How to Ruin a Lovely Long Weekend
Step 1: Get married.
Early last week my husband and I were chatting about all the fun things we might get up to over the Easter long weekend. Lovely, interesting things like knitting, sewing, and quilting for me, and weird, boring things like riding motorcycles and making models of motorcycles for him.
We have both spent most of our lives working in jobs where things like weekends and public holidays have meant very little. If anything, weekends and holidays were often more work than the regular days. So if you are in the same boat, I feel for you. At the moment though, our weekends are weekends again, so four empty days stretching out in front of us felt like a wonderful opportunity to relax and indulge in a few of our favourite things. Perfect.
Then my husband said, slightly accusatory, ‘You know what we should be doing this weekend…’
Wow. Seriously? Yes, Kevin. Of course I know what we should be doing, but I thought we loved each other enough not to mention it!
And then he said it out loud.
‘… we should be painting the ensuite.’
Friends, I don’t know why he is like this. What kind of person would want to ruin our lovely long weekend? I love him, I do. But he’s clearly a deeply troubled man.
Backstory: My husband bought this house long before he met me, at a time when he had a garage full of motorcycles and motorcycle parts and tools for doing things to motorcycles and honestly the only reason he even bought a house at all was because he couldn’t just buy a garage without the big useless building attached to it. He likes to tell the story that when the first census came around after he’d lived here for a few years, he had to get up and count how many bedrooms there were, because beyond the master bedroom and main living area, he had no idea what the rest of the house even looked like.
It sounds like an exaggeration, but knowing my husband, it probably isn’t.
When the house was being built, in an effort to save money, he made the (insane) decision to not have the interior walls painted. Instead, he naively proclaimed those five little words that DIY hopefuls throughout all time and history have eventually come to regret. ‘I can do it myself!’ Upon moving in, he immediately chose the simultaneously darkest and brightest shade of orange (Orange, Kevin? Really?) in the known universe, painted one long wall, made an absolute mess of it (and the carpet, the cornices, and, inexplicably, the ceiling) and vowed never to paint another thing. (Thank goodness!)
Now, before all of this Settling Down and Buying a House business ever even came about, he lived in various parts of the Eastern States. In a Land Rover. Yes, the car. For years. By choice. And loved it. This is not a man who cares about wall treatments, friends. So, given his somewhat questionable priorities, several years of the house being little more than an extension of the garage, and all the walls (bar one aggressively orange one) being nothing more than bare plaster, you can imagine the horrors I had to deal with when I came along. (He literally had a working Honda Monkey Bike in the living room. As décor. Don’t even dare think about the carpet!)
Over the past few years, I have slowly worked my way through the main living areas painting one wall or small section at a time. Up until a year or so ago, for most of our relationship Kevin has worked a Fly In Fly Out roster, spending eight days at a time away on a mine site, and six days back at home. At some point we spent one of those six day stretches together putting an undercoat on the entire back end of the house (three bedrooms back there, for the record, a laundry, another bathroom, and separate toilet) and that was when I decided to leave all the painting jobs for when he was away at work. I am not a good painter, although I have gotten slightly better with practice. What I am, however, is an Anxiety Riddled Perfectionist, so I am quite militant about Doing My Best and I get Very Upset when I inevitably make even the tiniest mistake. As you may have guessed, My Darling Husband does not suffer the same afflictions. Great for him and his mental health. Not so great for the walls or mine.
So anyway, after successfully putting off this miserable job for literally years, last Thursday, having caught a big old case of The Guilts from my horrible husband, I went out and bought all the necessary nonsense for painting the ensuite. Once I was committed, I thought, ‘Hell, why not do the walk-in robes, too? How hard can it be?’ Side note: ‘Walk-in robes’ makes the whole situation sound much fancier than it is. Between our bedroom and bathroom is a small walkway with an alcove of about 1.5 square metres on either side. There is one shelf hung slightly above head height on each side with a rail underneath it. We have also shoved an old chest of drawers in each. Technically, yes, you can walk in there. But if you are picturing some Sex and the City vibes I’m afraid you’ll be disappointed. Either way, adding them to the job was a big mistake.
I thought, ‘Hey, they’re so tiny, not much extra work at all. If we’re already painting, we’d be crazy not to!’ But I was so wrong. Painting a big empty room is not that hard. Cut in at the top and bottom, grab a big roller and go for your life. But cutting in a bathroom, toilet, and two closets around shelves and corners and rails and tiles and counters and the mirror and the shower AND the toilet is an absolute prick of a job that definitely takes one thousand hours more than you think it will.
So ‘Good’ Friday was spent emptying out and cleaning the bathroom and the closets, and then I was faced with the task of filling several long-ignored holes that had been left behind by an unfortunate Towel Rain Hanging Incident several years ago which ended with twice as many holes as would have been required to hang a towel rail, and also a hammer going through a part of the wall where there shouldn’t actually have been any holes at all. (Bless him.)
On Saturday we started the sealer and undercoat and I worked way too hard for way too long without any breaks and not nearly enough water until I eventually (and inevitably) yelled at my poor husband, collapsed in a heap, and cried until I fell asleep.
I woke up Sunday all puffy eyes, slightly traumatised, and feeling Very Delicate, so we decided that maybe it would be a good idea to take the day off from painting. We wandered around the Guildford markets in the morning, had lunch with Kev’s parents in the afternoon, and I spent a quiet couple of hours knitting in the evening. There’s the weekend I had hoped for! But alas, it could not last.
On Monday we started the topcoat, but again, it all just takes so much longer than you think it will and although it’s already Tuesday now, it’s still really nowhere near finished. Kevin is back at work today, the contents of our bathroom are still strewn across the bedroom, and the contents of both our closets are strewn halfway across the house. My whole body hurts, I’ve had a headache for four days, and I will be painting this bloody bathroom for the rest of my life. Or at least the rest of the week.
After all of this, my dear (painfully optimistic) husband said to me, ‘We should plan a big house project every Easter weekend!’
Friends, what is wrong with this man? It’s like he doesn’t even want us to be happy.
I hope you got to spend your weekend doing something that fills your cup. But if you didn’t, I hope at least that you got to spend less time crawling around on a toilet floor with paint in your hair than I did. (Unless, of course, that kind of thing is what fills your cup. No judgement here, Kinksters.)
Okay. That’s all for now. I love you. Bye.xo