Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Painting the Living Room.

I'm really torn about painting the living room, but since Steve is unwilling to furnish the living room until it is a different color, I guess I'll concede, though I can't claim to do it in good grace. I've been kind of grousing about it lately. When I first painted it red, I had previously hand glazed the entire room (5 coats) covering each inch with a sponge dipped in one of three glaze colors. When it was done the room was the color of aspens in the fall, a particularly fantastic fall we had a few years back. I went and cut a few branches and brought them home to make sure the color was right. It was beautiful. Steve hated it and called it orange. After much "discussion", I agreed to paint over it only if it could be red. He agreed to "anything". It took many coats to get the right red shade. Red is particularly difficult to paint, as any light or dark spots really show until you get enough paint on the wall. I have loved the color for the last few years, anticipating when I could finally use the room and really enjoy my "Opera House Red" walls.

I want to ask two things: 1. Why does he get to change the deal once the deed is done? Does he get to? and 2. Why does he have a say? Don't men typically just let the woman decorate as long as they aren't forced to look at fabric samples, numerous paint chips, etc.?

I confess that part of me (a large part) feels as if this is a part of WHO I AM that is being dismissed. My thoughts, my planning, my efforts, my time, and yes, my MONEY that paid for all that paint is being dismissed as irrelevant. I know that this is a blind spot that Steve has, but I want to say like that line in "Phenomenon", "you should have bought (my) chairs."

There have been moments throughout our marriage when I have had flashes of almost murderous rage at this kind of dismissal. This man has the nerve to say, "You can't do that. You wouldn't do a good job." As if I needed a professional to paint my home, to choose my colors, to select my furnishings, to wire a lamp, to paint a picture, whatever. You don't know how many times I have been forced to paint over my handiwork or simply get rid of it, I think, simply because I made it.

The real problem perhaps is that he doesn't trust himself to do handiwork of anykind, with the exception of pipe, and so he doesn't trust me to do anything either. He was never encouraged to test his abilities and try new things and develop confidence in his skills.

I have tried many things, with varying results. I have done macrame, embroidery, quilting, made dolls, made clothes, made chaps for all the little boys in the neighborhood and handpainted them. I have stenciled walls, planted gardens, painted, plastered, wired fixtures, replaced the garbage disposal, put up drywall, hand painted artwork, done graphics work, arranged flowers, worked on my car, baked bread, etc., etc. Some of those things I have done well, some of them I discovered a distinct lack of talent and desire to continue. But I'm not afraid to try something. I figure there's very little that can't be fixed if I screw it up.

If you wanted to see my red living room, you better make it quick. Pretty soon it'll be all over but the crying.


Beth said...

HOW QUICK??? Do I need to bring my camera over or do you have plenty of pictures? I will miss it. It was so you.

You are an amazing woman. You can do ANYTHING!!!! And most of it very well indeed.

And you could probably graciously stand up for yourself just a tad bit more without being at all your idea of unwifely or ungracious (not to even mention anyone else's idea of those things) . . .

Kim said...

Ah, but when does standing up for yourself mean that you are trampling over someone else. I tend to be less than gracious when doing the standing up. Usually it's in saying ugly things, making broad, sweeping, generalized statements that because of their scope, of course aren't true and therefore may be ignored. "You ALWAYS..." "You NEVER..."