Friday, July 9, 2010

House of Pain

I’ve tried to write so many times the last couple weeks without luck. Not sure if anyone missed the posts besides my baby mama and me, but it’s been killing me that all this time has gone by without writing anything considering how much has been going on with our family. We closed on our place finally, moved out of Nana’s basement, painted indoors without AC (can I trade one of my kidneys for central air?) during “vacation” from work, packed up and unpacked, etc. - all of which would have taken much, much longer if not for the help of really supportive loved ones, etc. Anyways, think I’m jammed up on the boards partly because of fatigue from all the unpacking but also because the original post I was trying to write just sucked. So I decided to scrap the last draft and start from scratch.

After who knows how many hours logged watching HGTV with the wife, combined with my two whole summers of painting experience in college, I was ready to go Van Gogh on our house’s ass after we closed two Wednesdays ago. Well, sitting here now in retrospect of the work we crammed in last week, I kinda hope never to watch any show ever again whose title contains the words home, house, makeover, design, or color splash. These “hosts” who double as “workers” subliminally mislead weekend warriors such as myself into believing that a single room, or even a whole house for that matter, can be transformed in merely thirty minutes (twenty-two without commercials). Of course, these half-hour facelifts even include a montage of how bad the place looked before the work, some compelling melodrama about the residents’ life situation, and the climactic “reveal” complete with absurd decorations like a recycled Cessna plane propeller jutting out of a closet door for the 7-year old kid who casually mentioned that she might want to be a pilot some day. Naturally, six days should be enough to add another floor to our house let alone paint a paltry four rooms.

In any event, I haven’t tried so hard to do something so well lately than paint Greta’s bedroom last week. I wasted so much damn time in that damn room trying to make it just perfect. I should’ve saved it for last because the paint part of my brain needed a bit of a refresher course. In any event, we ran out of the really pretty light lavender for G’s walls when we needed one more coat. A few days later when the paint finally arrived from the web site where mama ordered it, the wall got its final coat. When I removed tape from the ceiling to finish off the job, of course I peeled off between one and three layers of prior paint coats from years passed and the ceiling’s edges looked like shit. It was late, it was hot, and the new carpet was arriving the next morning. Hastily, I slapped a coat where needed in the hopes that all peel spots would be covered up. My new mantra of “touch it up later if necessary” mouthed silently from my lips without me even realizing it. To the tired yet still critical eyes of Nana and myself, the room looked a million times cuter than it did before.

At some point during that whirlwind, I experienced a sense of fulfillment performing these “dad” jobs last week that was unrivaled in my whole 17 months of prior experience on the job. In Southie, we had no yard, no garage, no workshop. The environment wasn’t exactly conducive to traditional fatherly duties except maybe assembling hellish Ikea furniture pieces or cooking breakfast on weekends. I couldn’t even hose down our cars because there wasn’t any outdoor faucet to connect a hose. Consequently, in a convoluted way, it felt good to slide a closet door over my middle finger and tear off part of my nail – not because I’m into S&M but because I was yanking up an old carpet in preparation of laying a new one for my children to walk over barefoot on Christmas morning for several years to come. The prospect of future experiences under this roof with my wife and two children genuinely excited me. It was a nice feeling. And then my finger was bleeding on the floor, which felt not so great.

Fast forward to last night, entering G’s room in search of a diaper, I spotted a small layer of paint peeling away from the ceiling and dangling above the crib. I cringed with frustration immediately and hung my head. Slowly, I moved my head upwards towards a higher, invisible being before sighing and reminding myself it could be worse. I could be a Cleveland Cavaliers fans. My advice to them: “touch it up later if necessary.” I’m going to get my roller right now.


Melissa DelPrete said...

First, I did miss your postings.. Glad to see you're back in the game!

Second, this might be by far my favorite line ever: "it felt good to slide a closet door over my middle finger and tear off part of my nail – not because I’m into S&M but because I was yanking up an old carpet in preparation of laying a new one for my children to walk over barefoot on Christmas morning for several years to come." I laughed and then I cried.

I'm sure the house looks amazing! I can't wait to visit! Best of luck!

DarcC said...

Glad you made it through the move, and glad you're back. Always look forward to your posts, for the perspective and the giggles.

Scott said...

The exact same thing happened when I painted Harper's room. I pealed off the tape and ripped some paint off the ceiling. Four years later, the missing paint remains evident. It doesn't bother me much but Lisa likes to mention it when ever we have a dispute about someone not doing everything they need to get done.

Congrats on the new house.