By The Big Guy
It’s been just over thirty years since my bride and I moved into the home that we still live in today. We couldn’t have been there more than a few months when we decided we were going to redecorate the house, starting with the dining room. It was a small room, a chair rail around the perimeter and a bay window to one side. It could hold a table that would seat six comfortably, eight if absolutely necessary. Nothing big, nothing out of the ordinary, no odd angles, it seemed the perfect place to start.
At the time it was just amazing to me how many hundreds of thousands of wallpaper patterns were readily available and how many millions of paint colors could instantly be created with a squirt of pigment and the violent shaking of a gallon can. Looking at two square foot samples of wallpaper that came in unwieldy “books” and trying to figure out the difference between colors with names like Soft Fern and Silver Sage made me consider setting my eyelashes on fire. But after what seemed like six months and was probably six days decisions were reached and purchases made.
It’s hard enough choosing colors and patterns, let alone considering installing it yourself, which is sheer folly. Wallpaper holds this nasty little secret within its rolls that has to do with pattern matching. The only way to avoid pattern matching is to choose wallpaper that has no pattern whatsoever. This is normally referred to as paint. Sticking the paper to the wall and getting the pattern matched and the seams straight is messy and difficult no matter how you go about it. And there’s nothing like waking up in the morning and finding several pieces curled back up on the floor because the paste did not adhere properly to the wall. The best part of the whole process is discovering that the two square foot sample of wallpaper looks completely different when it’s covering an entire wall and neither Soft Fern nor Silver Sage look like you thought they would when you chose them from that little strip of color swatches in the decorating emporium.
We completed the project and at the same time learned something very special about each other. If we ever did this again the police would probably have to intervene. In my opinion there’s nothing that stands the chance of ruining a perfectly good marriage than taking on a home project together. It was then and there I learned two very important words, words that I have never forgotten and words that I will share with you right now: Call somebody. Want to paint the living room? Call somebody. Want to plant a hedgerow of rose bushes in the back yard? Call somebody. Want to decorate the Christmas tree? Call somebody. Okay, maybe not but you get the point.
As I write this we are in the midst of a painting project at my house, much of it due to winter storm damage. Two bedrooms, a bathroom and that dining room (long since remodeled) are getting a new coat of paint. The hardest thing I have to do is get up in time to let the painters in the front door at 8 in the morning, a time of day I find it best to still be unconscious. But that’s okay.
So my wish to you is that if not now then someday you’ll be able to tell the little lady to just call somebody. Trust me. It’s the only way to live. People who believe they truly like doing this sort of stuff should have their heads examined…or perhaps they’re just single.