It’s two days past Thanksgiving and I’m still giving thanks. I’m thankful, for instance, for drills. And spackle. Not necessarily in that order. I’m also thankful that I didn’t flat-out kill myself while attempting what has to be one of the dumbest things I’ve ever tried to do.
Wait, rephrase. Not a dumb thing to try to do. Hanging curtains is not dumb. But the way I choose to attempt to hang curtains is almost definitely tremendously stooooopid.
Here’s the irony: last time I hung curtains, I didn’t have a ladder. I stood on a kitchen chair and I was totally fine. Pissed, but totally fine. This time I had a ladder, and I almost died. Go figure.
This may or may not be partly because I was also standing on my very smushy loveseat. The memory foam in the back cushions is conditioned to respond to the size of, say, a 14-year-old black cat who weighs approximately 12 times less than I do.
I don’t know where I get the crazy ideas I get. I guess they’re not so much ideas as hare-brained schemes that are not at all thought-out. Hmm, I need to put up a curtain back there, behind the loveseat that I can’t really move very far because there’s not enough room and I don’t want to scratch up the hardwood floor. Any rational person would figure out a real solution. Me? I’m impatient and stubborn, all “I’m on my own, here, and I have things to do, and I’m not an old lady yet and I can’t afford to hire people to do this crap, so I’ll put the ladder back there but only open it halfway, and then when I need leverage I’ll step back onto the loveseat. And I’ll do all of this with screws in my mouth and a battery-powered drill in my hand. I’ll do it in spite of the blazing sciatica that’s plagued me for the last few weeks and was just starting to calm down. Sciatica loves a good home improvement job using awkward height-enhancers and unnatural body twisting.
“This is gonna be so great.”
Did you guys know that tape measures can change their measurements from one spot to another? True story. Because 86″ on the left side of my window turned out to be about 2″ lower than 86″ on the right side of my window. Yet, according to my trusty bubble level, the floor and the crown molding are, in fact, level. The curtain rod… less so.
Maybe the left side of my window is in another metric zone.
The point is, I’ve now scored two unsightly and unnecessary holes in my living room wall. First bit of homeowner destruction complete. Took 15 days. Ten if you only count from the day I moved in.
I can’t remember if I nearly fell off the ladder/loveseat before or after I realized the tape measure had changed its stripes. I do kind of wish someone had been standing behind me to record it and put it on YouTube, if for no other reason than so my chiropractor could see exactly what I was doing. Oh, I’m okay, don’t worry. I don’t think I did any more damage than was already there. But I think she’ll be curious anyway. It’s one thing to be stepping from a smushy couch cushion over the back of the loveseat and down onto a half-open ladder step with nothing to gain purchase or fingerhold. That move is tremendously graceful and ladylike, by which I mean it is maybe the farthest thing from graceful and ladylike that you’ve ever seen. But It’s another thing to see it in reverse and sideways. It was one of those flails wherein you totally know you look like an ass-hat, but it can’t be helped because you’re trying not to paralyze yourself so you don’t have to tell anyone the story of how you did it. I wobbled on the half-open ladder, had no way to catch myself, lurched sideways, twisted at the ankle, threw in a couple of round-and-rounds with the left arm and yelped a muffled “aaugghmmfffff!” as I tried not to swallow the screw I was holding between my lips. It was hard to catch myself as I slllooowlllyy went down to the right, because that’s what hand the drill was in and I didn’t want to drop it and mess up the floor.
My eye? Pfft. Eye schmeye. I have another one. The floor was just re-done.
I didn’t fall all the way, though. The loveseat was there to give me cushion.
Forty-five minutes from the start, the curtain (yes, singular) was up and level. If I stood halfway back in the house, I couldn’t even see the holes I’d drilled in the wrong place on the wall.
Only six more curtains to go.
And a Christmas tree. But at least that won’t involve holes in the wall.
Please Sweet Baby Jesus.