Monday, February 05, 2007

I was a male stripper

Cut it out. It’s not what you’re thinking. Although I don’t necessarily want to disabuse you of your fantasies. No, today I was a stripper of wallpaper.

Mary gets these ideas in her head and she just can’t let them go. Unfortunately her ideas generally mean more work for me. These cold winter days are especially bothersome, because she has more time to look around and see all the things that she suddenly thinks need to be done. Things that need “updating.” Rooms that need a new color. Furniture that needs to be replaced. Nevermind that I just hung that wallpaper 25 years ago (it seems like yesterday), just painted that hallway 15 years
ago, that the couch in the livingroom is only 20 years old (it still feels just as comfortable as the day we brought it into the house).

I’m of the school that says “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” And if the wallpaper is still stuck to the wall, leave it there. If the paint is still in the same general shade as when you slapped it on the wall, leave it alone. If the couch’s springs aren’t poking you in the ass, sit quietly and enjoy the comfort. The status quo is the status I am most fond of. So I have a tendency to balk whenever the need for change takes over her otherwise pleasant personality. But my attitude seems to just add a bit more challenge to her quest for change. Try as I might to ignore her, somehow she always gets her way and I get more work to do.

So today I was compelled to spend the afternoon stripping the old wallpaper off the upstairs hallway so that those now naked walls can be repainted. I had been fighting the good fight for several weeks, but her withering and unrelenting siege on my peace of mind finally won the contest and I gave in. And my worst fears were realized as soon as she saw the naked walls. She decided that as long as I was at it, I might as well redo the entire staircase hall as well. She even acted like she was doing me a favor by running to the paint store to buy the paint so I could just keep on working. Big of her, wasn’t it?

For the next few days I will be employed as a painter. As long as I have to do it, I will do it well. She knows that and takes advantage of me. I guess it’s my own damn fault for being so painstakingly talented in so many ways. She knows that I will do a better job than anyone else she could get. Her threats to hire someone to do these jobs always gets me going.

But if she decides to hire a male stripper, all bets are off.


Sunflower Optimism said...

Good work Bob! As a former decorative painter for 15 years (that was after the engineering, but before the jewelry making, LOL) I am always happy to see wallpaper go.

TIP: Before you paint, make sure you wash the walls down well and then paint the stripped walls with an oil based primer before you base coat. The oil based primer will seal the walls so that the water based paint does not reactivate the wallpaper paste.

Hope this doesn't reach you after the fact.

furiousBall said...

Oh, I love those wifely threats that cut right down to my masculine core - hiring someone else to do it right. It's like each word is a dagger shoved into my manliness one by one.

Kelley said...

Wow, I imagine this has been an enormous task! My mother advised me to never put up wallpaper, because it's such a pain to take it all down.

This cracked me up:

"The status quo is the status I am most fond of."

The Rev. Dr. Kate said...

You would feel right at home at my house - the wallpaper pre-dated our arrival when my husband and I bought the house and once we discovered the walls were horsehair plaster, we were afraid to take it down because we thought it might just possibly be holding up the walls! But the rooms do need some serious attention - pretty shabby if you ask me. Sadly, a widow has no husband whose manhood she can insult and I am most likely going to have to hire someone!