Wallpaper Caper

Brunhilda and I had a move to accommodate her new job as an English teacher in Bismarck, ND. So we went looking for houses, which is a man’s second least favorite thing to do. The least favorite thing is going shopping for a dress and holding your purse while you are in the dressing room. To a man, that would be like walking down main street in a hoop skirt.

         But it had to be done so we spent countless hours shopping for a home. So much so, that our realtor would hide when he saw Brunhilda coming. After much shopping (I swear we looked at EVERY house on the market, Brunhilda marched up and down looking at every room and declared it PERFECT!

         Fast forward about a month.

It was Saturday morning of the labor day weekend. I was just hangin’ out with a fresh newspaper, some hot coffee and a warm dog, ready for a relaxing 3 day weekend. Then Brunhilda burst into the house like an ocean gale, carrying a whole sack of tools and pulling enough double rolls of wallpaper that I doubt if she got out of the store without a pack mule.

         I had spent the last two weekends scraping all of the old wallpaper off the walls. Up and down the ladder with scraping tools until I was exhausted. There is not one wall with paint on it. Every single wall was wallpapered. The former owners bought enough wallpaper to do the Grand Canyon, and they put it on some sort of space-age adhesive that Tammy Faye Baker uses to apply her makeup.

         I can tell you that seeing Brunhilda standing there in front of the scaped wall with all the artillery to wage wallpaper, for me was met with as much enthusiasm as a convict picking up road trash.

         “Let’s get this wallpaper up!” enthused like she was handing me an extra dessert.

         “I have to ask, what didn’t you say this was perfect? If it is perfect why are you changing it?”

         “I want to reflect my own personality.”

         I didn’t want to touch that one, and all I could utter was “would do any good to say no?”

         “Is there a good reason you can’t do this?”

         “I think I threw my neck out taking a nap.”

         “I am not buying it, Sport. I got all the tools we need. The guy at the store said all we need to do the job is the right tools”

         “That is like saying all Jeffrey Dahmer needed was a good meal,”

         By this time Brunhilda was getting a little testy and I knew that my chance of escaping this job was thinner than the book of good country music. She was slowly changing from Brunhilda, to Brunhilda the Taskmaster.

         “Are you telling me that you would rather leave our home looking like this?” she shilled.

         (She had obviously forgotten that when we men were still in charge and the undisputed bosses, that families lived in caves or huts made out of adobe, sod and logs. Those were better and simpler times – uncluttered by such things as wallpaper.)

         I replied, “not only would I leave it like this, but I would rather scrub the Green Bay Packer locker room floor on my belly with a Q-tip in my teeth.”

         I believe that it was right about that time that we launched into a fiery discussion in which Brunhilda did most of the talking. But I sure gave her a good listening to.

         When it was all over, Brunhilda dumped that pile of tools and wallpaper rolls on the floor in front of me that cost about as much as an aircraft carrier with enough change to buy everyone who attended the last Super Bowl and hot dog and a beer.

         Brunhilda gave me a look that said the discussion was over. I turned and said to the dogs that they would have relax without me and shimmied up the ladder to take some measurements.

         I spent the entire 3 day weekend handling wallpaper that had all the strength of wet tissue paper to replace the ugly stuff we took down, which was more durable than soap scum.

         By the second day, I was knee deep in wallpaper scraps, had a bad case of ladder legs, and there was enough dried past on my jeans that they stood up alone in the corner as a silent monument to a lost weekend.

         Two hallway and one bedroom down. Eight rooms to go.

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