If you are new to my blog, I have decided to take you on a story tour of my second wife who I call Brunhilda (not her real name) and her two spoiled beyond believe daughters, who I have named for purposes of this continuing story as Cleopatra and Bathsheba, (after queens because that is how they expected to be treated), and her son Chipper.
If you liked this story, read my previous blog posts as they are all about that time in my life and I hope they bring a smile or a laugh to you.
Some of you may remember my last “DakotaDoug Vs. Wallpaper” from yesterday’s blog. Actually, I was interrupted before I was through with the wallpaper project because I fell off the ladder and Brunhilda the Taskmaster took pity on me and said that we could forego some rooms.
About a year past and I could see the signs. I would compare it to one of those letters from the IRS that says they are going to set up camp in your home and edit all of your tax returns for the past three years. Deep down you knew that it was a possibility, but you never expected to have that much bad luck. That is the way that I felt when Brunhilda came home again last week lugging a trunk load of books that contain wallpaper samples.
I had put all of the wallpaper tools in the garage, cleverly hidden so Brunhilda wouldn’t stumble upon them by accident. I was totally without warning when she plopped the many books on the floor in front of me. She smiled and looked at me much like an executioner looks at his victim standing on the gallows. The look on my face must have resembled Jim Carrey sucking on a lemon. I began to sweat like I was stroking the actual boilers of hell.
Brunhilda had declared that the house was perfect. Perfect to most men, would mean that it didn’t require any undo work. This is not how women think. Women think that it would be perfect with major changes. I found out later that every single wall was cover with wallpaper and every single wall Brunhilda hated. I will admit that even with my poor eye for things like interior decorating the house looked like it had been decorated by vandals. Every wall was as ugly as an old bowling shoe. It had the charm and ambiance of a track-side tire warehouse.
To Brunhilda, she had the chance to make it reflect her personality and make wholesale changes— with my sweat. To me, however, the house WAS perfect- because all the bedrooms for the teenagers were on a separate level of the house. They even had their own bathroom. For me, there was not even a good reason for them to be on the main floor with normal people. So, it was the perfect house. The wallpaper could have been old grocery bags and it would have been good enough for me. So, in a weak moment that I saw as not being on the same floor as teenagers, I promised that I would help her get rid of the ugly wallpaper.
The wallpapering marathon started about a year ago. And in spite of my promise, the job generated as much enthusiasm as an E-coli outbreak. Even hearing the words wallpaper are like raking fingernails over a chalkboard. Each time that Brunhilda started to eye a new room for the inevitable makeover, all my pleas for mercy fell on deaf ears.
I could tell every time that she was close to tackling a new room. She would stand in the center of the room and thoughtfully gaze at the old walls stroking her chin while her eyes sort of glass over. I would try to head it off with reason and logic and would pound on my pitiful checkbook and wail and whine and gnash my teeth. The end result, however, was always as predictable as a Cuban election, and I would drag the ladder and the tools of torture out of the garage.
And then about a month before Bathsheba was to graduate in May, we were expecting overnights guests for the occasion. Brunhilda was determined that two additional rooms should be wallpaper before the occasion.
“TWO ROOMS!?!?!” I shrieked. I went on to tell her that I would rather take the job of the rest room attendant at the Frog Sphincter, Arkansas Bean Cook-Off and there was no way I could get that done in time for Bathsheba’s graduation.
She threatened me with meals consisting of beets and peas and having my newspaper delivered with a wrinkled sports section. (That woman fights dirty!) She delivered the knockout punch about two minutes into the argument however: “If I don’t get those rooms wallpapered by graduation, I will encourage Bathsheba to live at home another year and attend the local community college.”
“How many of those rooms was it that you wanted papered?” (How was that for a snappy comeback?) I did manage to get a promise from Brunhilda, that if I did both rooms, she had to leave me alone without further wallpapering for a full year.
Well, the same glassy-eyed, chin-stroking started again a few weeks ago and last weekend there were wallpaper books littering the floor again. Brunhilda said the year was up. I told her that since Bathsheba was back for the summer that I was entitled to another whole year. I also told her that I didn’t think the year should even start until she got all her stuff out of the basement. I made a case against new wallpaper that – if you would have heard it –you would swear it was forged by the right hand of God.
If any of you are wondering who won that little argument; well let’s just say that if you have any sympathy or understanding for my plight – let me confirm your worst fears. The ladder and the wallpapering books sit inside the house as a sort of a monument to any who man who thinks he is the boss in his own home.