By Mir
August 29, 2004
Category Friends

Well, that last post was a laugh a minute, huh? I am nothing if not inconsistent… sometimes. *rimshot*

So hey, guess what! Even when I am feeling miserable and whatnot, I occasionally make the effort to pretend to be a productive member of society. And this can be difficult, because I have very few useful skills. I try to play to my few strengths. Now, the wallowing thing, I am amazing at that; it may be my greatest talent. But there’s not much call for it in social circles. So sometimes I have to play to my other strengths, such as painting.

Are you painting a room? You so want me there. I work for cheap (read: nothing, or snacks), I’m fairly speedy, and–insofar as one can be talented at slapping paint on the correct surfaces–I’m pretty good at it. It’s going on my resume, just as soon as I reconstruct it from those copies and disks I set on fire a few days ago. Anyway. Yes, I’m your woman for a paint job. My reputation is known far and wide (read: by every friend of mine who’s ever had to paint a room).

My friend Marcey had called upon me to assist her in painting her kitchen this weekend. I was thrilled. Okay; I’m weird. But, um, did you read that last post? I needed diversion. Badly. And besides, the last time I helped Marcey paint, we laughed so hard, my stomach was sore the next day. It was three of us for the family room job: Marcey, Eileen and me. Marcey and I had already done the trip to the neighborhood paint store, gotten the perfectly matched paint and all our supplies, and figured out The Game Plan. Eileen brought alcohol, and what’s interesting to note here is that she and I were drinking, but Marcey wasn’t. However, it was Marcey who engaged in a stunning display of manuevers that resulted in a paint can being dropped in the middle of the kitchen floor, spilling half its contents and denting in an entire side.

For a few movie-slow-motion seconds that stretched forever, we were all frozen. Marcey, crouched in disbelief over the ever-widening pool of paint; Eileen and I, rollers forgotten in our hands, blinking at the carnage.

“Wow,” said Eileen, finally. “You’re never gonna be able to get the cover back on that thing.”

“Yes, the cover is what I’m most concerned about at this moment,” snapped Marcey. And then we all laughed until we cried, while I ran to stand the paint can back up and scoop what I could back into it. We still had enough paint to complete the project, and even got the floor clean. But that was the birth of a never-ending supply of jokes about how if you wanted someone to throw paint on the floor, Marcey was your woman, or are you sure you want the paint on the walls, because all the coolest people just drop it on the floor, etc. When Marcey asked if I might be able to help her with the kitchen, I said I’d be there.

“Someone’s gotta come over and make sure you don’t hurt yourself,” I couldn’t resist adding.

“Shut up. I hate you. See you later,” she grumped. See how irresistable I am?

Marcey is in the process of beautifying her kitchen. Her new counters arrived on Friday, and her new floor will be in on Monday. This past week she single-handedly stripped down the wallpaper, as evidenced by all the wallpaper crumbs still hiding in every available cranny of the room. The wallpaper in question was ugly under the best of circumstances, but against new counters and flooring it would’ve been intolerable. To whomever designed the bushel baskets of apples print which isn’t even recognizable as such until your nose is three inches from the wall: shame on you.

So I showed up on Saturday night to paint. I started priming while Marcey tended to her daughter and got her settled in for bed. Periodically she would holler down the stairs that she was feeling guilty that I was painting her kitchen. I told her to take her time, I was fine. And I was. I finished taping the cabinets. I sang along with the radio. I rolled with gusto and then switched to the slanted brush to cut in around the edges. My mind emptied. I was being useful.

I was nearly done priming when Marcey joined me, and together we admired the paint color when we opened the can, then got the topcoat done in record time. Even though she’s having new vinyl put in tomorrow she refused to drop the paint on the floor for old times’ sake, so for entertainment I had to sit down squarely on the lid while I was edging near the baseboards. Ick. She laughed at me, of course, but in the final analysis I had one painted buttock and she was completely coated, so it was okay.

I wonder if there’s a way to get that painting zen mindset to linger a bit. If not, my kitchen wallpaper came in a close second for world’s ugliest wallcovering, so maybe I should start scraping.


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