Putting the Pain in Painting

My girlfriend and I moved into our duplex in Minneapolis over the weekend. More than anything, we were happy to reach an end point. My car put on 2,812 miles in the past week. Enough was enough.

I spent several posts criticizing my previous residence in Portland, and early on, it looks like our duplex will generate plenty of inspiration, as well.

Upon arrival, we noticed the place, despite its rich wood floors, looked like it had previously been a bumper-car track. There were scuffs and chips on nearly every wall, several areas stained and spotted from previous lessees. Perhaps they’d made the place into a freestyle racquetball court.

My first response: “Let’s clean it.”

My girlfriend’s first response: “Let’s paint it.”

In divorce cases filed because of irreconcilable differences, 54% of the time, it started with painting. There’s the choosing of colors, the purchasing of supplies and the execution of said paint job. None of it, however, is easy. There are several complex decisions to be made.

I want to start by blaming the assholes at Crayola who wouldn’t stop at the eight-crayon box. Our weekend would’ve gone much smoother had we no more than a few primary colors to choose from. In two rooms, we used a shade called tea & honey. Is the paint supposed to be the color of both tea and honey individually or their color once combined?

I became inexplicably passionate about what colors of paint we would choose. I wanted deep, dark browns, greens and reds. My girlfriend wanted something else, colors I can’t even recall because I was so stubborn as she was naming them. When we came to a compromise on a few basic colors, we then began intense debate over particular shades. You would think we were arguing Brown v. Board of Education.

Painting makes you care deeply about the most intricate details no one will ever notice once all is said and done. No one will ever go into our bathroom and think, “This candy apple is fine, but I’m going to have a hard time urinating if they don’t repaint it briquette.”

So, we spent our first 48 hours taping trim and base, laying plastic and drop clothes, making countless trips to Home Depot and sweating. At one point, the fumes were so overwhelming, it set off our fire detectors. I’m reporting to my new internship today with paint under my fingernails and no clue how to perform long division.

All in all, it was a pretty solid first weekend. And, most importantly, my girlfriend and I are still together.

2 thoughts on “Putting the Pain in Painting

  1. This sounds a lot like me and my wife. We can’t paint together. I tell her to pick out the colors, leave and I’ll do it alone. She wants to stay because “we can bond during it and have fun.”

    Painting is never fun. It takes 3 times as long to prep the walls, you always have to do two coats and the clean up sucks. Sure, it looks nice once it’s all done…if you’ve survived with your significant other intact.

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