Paintbrush Promotions

After 3 years of free loading, this spring I decided it was time I start contributing to our remodel projects. (My motivation stemmed mostly from the fact that Dave had been working on painting the outside of our house for 4 months…and from what I could tell, was no where near finished). When I first walked outside and declared “I want to help paint” Dave’s initial reaction was amusement (surely she is making a joke) and then horror (there is no way I’m letting her near our home with a paintbrush.) Over the next 2 months here is the progression of my painting promotions. Like any job – Dave carefully explained, I had to prove myself suitable at the job given me before I was allowed to move on to bigger responsibility.

Job #1 Entertainment: Initially Dave suggested I “talk” to him while he painted. I’m pretty sure this was just a stall tactic so he could come up with a job for me that did not involve paint.

Job #2 Golden Retriever: “Carrie – can you hold this scraper for me until I need it again?” I still don’t understand how me “holding” something adds value when there is endless ground that can “hold” something just as well as I. I guess it saved Dave that extra 1.2 seconds that would have been required to bend down to the ground. When I was lucky, this job also involved running to the garage to fetch a required item. Going to the garage was WAY better than standing next to Dave, holding some object, with no idea when he might ask for it back.

Job #3 Paint Chip Picker Upper: This one almost put me over the edge. There were at least 1,000 dirty and wet paint chips strewn about in the grass, rocks, dirt, etc. Dave assigned me to walk around and pick them up. As I tried to stage a mutiny Dave patiently explained that even HE had to pick up paint chips for weeks before being allowed to paint professionally.

Job #4 Taper: Finally I was allowed physical contact with the house (This promotion came when I threw down the paint chip bag and started heading indoors to watch TV.) My job was to protect the brick from stray paint drips with masking tape & paper.

Job #5 Wielder of The Littlest Paint Brush: Finally after days of me jumping through hoops Dave came up to me with a half smile on his face and said with anticipation “Carrie – would you like to try painting?” You would have thought he asked if I would like to go to Water World by my reaction. YES! Yes yes yes yes yes!!! I knew painting wouldn’t be great, but it had to be 100 times better than the jobs that had occupied my past few days. So Dave went to the garage, and I kid you not – came back with THIS:
Now you know why we lovingly refer to it as the littlest paintbrush (TLPB). It is, absurdly small – especially in relationship to the size of our home. Note how battered and beat down it looks? That is b/c I wielded the littlest paint brush for WEEKS – and it painted probably 10% of our home. I was so happy to actually be painting, that I didn’t even think the size was weird. Our neighbors would walk by and I would wave at them with the paintbrush. Dave would whisper, “Stop flashing that thing around – it looks ridiculous.”

Job #6 Medium Sized Paintbrush: One day Dave came to check my progress and noticed I was painting a fairly large piece of trim with TLPB. Dave said “hold on a second” and came back with this…
At a juncture like this is a thank you speech appropriate? This promotion was quite unexpected as I hadn’t been lobbying for it (after all I loved the little paint brush). But to my amazement, the medium sized paintbrush tripled my painting speed. Sure there was that initial “get to know phase” but once I formed a relationship with TMSPB, I started to really make some head way.
And there, my friends, is where the story ends. That was my last promotion before we finished painting our home. Some would suggest disappointment as I never quite made it to the regular sized paintbrush, but not me. After all – it’s not like you can end up CEO of every company you work for.


dave said...

I worked for a painting company for a couple of summers and some of my tasks included; picking up scraps of tape, moving ladders (my "boss" didn't want to get down to move the ladders, so he would go from ladder top to ladder top), killing wasps, getting lunch, and telling jokes to entertain my "boss". I don't feel too bad for her. I had to pay my dues before I could graduate. However, I never had to use a little or medium paintbrush like Carrie. I was very proud of Carrie's work and would hire her again.

sara said...

as you know, i'm quite a painter. self-taught, i might add. i'm not a fan of the prep work, but i do love to paint. and most of the time i paint with a tiny brush that i got in a kids' set from ikea. i like the control, and it doesn't drip nearly as much. i even bought a tiny roller, which i let C wield when we painted the wall in our kitchen (about 2 months ago.) i didn't realize i should have made him work up to that position!

Sorensen Family said...

So I thought I would check out your blog Carrie since you have been secretly looking at mine..haha!
It looks like you guys are keeping pretty busy with house projects and I am so glad that Dave has decided to let you take an active role!
It is good to hear from you keep in touch.

Mom said...

I can't tell you how very proud I am of my daughters, THE PAINTERS. I saw Carrie and Dave's house last night, completely painted and it looks fantastic. I was in NY when Sara and C painted the wall in the kitchen and it also looks great. Plus I also am very impressed that Sara scrapped and scrapped the ceilings in 3 bedrooms and a hall upstairs in NY and painted them as well. Amazing jobs ladies and of course Dave REALLY is a pro in many many things.

TippettsFam said...

you guys are hilarious!!! lucky for me, joe hates to paint and i love it, so no problems there. landscaping, however, is another story... if i offer even the slightest bit of a suggestion on which plant might look good where, then we've got a problem!

Christina said...

Carrie, I am so proud of you. You are making your way up the painting ladder at a rapid pace. :)

em said...

I have never laughed so hard! I have been responsible for every single one of these jobs anytime I try to help Kelly. Its so funny... my favorite is the time when he was painting a house and I said I'd help and I got stuck painting the insides of closets! Even then he came back and said, "umm... do you think you could use longer brush strokes?"

Hope you had a wonderful birthday!