Monday, March 15, 2010

Hey, Who Left This Dusty Beer on the Bookshelf?

I believe I have mentioned before that I do not, as a general rule, enjoy Reality TV.  I don't watch American Idol, or Dancing with the Stars.  I don't watch the one with the chef, or the other one with the chef, or the kitchen one.  I don't know anything about bachelors, bachelorettes, models, cakes, monster bikes, or (sadly) losing weight.  I do occasionally watch the one with the English lady who tames the bratty kids, and I used to watch the one with tribes on an island back in the day.  But, I do have a weak spot:  I love all the home makeover, home improvement, and monster remodeling shows.

Now that I have become a homeowner, I realize how unreal those shows are.

Hanging Curtains on Trading Spaces:  There will be a cute little intro where the lady of the house picks up the drill and presses the trigger timidly, some fast scenes with music of her getting on a ladder, removing outdated brackets from each window, then flash to her adjusting the rod, with perfectly matched curtains hanging in full glory.  Total elapsed time - 15 to 20 minutes, by my estimation.

Hanging curtains in real life: Get ladder below outdated brackets, pull out drill with screwdriver attachment, but realize bracket proximity to screws is too close for use of drill.  Climb down ladder.

Get screwdriver and try to remove screws.  Decide different screwdriver would work better.  Climb down ladder.

Successfully remove one screw, but get stuck on second screw because it is one of those expansion dealies with the little plastic thing embedded in the plaster.  Attempt to pry out plastic dealie with screwdriver, but realize pliers are required.  Climb down ladder.

Pull out plastic thing.  Notice biggish hole in wall, which requires spackle.  Climb down ladder.

Apply spackle into hole, but then accidentally pull spackle out of hole when attempting to smooth over.  Repeat.  At long last, feel satisfied with spackle, but need beer for more energy and to pass time as spackle dries.  Climb down ladder.

Gather paint supplies, correct paint for room, and sanding paper.  Climb up ladder with paint on paint brush, then remember sanding should be done first.  Climb down ladder.

Sand, paint.  Crap.  Get paint on ceiling.  Decide to get white paint and fix this along with other areas where paint got on ceiling earlier despite massive amounts of painters tape.  Climb down ladder.

Now here's an obvious one for you - it is better to wait for paint on ceiling to dry before mixing it with white paint.  Doh!
Drill holes for modern rod brackets in much more modern position close to window.  Insert screw into hole and begin applying pressure with screwdriver, then drop screw into radiator below.  Swear.  Drink more beer, which was apparently positioned below sanding and plaster drilling operations.  Mmmmm....Dusty beer.  Climb down ladder.
Find screw, repeat screwdriver operation, and successfully attach bracket through hole #1.  Realize bracket is not straight and decide level is required.  Climb down ladder.
Get bracket to straighter position and check with level.  Hmmm.  Apparently bracket was already straight.  Sip more dusty beer, place away from work area, and drill second hole.  Attach screw successfully on first try and search for celebratory sip of beer, which you know you moved away from work area, but can't exactly locate now.  Climb down ladder.
Repeat all steps (including dropping screw into radiator, it is apparently a very necessary part of the process) with other side of window.  Climb down ladder.

Get new rod and prepare for moment of triumph as it is time to place it on the lovingly installed brackets.  Realize that "modern location" near window is too close because rod does not adjust that short.  Rod is approximately two inches too long.  Cry.  Climb down ladder.
Redo all steps with all windows, and DO NOT forget to drop that frickin screw!  Now you are ready for curtains.

Go to fabric store and huddle in fetal position in a corner for a few moments.  The fabric store is big.  It has many things besides fabric.  It is unclear if you should remove the large spools of fabric or if store representatives typically do this for you.  It is not certain if area labeled "window fabric" is fabric specifically for curtains of if any fabric is game.  All around you, women are talking about projects they are working on.  They seem knowledgeable, and crafty.  They all know more than you do.  Watch them.  Learn from them.  When you are ready, emerge from corner.  Now, go find your fabric!

Search and search and ponder and wonder.  Look at all colors, pick up many types of fabric.  Realize some of these cost $30 a yard and you need 21 yards.  After approximately three hours, a PA announcement will tell you the store is closing in ten minutes.  Hastily make choices and proceed to register.

To make curtains, lure mother to your home with promises of burritos.  Be sure she brings all required equipment, including needles, thread, and pins.  Then set her up, sweat shop style, in the kitchen.  Who knew making curtains could be so easy?

Finally, hang curtains on rod.

Elapsed time (and I am not making this up):  18 hours.


Liz Baer said...

On Trading Spaces I have never even seen them do that much work. They hire people to hang the curtains/curtain rods for them! This was definitely one of my favorite posts though. Very you.

Danielle Mari said...

I am so impressed that at no point did you bleed. This qualifies you, in my world, as an expert. Hats off!

CaraBee said...

I have lived this post. Except at the end, instead of my mom making me curtains, I screw up the $100 of material and wind up buying $20 curtains from Target. Elapsed time: 3 months.