Phew! The painting of Col's room is complete and he's back in his "new" pad as of last night. I love painting-- the instant gratification of a whole new look with just a gallon of color. And the smell? Love it. It screams fresh and new while reminding me of my Grandpa who was a painter by trade. If it wasn't for the cost and clean-up, I'd repaint the place once a year.
There are many things that Joe and I bicker about, but home improvement projects are not one. He and I will tackle just about anything--although major projects are left to the professionals. We've learned that things like drywall and carpentry are better done by those with the experience, and it just saves us a lot of headaches. But we have been known to do siding, laying a wood floor, tiling, as well as the painting, staining, and wood trim. We've learned a lot by doing these projects together over 21 years, and most of all, how to work together.
As Joe was rolling the walls yesterday, I trimmed, and we both cracked up as Dave Mathews' "You and Me" came on the I-pod. Dave was singing about how "we" could do anything and I laughed how I didn't think painting was on his mind when he wrote that. Somehow home improvements don't seem very romantic, but I think it speaks volumes about who you are as a couple if you can complete some projects together. It takes teamwork, collaboration, and a little bit of give and take.
Twenty plus years of being together, Joe and I have learned the pasa doble of home ownership--trying to paint a small room without killing each other. It still amazes me that while he's maneuvering the pan of paint around, I'm wrestling the ladder, and neither collides. I trim high while he rolls low, and vice versa. Put us on the Amazing Race and we'd kill each other, but stick us in a 10 x 15 room to paint in an hour and watch us go. When I'm goobing up the ceiling, he's wiping the dropped paint off the floor. While I'm cleaning the brushes, he tossing the rollers. What is a huge task for one, isn't so bad when you've got a partner who knows what brush you need and when.
So, our project turned out great and the room is put back together again--albeit it a snappy shade of mustard yellow. The weather worked in our favor as the kitties were more interested in going outside to chase leaves instead of bothering us. There were no mustard yellow paw prints or playing of "Where's the Kitty?" amongst the stacked furniture and belongs in the garage. Even the kids were busy, so we didn't have to yell and scream about nobody helping around the house. And yes, there was a dance break at one point as Justin Timberlake's "Sexy back" came on the I-pod.
I'm thinking that instead of pre-marriage counseling or Pre-Cana, the requirement for marriage should be a home improvement project. How you go about planning and executing a project speaks volumes of who you are as a couple. I always love those bickering dating couples on the Amazing Race--forget traveling together--try holding a piece of plywood over your head while the other person nails it. Now that is the true test of love and patience.