where wildly different is perfectly normal


6av2Many, many years ago, in a college class I have long since forgotten, I read a poem. I remember very little about it, only that it was a woman speaking about the street on which she lived. That she was going to mindfully walk back and forth across that street and learn every square inch of that pavement. Then she would know, truly know, the street on which she lived.

That poem comes to mind, without fail, every single time I have to paint a room. If there is ever a time and place to be a perfectionist, it is when painting a room. Or several rooms. Or every damned room in the house, as we are doing this summer. Last time we engaged in such insanity was 1999; we were childless, we were teachers and had a relatively free summer, aaand we were able to get it done quickly and painlessly because of the first two reasons.

I learn a room when painting it. I learn the nooks and the crannies and the idiosyncrasies. I learn its secrets, like where the trim is kittywhompus behind the door, or or how the bathroom mirror hid a horror of patch jobs, or that now there is blue painters tape wedged behind the bathroom light that I refuse to dig out of there because I have no desire to be electrocuted and die while wearing an eight year old former maternity-now-painting shirt covered in a dozen shades of latex.

It’s so easy to go zen while painting. The paint fumes, even the low VOC ones, help elevate one’s consciousness. You must focus on the here and now or in the there and later you’re going to notice where you screwed up. There’s a parable in there somewhere.

It is the Summer of PAINT ALL THE THINGS! Five weeks of the house torn to hell, with the plan to have a clean, decorated, and pleasant home by the 8th of July. It can’t come soon enough, I’m sick of the house looking like this. At least the bathroom is clean. For awhile there I was worried we were on a CDC crisis alert.

In the end, it will be worth it. I will truly know my house by the 8th of July.
Note: I am fully aware that the image above is generated from the awesometastic blog Hyperbole and a Half. I cannot begin to put into words how much I miss this blog. The hardest I have ever laughed in my life, to the point that I embarrassed myself even though I was alone in the house, was while reading her post Dogs Don’t Understand Basic Concepts Like Moving. I dare you to read that and not pee yourself.


  1. Paula H.

    I enjoyed your link to Hyperbole and a Half. This week will begin the first move without our border collie. He was a combination of both dogs in this story and would always make our other, usually calm, dog (handsome, but not smart)crazy. I keep waiting for his freaked out, high pitched whine at the sight of a box and extra newspaper.

    1. Jen

      Rosie freaked out when I first started packing. By the time we finally moved seven months later I think she was too wiped from that long of a freakout and she didn’t complain. LOL

  2. Pingback: A day eleven years in the making

  3. Pingback: 16 years is a sloth, a kangaroo, or home improvements

  4. Pingback: How to parent a gifted child

Whaddya think?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.