( editor’s note: I’m typing this on Wednesday, but I won’t post it until Thursday, because I don’t want Ethel to see it).
Well, I’m at home for four days by myself – Ethel took the 6:05 AM flight on Sunday morning to Las Vegas for a “convention” (cough-cough)* so I am batching it.
Lately I’ve been self-absorbed and full of self-pity because I can’t get my way in some things that seem (to self) to be important; the best thing for us drunks to do when we’re thinking about ourselves is to do something for somebody else.
So I’m painting the bedroom and loft.
Stupid Painter Syndrome (SPS) is that strange phenomenon that happens when one starts a paint project – or wallpaper, tiling, or any other home-improvement DIY that requires one to mess up one’s living area while it’s going on. There’s only one real symptom – an inability to stop working on the project at a reasonable hour.
Before Ethel and I got married, a friend told us that we shouldn’t tie the knot until we had wallpapered a bathroom together, the idea being that if you can do that, you can survive anything as a team. It was pretty good advice, and it does seem that we were a pretty well matched pair.
But when we wallpapered that bathroom – the first time I’d ever done ANYTHING with wallpaper – we started in the afternoon, and we didn’t finish until sometime the next morning, after working all night long. (We were, obviously, 32 years younger then than now 🙂
Apparently, we had already demonstrated a genetic predisposition to Stupid Painter Syndrome.
When we moved to Bozeman, we had four days between closing on the house and our furniture showing up – so we painted that 2700 square foot house, with 28 foot ceilings in the great room, in four days. SPS – a real illness with real symptoms.
So during this past Sunday, my bachelor weekend day, I got all kinds of stuff done, but I was aware that the notion of painting the bedroom and loft was in the back of my mind, waiting to pounce.
Our bedroom and loft is a ridiculously complex room (or pair of rooms, depending on how you count ’em) with respect to wall area, windows, stairs, very high ceilings, and windows. There is one long ceiling that spans the whole area, rising at about a 45 degree angle from the low wall in the bedroom to the high wall in the loft.
I can only assume that this complexity is the reason that Ethel has not actually gotten going on painting this room in the almost two years that we’ve lived here; she got the house up to the bedroom (and the entry into the bedroom) painted in the first few months, but then things came to a stop.
So I decided to “surprise her” by doing all the work while she was at the “convention” (cough-cough)*.
So Sunday afternoon, I started on the hardest wall – the long one at the west end, that included the stairs. I got to bed around 10 PM on Sunday night. (I don’t stay up until 10 PM on New Year’s Eve).
I woke up Monday morning coming up with all sorts of reasons why doing one wall – the most difficult – was enough of a surprise, and that I should now take it easy. But it was too late. Stupid Painter Syndrome had me in its grasp.
The astute observer will note in the above photo the central presence of a can of Red Bull on the nightstand – which is, BTW, in the middle of the room, along with everything else, which means that silliness is going on. I was drinking this Red Bull at 6:27 PM on Monday, while doing the south wall, which was the quickest paint job, but one of the more involved preps, because of the windos, blings, door and trim.
When I realized that I was about to drink a Red Bull at 6:30, I knew that SPS was in full swing. Once again, I didn’t get to sleep until after 10.
(Please note – while doing this, I still had to work, and go to meetings, and do my workouts. SPS doesn’t care about the other stuff in your life, but you still do).
So on that Monday, in order to do the south wall, I had to pull out Ethel’s nightstand, which meant piling stuff on the bed – which was already getting pretty loaded down with things out of place from all over the room, which meant sleeping on the sofa Monday night. That wasn’t good for my back.
Yesterday I pulled out the bed – a big heavy thing made out of barn wood; now my back hurts – and pulled out Ethel’s workstation and supporting equipment up in the loft, and did the east wall, plus a section of the north wall in an accent color. I did get to bed last night at 9, so there’s that. But it was another night on the sofa – which didn’t do my back any good.
Now I have the unenviable task of putting everything back together and getting all of the paint stuff put away before Ethel gets here tonight. She won’t be in until nearly 11; since most of the wall work is in Harvest Wheat gold, not too far removed from the previous beige, she might not have noticed the change when she’s sneaking into the bedroom trying to keep from waking me up.
But it’s likely that she WILL see the dark green accent wall.
But even if she wakes me up, I’ll bet that I go right back to sleep, because – I am TIRED.
Stupid Painter Syndrome only has the one symptom – an inability to properly scope a day’s work. But it has a definite AFTERMATH, as well.
I am TIRED 🙂
But I have to admit that the mission was accomplished – not the PAINTING mission, but the mission to get out of self. The whole time that I was painting, I wasn’t thinking about myself, my little plans and designs….I might have been thinking “I’m tired. This is stupid. My back hurts!” but I wasn’t thinking about what I didn’t have and wasn’t getting.
UPDATE: Things never go the way that you think that they’re going to go. She was mildly surprised to find that the painting was all done, but she was VERY upset with me for moving her desk and unplugging her wires; I had sort of thought that, since she had hooked them up, she’d know how to rehook them.
Once again, I was wrong.
So instead of having lots of husband points, I’m in the dog house 🙂
*yeah, okay, yes, I know that she’s at a convention for work, with her team – and she’s actually doing two presentations – but my favorite tease in this context is that she’s REALLY down there doing marathon sessions at Thunder Down Under. Be sure to ask her about the show. She appreciates that 🙂