Do you get tired of asking people to do things and end up doing it yourself? I often do. But last week my honey made the mistake of asking if he could help me do anything.
All my blood drained to my feet, and I felt dizzy. Was he volunteering — actually volunteering — to work? I must be having a hot flash, I thought, fanning myself.
“You can scrape the bathroom ceiling,” I ventured.
Let me explain. The bathroom ceiling has been a point of contention around our house for some time now. It all started when the roof leaked and caused a patch of the ceiling to peel.
After the roof was repaired, we hired a handyman to fix it. He not only didn’t fix it, he made it worse. He was supposed to patch the damaged spot and paint the entire ceiling. I don’t know what he painted it with, possibly paint remover. He was barely out the door when it started peeling again, this time in a dozen places instead of only one.
“Make him come back and fix it,” said honey. I didn’t want him coming back. I was not giving him my other arm and leg to finish turning my house into a compost pile.
With every steamy shower, the ceiling became worse and worse, popcorn flakes fell like dry leaves in the wind.
I didn’t know what to do.
Then I read a do-it-yourself article on the Internet. The guy who wrote the article hated popcorn ceilings and had scraped the entire ceiling in his house. “It’s easy,” he said. “Why pay someone hundreds when you can do it yourself for nothing?”
I went to Walmart and bought the biggest paint scraper I could find.
My honey is a smart man. He graduated from a Big Ten college and is a computer analyst. But he is not handy around the house.
“What do I cover the floor with?” he asked.
“Go upstairs and get a plastic drop cloth.” (This man is a college graduate.)
He got the ladder out of the garage all on his own, and the sounds of paint being scraped floated down the hallway.
In a while he came down the hall in a cloud of dust, filthy as a salt miner. I didn’t say a word.
“My arms are not long enough,” he whined, “I can’t reach it in the shower.”
There are times in a relationship when it is best to keep your opinions to yourself. This was one of those times.
He tried to pass the job off to my son, but my son, thinking as fast as a deer in hunting season, went to the garage and found a stool that would fit in the shower.
Maybe I should have called the handyman from hell after all. A few more minutes of digging popcorn like a gopher on espresso and he was done.
“I didn’t get the edges good,” he said. “My shoulder hurts.”
I might have known I would have to get involved eventually. I climbed the ladder and finished it while he cured the shoulder with a big dose of football on TV. But I was still proud of him for doing most of it.
The worst part was cleaning up the mess. Being a man, he didn’t bother to remove the curtains, towels, pictures or anything else except a few of his own toiletries. Everything was covered in a dust storm of crumbled paint. I think it took longer to clean up the mess than to make it. I wore out a dust buster and two brooms. Finally, I got all the ceiling remains off the floor.
The ceiling isn’t painted now. I don’t care. Right now, I need to collapse for about three days. When I wake up, I will look on the Internet and see if I can find an article on how to paint a ceiling.
It is probably easy. We can do it ourselves.
Copyright 2012 Sheila Moss