Need to paint ongoing house projects


There’s a classic children’s book called “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.” You might be surprised to learn that the story revolves around what happens if you give a mouse a cookie. This simple act triggers a chain of events that ends (spoiler alert) with the mouse wanting another cookie. The following is offered with apologies to the author of the book, Laura Joffe Numeroff.

If you’re living in a house during a pandemic, you’ll have plenty of time to stare at the walls. Looking at these walls will make you realize they could use some paint. Thinking about sprucing up your home with paint is exciting, so you decide to start with the living room because it’s the least used room in your home and will go largely unnoticed in your daily life. You realize it doesn’t make sense, but a lot of things don’t make sense lately, so you decide to go with it.

The idea of ​​rolling with you is reminiscent of a paint roller, which you’ve used before and based on the results were told never to use it again. So you decide to hire a professional painter. Calling a professional painter brings the sound of laughter to your ears, which sounds great until you realize it’s because the painters are booking next year. Other people who lived in their homes during a pandemic spent less time looking at walls before deciding to paint them and are ahead of you online. You think that’s still better than painting them yourself, so you go to the end of the line and wait your turn. As you wait your turn for the painter, you realize you might as well have him paint the entry hall and family room while they’re there.

Calling all those painters makes you tired, so you lay down to rest. As you lay there, you stare at the ceiling and wonder if it’s just your imagination or if the water spots have gotten bigger. So you make a few extra calls and find a contractor who is willing to fix your ceiling.

As you wonder about water stains, you wonder about your fireplace and how hard the builder had to work to make the real brick look like fake brick. Which makes you wonder how you ever lived with something so ugly for so long, and why you bought the house in the first place, and if you have any taste. That’s when you realize you need to get out and get some fresh air, but not before you’ve told the contractor you want him to fix the chimney too.

As you step outside to get some fresh air, you trip over the family room carpet. It’s hard not to when there are big bumps in the mat caused either by improper installation or by sweeping something big under the mat, like, say, a corpse. You announce that you need new flooring in the family room but no one listens to you anymore because all your announcements so far have only led to queuing. They’re right, of course, but that doesn’t stop you from contacting a hardwood flooring contractor and getting another line.

All that waiting gives you plenty of time to learn about sourcing, shipping, supply chains, and other things you never really wanted to know. It has you living with things in limbo for months, which honestly sounds like your life before you decided to paint the walls. While you wait, the weather is getting colder and you wish you could get the gas fireplace insert you need for your new upgraded fireplace. The delivery date is repeatedly delayed. When it is finally your turn to get your fireplace insert, it is again delayed due to a fire at the fireplace factory. It makes you laugh, which reminds you of the laughs you heard when you called the painters.

Who eventually arrive, accompanied by the installer of the fireplace and the flooring contractor, one after the other. Suddenly there are more people in your house in a month than there have been in the past two years combined. All this activity makes you feel tired and want to lie down, but you can’t because all your living room and family room furniture is stacked in the other rooms of your house.

Finally, getting everything tidy and tidy is cause for celebration. You enter the kitchen to have a drink. And while you’re standing in the kitchen with your drink, you look at the walls and realize they could really use some paint.

Betsy Bitner is a writer from the Capital Region.

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