Husband and I wander around the outside of our house last night, realizing we need to paint the exterior. Soon.
“I’ll just get up on a ladder and do it,” Himself says.
“No you won’t.”
“Yes, I will!”
“You don’t know how to paint.”
“I’ve done it before.”
“No, you have never painted the outside of a house before. We had siding before. And I saw what you did to the inside of your old apartment.” Translation: husband had yet to learn the necessities of prepping before you paint, which means using blue painter’s tape. The living room ceiling had huge splotches of dark gold “oopsies.” And, was never patched in. It gave a nice, abstract, giraffe-spot effect for a few years.
“I’ll just do it.”
“When? You’re booked at work in the Fall; and Spring starts Mother’s Day, graduation and wedding season.” Himself is a chef. One of the few months he gets extra time on his hands is February. Exterior painting with ice cycles doesn’t seem like a lot of fun to me. Nor does visiting him in hospital for Valentines Day.
“So what do you want to do? Hire someone? We can’t afford that.”
“Maybe. Maybe not. We haven’t got a quote yet.”
“Fine. You get a quote.”
The next morning I open up our local Advertiser paper (NJ’s version of The Shopper). I recognize the name of a painter I’ve been seeing advertise here for the past 15 years. Certainly not a fly-by-night guy, so I call him up.
The answering machine starts. I wait to leave a message.
Here’s the beginning of the painter’s outgoing voicemail:
BOOP BOOP! BAP BAP! BEEP BEEP! (Insert rhythmic whistles here.)
This repeats. I suddenly recognize Donna Summer’s “Bad Girl” lyrics. The rest of the message continues.
“Thanks for calling the office of Painting by Mr. Ed.”
BOOP BOOP! BAP BAP! BEEP BEEP – DEE, DEE – DEE DEE DEE
“This is also the home of Ed and Shirley Klipstein.”
“Please leave your message after the tone.”
BAD GIRLS… TALKIN’ ‘BOUT…
“Thank you, and have a blessed day in the Lord.”
I leave my message and hang up, feeling oddly comforted that the Lord clearly was with me in all those disco bars in Teaneck and Paramus, way back in the day. That, and we’ll probably be hiring a painter who listens to some oldies but goodies while he works. I wonder if he wears gold chains?