussie twang (and loud) she asks “Who the Hell painted this!”
    Good luck with the DIY Ian and do be careful!

  11. Firstly I think this is one of those times – for the vaulted ceiling anyway – when you say to hell with expense and hire some pros. Beats spending the holidays in the ER. Wait a minute – maybe not!
    Anyway funny Sistine Chapel story to tell. It’s 1982 and I’m with a group of Contiki travelers – 61 days of camping across Europe. 50+ barely post-adolescent Canadians, Aussies and Kiwis. You can only imagine.
    I’m walking through the Sistine Chapel with my friend Sue, from Brisbane. She looks up and in a broad Aussie twang (and loud) she asks “Who the Hell painted this!”
    Good luck with the DIY Ian and do be careful!

  12. Ian, please spackle, putty and delete my last two comments. I realized I boo-booed and wrote DYI instead of DIY and look where it got me! I tried to delete but it wouldn’t let me.

  13. Dear Sonya: Your Sistine Chapel story is priceless. Love it. And was able to delete your redundant offerings.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s