I Paint Like I Walk: On the Wild Side

I think planning is for suckers, which is why I've been painting the same room for like two weeks.
Publish date:
March 22, 2012
painting, lazy home improvement, painter's tape is for suckers

"I just don't like, like doing stuff." This is how I described my ideal vacation to a friend whose wedding is in Puerto Rico in two months. My itinerary includes getting drunk and tanning. My bigger half wants to climb a sharp mountain using only gumption and his finger nails, then he'll swan dive down an iridescent waterfall illuminated by magical glow in the dark bacteria. This actually sounds fun to some people. Whatever, I'll be by the pool.

But despite my aversion to actually "doing" things I'm always thrilled to "have done" something -- anything (see going to church). There's an oft-Tweeted famous quote from Dorothy Parker that pretty much sums up my life philosophy in just one sentence -- "I hate writing, I love having written."

Basically what she's saying is that the end result almost always outweighs the horror one has to go through to come out on the other side. For most people this would apply to pretty much everything -- child birth, high school, cleaning your fridge. Thing is the ride out of the tunnel of accomplishment is usually a bit smoother if you plan ahead, gas up first and follow your GPS lady's creepy robotic road map. But who wants to do all that -- preparation? Me, that's who. And I've got the fucked-up painted walls to prove it.

Yeah the whole painter's tape thing? Not for me. Really it's the hardware store guy's fault. Because I exude confidence without really trying, due to a lifetime of being awesome in my own mind, people often assume I know what the hell I'm doing on any given Monday. I do not.

The Professional Paint Mixer Dude sized me up -- my dog eared paint chips, my roller ready biceps -- and surmised that I'd be able to do the trim sans painter's tape. "You just need to watch the edge." What he didn't know is that I never watch the edges. I walk on the wild side.

So with nothing to keep me from painting all over the ceiling and the baseboards besides my nonexistent steady and patient surgeon's hands, I, of course, painted all over the baseboards and the ceiling.

The project that was supposed to take half a day -- remaking what we've been calling "the little room" into the home office of my dreams -- has now stretched out to nearly a week and counting. I've been back to my local hardware store twice. Once to get the painter's tape. (I felt like a hooker buying condoms.) And another time to buy white paint for the beautiful trim I'd gone all impressionist on with my shaky stroke.

What have I learned from this? Besides hire the pros next time?

I've been in a nesting mode recently. The spooky midnight creaks of my now shared home/life have been settling in as of late, so now antsy ole me wants to wave a magic wand around our apartment to make things new again. But not at the expense of like doing stuff. I mean, I did do something. I painted a whole 400 square foot room -- really badly. But I could have just prepped, finished the job in a fraction of the time and used the left over hours to lounge by the pool -- ie., my couch. Ipso facto, doing stuff will, in the end, enable my love of not doing stuff. Get it? Reverse psychology for the motivationally challenged.