I am peeling wallpaper. There is a long, long list of things I’d rather be doing, not even taking into account that today is my birthday. Gordy is traveling, however, so we will celebrate this event when he returns. Instead, I am home alone and full-in on doing things to impress myself regarding the level of my zeal and work ethic, especially given his absence. It’s a crazy disease which I come by legitimately; if you knew me in childhood, you would understand.
The house is filled with wallpaper: Every bathroom, the foyer, and, most dreaded of all, the kitchen. We are weeks, maybe months away from dealing with reconstruction of each of these rooms, but the wallpaper must come down and I thought doing it when there wasn’t the pressure of a time frame would make the task more palatable. I mentioned this theory to Gordy quite a few times over the course of weeks and not once did he flinch …. we were playing the “it doesn’t exist if you don’t see it” game. Turns out, his ability to not see the wallpaper was far, far greater than mine and I’m sure in his inner being he had already surmised that I would crack first. He was right.
I initiated this whole wallpaper agenda when he was traveling … perhaps you sense a pattern. I started with the kitchen because it was, without a doubt, the most difficult to “not see” and, lest you think I am dramatic, here is what hangs on the north and south walls:
And here is what hangs on the east and west walls:
And here is the whole combined, glorious effect, or the half of it that I can fit in one shot:
I started with the barnyard scene. If I had started with the rustic wood, this would have been a very short post because it turns out that the barnyard is strippable while the rustic wood is not. Barnyard scene seduced me into thinking this project had some flow to it; that I would have much to show for my solitary efforts. Rustic wood jeered at me and made me rage against all who participated in the thinking that someone would want to keep that wallpaper up FOREVER.
You have to know when to walk away from a fight and clearly this was one of those times. I would come back to it, but next time I would be armed. For now, I have moved on to the powder room. The powder room wallpaper is quite bland by comparison:
Most importantly, however, the powder room wallpaper was strippable and gave me a gratifying sense about the results of my efforts.
I’m doing the slimy work now — removing the backing and glue that remains on the wall. Spray, scrape, wipe; repeat. I try not to think about how much more work there is to do, how much more of this I have to do. I am pleased with my progress. It’s all I can be.
When Gordy comes home I will scurry him into the bathroom, turn on the light and declare, “See? See what I have done?”
He will applaud my efforts.
He will also laugh a bit, just a little, and in a way that shows me he sees, not just the absence of wallpaper, but that part of me that is quirky and urgent; that causes me to hold myself together in HIS absence by doing things that will remind him how useful I am and confirm what a good decision he made loving me. Oh, he sees.