If I said to my husband, dear, old Fang, “Hey, I have an idea! Let’s paint our room and buy new furniture, including a mattress set, the week before Thanksgiving!”, he would have, and rightly so, looked at me like I’d gone off my rocker, like I’d plum lost my mind. Yet, he and our darling daughter, the I-want-what-I-want-and-I-want-it-now-but-I’ll-be-at-Starbuck’s-when-it-comes-time-for-all-the-heavy-lifting, Fangette, managed to put their heads together and, in so doing, hatched a very similar plan regarding her bedroom just the other day.
The problem, which has now become MY problem, is that they both have the attention spans of your average gnat. They also have no idea what-all goes into painting a room, let alone dragging out old furniture and replacing it with new furniture. Sure, they’ve watched me do it successfully time and time again, but they’ve never actually done it themselves. They underestimated, just a teensy bit, the time, energy, and cost associated with a project of this magnitude.
Fang, wearing, one would have to assume, his best pair of rose-colored glasses, struck what he thought was a reasonable deal with the daughter (the wife who could not believe her ears when she heard the plan, chose to remain silent). He told Fangette that if she removed the junk from her room, that he would use his last couple of vacation days to paint her room. That was Monday.
Do I even need to tell you that it’s now Wednesday and the only paint on the walls are the couple of swipes from the different colored sample pots that I acquired from the home improvement store? Will it come as a shock if I tell you that Fangette isn’t happy with either color?
In Fang’s defense, I should mention that he fell into the trap set by his offspring. He thought, as fathers often do, that he could trust his daughter to hold up her end of the bargain. I, of course, knew better. I’ve learned though, that when faced with these situations, it really is best to hold my tongue. This way, later on, when things inevitably go south, I can shake my head, suck my teeth, and seem somewhat sympathetic while muttering my “I told you so’s”.
Mothers really do know best. It’s a shame my family rarely consults me. Then again, why should they? I was not party to the deal brokering or the wild and unrealistic promises made by my partner — a man whose last foray into the wonderful world of painting lasted all of ten minutes before he began complaining about “cramping”. The expectation will be that I will spend the next few days picking up the pieces of their abandoned project. It will undoubtedly fall upon me to remove the detritus that was excavated from my daughter’s bedroom. The crap that was relocated NOT out to the garbage bin — that would’ve required putting on shoes, I guess, and, really, who can be bothered with that? — but, instead, to the very narrow, freshly painted hallway that is, itself, only in the secondary stage of redecoration — it’s painted, there are shelves, but a few things remain to be done before it can be called “finished”.
Not to worry, though, I’ll just dig out my “Painting Fairy” wings and save the day! Because, ya know, that’s how things shape up here at the hovel. I’ll be the one with paint in her hair and spackle underneath her fingernails. I’ll be the one to take her chances with the return of the plantar fasciitis that has finally subsided — but, really, climbing up and down a ladder is, surely, playing with fire where this malady is concerned.
I almost don’t even want to get started on the furniture. But, I will. Because I think that you need to know — so that you can form a full picture of what I’m up against here — that her new bed will not be the same size as her old bed. And, so, of course, we must procure a new mattress and box spring set in order to make this whole thing work.
On my list of things I’d rather not do — like, ever — mattress shopping with an adolescent is topped only by going out on safari, skydiving, and having needles stuck into my eyeballs. Frankly, the eyeball thing might be less torturous than the mattress thing.
While my kid, like teenagers the world over, loves to shop, shopping for a mattress does not have the same cachet, let’s say, as hopping from one store to another in search of such wardrobe staples as the perfect party dress or the ever elusive owl earrings. Not the same cachet AT ALL!
Minor criminals should not be locked in jail or forced to hammer out license plates, if the government is looking for a way to truly punish people for things like trespassing, destruction of personal property, or driving without insurance, I’d like to suggest that they require these folks to mattress shop with my kid or others like her — the disinterested, the surly, the petulant. I’ll bet after serving out this type of sentence they’ll think long and hard about taking a sledgehammer to their ex-wife’s car. Long and hard. I guarantee there won’t be a next time. Guarantee it.
So, yeah. My husband goes back to work tomorrow. There’s still crap piled in my hallway. I’ll have to spelunk under my daughter’s bed when I get home from work today — I hope I can put my hands on my cave exploration kit, I have a feeling I’m going to need it for that job. The walls need cleaning and taping. A mattress set still needs to be decided upon, purchased, and delivered. Arguments need to be had regarding paint colors — she seems to be going for “medieval dungeon”, I’d like something a little less depressing, but, who am I kidding?, I’m so beaten down at this point that I’d be happy to paint the stupid room black.
Somehow, in the midst of all of this lunacy, I’ll be expected to work in cooking Thanksgiving dinner. I could just make reservations or go elsewhere — invitations have been offered — but what fun would there be in that? I’m thinking that if I really want to teach them a lesson, if I truly want to give them a dose of their own medicine, I could just spring it on them Wednesday evening that they’ll be cooking Thanksgiving dinner. Oh, yeah. That might prove interesting.
I’ll keep my “Turkey Cooking” wings handy, though. You know, just in case they need me to swoop in and save Thanksgiving, too.