Today, for the first time probably in years, I actually did an honest day’s hard labor. This morning when I offered to help out the folks who’d come to do painting/remodeling work in the house (remember the loose-wallpaper incident?), I had no idea they’d actually take me up on it. But the head-man-in-charge was not impressed with my earlier effort at wallpaper removal in the bathrooms and said it would free up another worker to get started on painting if I tackled the wallpaper leftovers and really prepped the walls properly. I had a free morning, I shrugged, so why not? How hard could it be? Seven hours later, these are the things I have learned:
1) Never ever offer to help painting/wallpapering/remodeling people unless you are prepared to actually help. This is the not the time to be meaninglessly polite.
2) Little stripped-off wet wallpaper pieces stick to everything: Shoes, feet, floors, cats …
3) Even if you like Rascal Flatts and think Keith Urban is hot, seven hours of country-music on the industrial-strength radio turned up to an industrial-strength volume is plenty, thank you very much.
4) Patience and relaxation are the keys. “You’ve got to get the wallpaper wet and then let it relax,” Boss Guy said as he, patiently, showed me how to take off wallpaper the Right Way. “Patience, patience, patience. If you’re patient enough, it will slide right off.” He was right. Who knew?
5) And the final thing I learned after a day of pumping a spray bottle and scraping and scrubbing walls to a shiny smoothness? I’m glad I don’t have to do it tomorrow.