Friday, December 19, 2008

Home Improvements

With the holidays coming, everyone wants their house to look nice for company. This is only normal. This season, I purchased some pretty throws to soften the browns of my sofa. And every year I add an item or two to the seasonal decor.

However, I wisely resist doing any major home painting for instance.

I love to paint. As a matter of fact, I would say that before I started back to school, painting was my hobby. I have painted every room in my house (except for our bathroom and kitchen, which were both wallpapered). I did a splash technique on the kids bathroom when they were younger....I have done an "aging" process in our sitting room, which I did about 8 years ago and still love today.

I'm not afraid of color either. Our bedroom is marigold, our living room yellow, sitting room green and our kitchen and half bath blood red. Ok...yes, there are chickens on my kitchen wall, but that is another blog.

The point I am trying to make here...I like to paint. I love color.

So four years ago, my daughter and I painted her bedroom. The color was called Cranapple and we decided to go with a semi-gloss...just to be different. Mistake. I don't know if it was the color or the finish, but the walls were never quite right. You could see brush strokes in areas, see where you cut in the edges. It was not perfect, but we had to give up after 3 coats and move the furniture back into the room.

As the years have gone by, there have been other issues with the walls. The semi-gloss seemed to attract dust. Furniture, like her bookcase, pulled segments of the paint off the wall. One night, Madelaine was lying on her bed, talking on the phone. She found an air pocket in the paint and absent mindedly peeled it away. She continued to do so until the whole was the size of a dinner plate. Grrrrrr.

So a few weeks ago, Madelaine tells me that she and Travis will be re-painting her room (the same color just in flat) over the Christmas break. Fine I say. Then she announces that they are going to do it the week before Christmas, as opposed to, I don't know...the THREE WEEKS SHE HAS OFF AFTER CHRISTMAS?

I make a fuss. "Why this week? I don't have cookies made; I could use some help with Christmas cards and laundry...can't this wait?"


You see, when you live with a teen-aged girl there are factors that allow for this type of drama. The timing for this conversation was perfectly wrong. She also just found out that she owed her father and I money. She just received her grades for her first semester of college. Our policy is: We only pay for As and Bs. She owes us for her Statistics class.

"Fine." I say.

And she and Travis spent Wednesday painting.

I can see it now...the two young people trying to replicate all those cutsie scenes in almost every chick flick ever made. They probably dabbed the paint brush on each others nose and kissed. They sang along as they painted, with wide open windows and songs playing at top volume on the stereo. They probably even write "I Heart You" on the walls, so that the message would always be there, even when their were many coats of paint on top of it.

As a matter of fact, I know that they wrote "I Heart You" because I can still see it through the two coats of paint that they have decided is enough. After spending all day with paint fumes; after a coat of primer and two coats of paint, they have given up and are calling the room good.

It is so not good. It is bad. It is, dare I say it? Worse than it was to begin with. I cannot begin to tell you how bad it is.

On Wednesday night when I came home from work, I looked up through her open window and said..."Please God, tell me that is just the first coat." It wasn't.

I ranted and raved. I reiterated my initial arguments. I yelled. Fred play negotiator, tyring (in vain) to calm me...trying to soothe a weeping Madelaine. We weren't budging. I have trained her well.

Now, even though my cards still aren't in the mail and not a single cookie has been baked, Fred and I will spend this evening painting a room that was not on the agenda.

Even I know that you should never attempt home improvements the week before Christmas.

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