Friday, September 9, 2011


The entry to your house is the first thing that people see when they come for a visit, so it's your house's first impression.  That's why I think that it's important to have the entry be well-kept and tidy looking -- it sets the tone or something.  By the time you get people inside, they are busy thinking about when they can get a beer and where the bathroom is, so flaws/messes/broken things are less noticeable.  But while they are waiting for you to come to the door, there's really nothing to do but look around.  Which is why, for months, the sorry state of our front entry has been so annoying to me.

Kathy is blissfully unaware of all of this.  She has an amazing capacity to look right over things that need repair without noticing them.  So it was only me that was twisting myself into knots over the fact that the railing leading up to our front porch looked like this:

When I pointed it out to her, she responded, "Hey, look, it used to be blue; can we paint it blue again?"  Isn't she sweet?  Of course, I told her no freaking way we were having a tacky blue railing.  So I started the project of scraping, sanding and re-painting the railing.  I also thought I would paint the rusty mailbox while I was at it.  I figured the whole thing would take me a day and a half -- the first day I would scrape and sand in the morning and prime in the afternoon, and the second day I would paint it. 


It took me the first full day to scrape and sand about 2/3 of it.  The second full day I scraped and sanded the remaining 1/3 and primed about a foot of it.  The third day I finished priming and had painted 1/2 of one of the 2 railings.  Then it started to rain.

So, you know, life happened.  The next sunny day we went to a baseball game with C.  Then we went on vacation.  Then there was a hurricane.  Etc., etc.  The result was that, for almost a month, our railing looked like this, a lovely combination of black paint and Rustoleum brown primer:

Not exactly what I'd call an improvement.  It reminded me of this time when I was in college, and I decided to dye my hair My So-Called Life Red.  It was such a great idea, but then it started to grow out, and I was bored with it.  So I tried to dye it back to my original color, and for some reason the growing out roots bleached out, and the red part stayed exactly the same color.  So I had to walk around with two-tone hair until someone suggested this insane bleach powder stuff that you make into a paste and burn the shit out of your hair for a half hour or something, which made me one consistent shade of orangey-blonde, that I could then dye brown again.  This was the last time I ever dyed my hair.

Anyway, we had this two-tone railing, and now I had a sense of exactly how much additional work was going to be required to finish it.  So there it sat, for a month.  Today, however, I sucked it up and finished.  I have never been so glad to have a chore done in my entire life.  Here's what it looks like now:

What's kind of funny, though, is that the red car is sitting in front of the house, so the black looks a little like the Rustoleum brown primer. But I assure you, it's black.  And here's a shot with our new black mailbox:

As I was finishing, Kathy shuffled up, on her way back from Dunkin Donuts.  "It looks nice, sweetie," she said, and handed be a bag of Muchkins as payment for my hard work.  "But why couldn't you at least have painted the mailbox blue?"

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