Monday, January 10, 2005

I miss you. Do you miss me? Really? That much?

Please note: An alternate title for this entry might be, “Home Improvement Gone Horribly Wrong.” Consequently, there’s a lot of cussing (both real and imagined, but certainly not as much as there was in reality). Please also note that due to our home improvement issues, I am DSL-less and kind of freaked out about it (writing this in Word and hoping to post later).

On New Year’s Eve, having covered everything in plastic and spackled and masked and primed the night before, Sweet William and I rang in the new year by painting our kitchen an outrageous shade of yellow. Contrary to what you might think, we really enjoyed this activity: we got to spend time talking and laughing together, listening to a variety of old CDs as we painted and toasting the new year with a lovely Cabernet when we were done. We were so pleasantly surprised by our positive experience that we enthusiastically agreed to paint the living/dining area the following weekend.

This is where things went bad.

We have a small galley kitchen. The walls are covered mainly by cabinets and large appliances. So the area left for us to paint was relatively small. Painting it was not a huge pain in the ass because it was not a large area. But complete jackasses that we are, this did not occur to us. Did we decide to do something simple for our next project?

If you said yes, you clearly have not been paying attention and you deserve the complimentary smack in the head I’m giving you right now. (I’m sorry, I’m sorry, did that hurt? Do you need an ice pack? Why are you crying?)

If you said of course not, congratulations! You have won a year’s supply of toilet paper.

We decided that for our next project, we wanted two different colors of paint. One neutral, and one as an accent color. Because our kitchen has no door and flows directly into the dining area, we needed the colors not to clash with the yellow-gold color we have in there. After much deliberation in the paint store, we arrived at two colors: Sundown and Southwest Clay or some such shit. I can’t remember the exact names, but one was kind of a yellowy neutral and the other one was more of a red-orange.

After three hours of moving furniture, taking pictures off the wall, spackling, taping off and covering everything in plastic, I took the lid off the first paint can and began applying it to the wall. Oh, wait – did I mention that we had to drive down to South Pluto in a rainstorm to drop off Viva at Diva(my sis-in-law)’s? We had arranged to borrow a ladder from Diva’s hubby for the painting. In all the commotion of dropping Viva off, installing her car seat in Diva’s car, and discussing where to get lunch, we forgot about the ladder until we were already back on the freeway.

“Fuck it,” said Sweet William. “I’ll just go to Home Depot and buy one.”

So we went running around to the paint store and Home Depot in the pouring rain, for which you may not have much sympathy except that (a) this is Southern California and no one here can deal with the rain, making every move treacherous and (5) Home Depot is my worst nightmare. It is the eleventh circle of Hell. I don’t know how many circles of Hell there are, but Home Depot deserves its own special circle. With a parking lot.

So we got home after all this running around and we ordered Chinese food which upset my stomach, but I was determined to make a go of this, so after all the above-mentioned preparation, I opened the paint and started slapping it on the wall in my most authentically interior designy manner. And then I stepped back and looked at it. And it was fucking peach.

“I hate it,” I said. “It’s awful. It’s so…peach.”

“No,” said Sweet William. “It is bad. It is not good.”

“Crap,” I said. And then I poured the paint all over the floor and we wrestled in it and laughed and tickled each other and it was like something out of a movie.

Actually, what I think I did was open the other can of paint to see how bad that was going to be. And one of us started painting one of the other walls, I forget who or what. I think the paint fumes just ate up my brain. The other color…

“It looks like tomato soup,” I said.

“Can we live with this?” said Sweet William. He looked pained. I was really becoming dejected. The project had gone sour.

The good news is that we could live with the tomato soup color. The bad news is that we bought only a quart of it, and we ran out of paint after doing a wall and a half. We concurrently ran out of steam and decided to have a beer and go to bed.

The next morning, we had a crummy breakfast at Café 101 and then went our separate ways: I drove back down to South Jupiter to pick up Viva, while Sweet William got the house ready for her arrival. Later, my darling went to Home Depot and selected a neutral color called Swiss Coffee. After Viva went to bed, he primed one of the walls I had painted the day before (we changed our minds mid-painting). His plan was to paint the ceiling tonight, while I painted one of the living room walls.

Now, we actually thought we’d be able to paint the entire living/dining area in one night over this past weekend. Let me tell you, out of the seven walls in that area (it is of course an odd-shaped area, how could it not be?), only one is fully painted. We have surrendered ourselves to this totally and realize we will be painting after Viva goes to bed all week long.

Oh, and let me just add this: Swiss Coffee = white. Not off-white, not beige, not taupe, not anything with even a hint of brown as one might reasonably expect given that coffee is part of the name.

So now we need to find yet another color. Sweet William valiantly painted part of the ceiling tonight in his underwear. Sadly, I did not get a picture.

And the beat goes on…

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