Way back in March we started a small home improvement project. A friend had given us some child-size desks, bookcase hutches, and work tables for Tom and Huck. I thought this was great, as Tom is getting to an age where he needs his own space to do homework and school projects. This is momspeak for, “I am tired of cleaning a huge school project off my dining room table so we can eat dinner every night. If he has his own desk, we can leave projects there until they are complete.”
Thoughtful Husband, Tom and Huck immediately set about assembling the new (to us) furniture, and encountered a small problem: The furniture did not fit the wall space in the room where we planned to keep it.
“No problem,” I said. “If we move Tom and Huck’s bedroom to this room and the new furniture to Tom and Huck’s old bedroom, it will all fit.”
I added, “Since we are emptying both rooms, we might as well paint them, too. It’s been a long time since those walls have had a fresh coat of paint. We can do it ourselves. How hard can it be?”
(N.B. Never ask “How hard can it be?” unless you really want to know the answer to that question.)
Thoughtful Husband, who was beginning to look at me as if this gift of free furniture from a friend was turning into a bit too much work said resignedly, “O.K.” After he got one bedroom painted white, I decided that I thought that we should paint one wall with stripes, as an accent. I won’t describe to you the look on Thoughtful Husband’s face when I suggested this. I’ll let you imagine it for yourself.
Even though we taped off the stripes very carefully, the paint bled under the tape. It looked like this:
“It just looks sloppy,” I declared. Thoughtful Husband re-taped and re-painted all the stripes a second time. Not only was there a look on his face, but he was grumbling as well. He had thought he was getting off easy, getting nice furniture from a friend, and that would be the end of the story. Poor man. He had little idea his wife would make him paint stripes on a wall. Twice.
The paint still bled under the tape after the second painting. Thoughtful Husband was ready to give up. “Wait,” he said, after sulking for a while. “I have a solution. Automobile pinstriping.”
“Excuse me. What?”
“Automobile pinstriping. It’s a thin stripe, it’s adhesive, and we can order it in any color we want.” We ordered some pinstriping, and Thoughtful Husband spent another weekend measuring it, cutting it, and applying it to the walls. While it’s not really something I’d want in my bedroom, it looks cute in a boy’s room.
The next morning, when Tom and Huck woke up, they came and got us out of bed. The pinstriping tape, the tape Thoughtful Husband had spent a whole day applying, had unstuck itself from the wall and peeled off. It was laying in a big tangled heap on the floor.
Tomorrow: What we did next