Tuesday, February 1

Loss of innocence?

I have lost my innocence. And I have Bob Vila to blame. He did not properly prepare me for this moment. I was sent out into the world with the cold indifference and thoughtless brutality reserved for such momentous events as the first day of kindergarten, or the launching of nuclear weapons. In my own way I was armed, only with a bucket of Minwax Helmsman Spar Semi-Gloss Urethane, a paintbrush, and a pair of nitrile gloves. I had previously regarded such "craftsman" as Bob Vila, and Tim "Toolman" Taylor with high regard and sincere respect. I now consider these phony television hosts and the sadists from HGTV with nothing less than full-fledged disappointment bordering on malicious intent. They assure you that with the appropriate gadgets and handy tools available only from their line currently for sale at Home Depot, Ace Home and Garden, or Lowes that you too can tackle any home improvement task with confidence and the assuredness that can only come from wearing the kitschiest of "work" clothes (read: perfect fitting jeans, cute teeny tiny polo shirts in pastel colors, ludicrously expensive hiking shoes.) 
So there I was, 8 AM on a sunny Friday afternoon, bedecked in the most awful clothes I was able to find in my closet. I had a full gallon can of Urethane and a room full, and I do mean full (floor to ceiling) of cupboards, and drawers. My task was to coat each section of wood several times with that gooey, awful, fumy substance. To say the least I was not thrilled, but for the time being I was remarkably broke and minimum wage was sounding appealing. I won't bore you with every detail, but I spent every day from Friday until Tuesday night working on the blasted things. And by Saturday morning I had enlisted the help of my mother and little sister.  It is now Tuesday evening. We are finished. There is Urethane in our hair, on our clothes, all over the floor, and even some of it made it onto the woodwork itself. And here I come to my point. The home renovation and improvement shows fail to prepare you for tasks such as these. They smile, dip their paintbrush in the bucket, and then take one pass over whatever they are treating, then skip the next three weeks of agonizing work, and tell you how easy it is, and how you can have the same results. I loathe, no, that word fails to carry the full impact of my emotions, I execrate both home improvements and the people who tout them on TV. It's not as easy as they say, in fact, they lie! 

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