Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The nightmare before New Years

It's official: sheetrock and I have arrived at a special new juncture in our relationship. For many, many years, I looked at walls and thought to myself, "ah, I see a wall there...." I wasn't completely ignorant--I could, of course, identify a particularly egregious application of faux wood paneling like any old rookie can--but for the most part, I have been completely ignorant of the particulars of interior wall treatments. But no more.

For the past two years, Bryan and I have done the stupidest of all possible stupid things and have taken on an enormous, unholy headache of a home improvement project right after Christmas. Last year, it was gutting and remodeling our bathroom. This year, we're painting our dining and living rooms. Ooooh, painting, you say. Quit being a whiney baby, Jesslyn, you say. Painting's not so hard, you say.

On the contrary, my brothers.

So, our house is a little bit of a dump. Not so much as prevented us from buying it, mind you. It was just somebody's sort of shoddy workmanship (probably helped along by some psilocybian mushrooms) in 1951 that became somebody's grandma's house and then about 15 other people's rental house and now it's our house. It's been rode hard and put away wet, like Daddy always says. It's also the kind of place where you start a small project and before you know it, you're chest deep in a morass of strange truths about the builder's psyche. Lately I've been wondering to myself, WHERE did that guy FIND THIS DRYWALL? Did he make it himself out of a sandbox and a pack of construction paper? I mean, SWEET BANANA PANCAKES, people! It really is that bad.

And so, in the age old tradition of the men in my husband's family, what began as a simple painting project became a sandstorm of spackle dust. Because there is nothing-absolutely-nothing that can't be fixed with spackle, caulk, 80 grit sandpaper and a couple layers of paint. And about 72 hours. Per room. The photo above was taken at 10 this morning after I dropped Odessa off at my friend Kerry's so she didn't have to inhale all those spackle nanoparticles (thanks Aunt Keggy!). Do you see the insane glint in his eye? Or rather, take my word for it: if his glasses weren't so covered in spackle dust, you would see a really insane, sandy sort of glint in his eye that said "I think I know what that guy was thinking with this drywall."

Yes, friends, this is the face of a man who has entered the Heart of Darkness. The horror.


  1. Oh, Jesslyn, we need to talk. Alex is just standing here telling me that he is jealous of Bryan's dedication (seriously), and complaining to me that I did not give him the "luxury" of taking 72 hours per room, as he knows he should have. He did, however, notice the rotten drywall in our bedroom that I was trying to hide, the both of us knocked countless holes in the walls while removing this unBELEIVABLY difficult to remove wallpaper trim. Oh, home owning. With this, as in many things, J and B are again my mentors, going the extra mile for smooth sheetrock.

  2. I tried to post a comment but DSL decided i must revise it...ain't sheetrock fun?

    Brian's words to me on Monday were, "spackle, sand and paint, make it look like something it ain't".

    Wanna try a wood stove next week, Jess?