If the adage “insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results” is true, then I’m 100% insane. I say this because I recently ventured back into the home improvement arena.
I, a person who is tool challenged, several years ago went into the fetal position and wept after attempting to remove wallpaper that would only come off in millimeter size pieces. This breakdown was so epic that my family now refers to it as the “wallpaper wallow incident.”
But because I’m crazy — or let’s reframe that as eternally optimistic — I decided to plunge myself once again into another project. This time it was something so simple it should have been foolproof. All I wanted to do was paint my husband’s home office while he was out-of town and surprise him with a mini room makeover.
I actually thought the most challenging part of the project would be removing my spouse’s stacks of “very important papers” from the floor. That’s his word for them. If I was naming the stacks, they would be called baby hoarder blocks.
To ensure these stacks stayed pristine I photographed the room like I was a forensic scientist at a crime scene. I wanted to assure that the stacks would go back to the exact same spot when I was finished painting. If the baby hoarder blocks appeared to have been moved, I knew my husband would be distraught.
Once I got done with my stack relocation campaign, I cleaned out the rest of the room and then decided to take down the curtains. This was almost the death of me.
The curtains were hiding a sorority of wasps that had taken up residence on the left side of the window. To be clear, the wasps were outside, but because I wanted to open and clean the window I needed those wasps to relocate. I decided my best course of action would be to take a small rubber mallet and ever so gently bang on the window to get the wasps to fly away.
It’s crucial for me to point out that this was the only remaining window in our house that hadn’t been replaced, so we’re talking about a window that is 40 years old.
What happened next will haunt me for years. The window, as in the entire window, fell three floors down into my backyard and almost took me with it. This was because I was perched on the sill with the mallet, possibly leaning on the window. And when it went, so did I. (Please don’t tell my husband I was this stupid. It’s hard enough to admit I was banging on a window with a mallet.)
Luckily, I was able to stop myself from free falling (and got some really impressive bruises in the process) but I actually thought the end was near and apparently so did the wasps because they freaked out and swarmed me.
I was a woman who just cheated death and now had to fight off some exceedingly ticked off wasps. I ran out of the room, but the wasps followed me with an unrelenting vengeance. They seemed intent on exacting their revenge. I made it into my garage and found a can of peppermint organic ant spray and prayed all that minty freshness would work on wasps.
Short story: It did. Shorter story: This was the final sign from the home improvement gods that I should never touch a tool, a paint brush and most certainly a mallet ever again.
Reach Sherry Kuehl at [email protected], on Facebook at Snarky in the Suburbs, on Twitter at @snarkynsuburbs on Instagram @snarky.in.the.suburbs, and snarkyinthesuburbs.com.