Thursday night, after work, no workouts, what to do?
“How about Home Depot?” Chris says.
A big hearty WOO HOO from this corner. Off to Home Depot we go to buy paint because the other day I had yet another brilliant idea – let’s paint the basement.
The basement? Yes, that subterranean land where my husband hides from time to time. I promised myself after Ironman I would attack the basement with full force. To my husband’s dismay, I started this project right away. I want that basement clean. I want it organized. I want clean walls and bare floor. Since I will be spending hours down there this winter on my trainer, I want to be able to ride in a perfectly harmonious basement filled with feng shui.
Feng shui? Yes, feng shui. A phrase I can pull out for my husband because he is half Chinese so he grew up knowing about Feng Shui. In his family’s house, doors can’t face east, stairways point to the west, bedrooms can’t contain mirrors, and elephants face out towards the door. I’ve always thought it was rude of the elephant to face me with its ass but I’m Italian so what the hell do I know about elephants in the first place.
Little do they know, though, that even Italians like harmony. We also like meatballs. But that’s another story. And in my house, the Italian version of Feng Shui states that basement cannot be in disarray.
I asked Chris what Feng Shui meant figuring he would be at least 50 percent right. And what he told me was “Uh, I don’t know, something about, well, divine placement or something like that but don’t take it from me, look it up.”
No, no, I like divine placement good enough and when he asks why I want that bike over there and that wheel hanging on the wall I will cry “divine placement in the name of feng shui.”
So in an effort to give the basement as much shui as possible, I want it painted. Right now, those walls are a mess. Imagine you hit your rear wheel against the wall every single time. That’s our basement. Or you made fingerprints with greasy hands. Our basement. Nicked the chain against the wall. Basement. Or put your hand out to stop yourself from ejecting off the rollers – again, all over our basement walls.
Home Depot, Thursday night. Choose a color, any color from oh about 100000 choices. First we take a psychological approach – what color would motivate us to go fast? They say red plates make you eat more. Our kitchen is painted red, we eat a lot. Maybe there’s something to it. We decide you cannot ride fast with Colorado Springs or Garden Wall or Lavender Fields on the wall. Honeysuckle would make us throw up and Mint Frappe is just all wrong. Pesto, Barnyard Grass, Shangri La…..what in the name…..just how do you put a color on ShangriLa? Isn’t it an imaginary place? And my favorite – Innuendo – a color where we wouldn’t ride in the basement, we’d just make lewd suggestions about riding for up to 4 hours.
Let’s just stick with the tans. A safe bet. I reach for a color. Peanut Butter. Oh could you imagine? We definitely should not paint the basement this one. I’d go down for a ride and instead of doing intervals Chris would find me hours later licking the wall. Paint it Moose Tracks and I’d never see the light of day. Plus my tongue would really hurt.
Scratch food names off the list.
And then I find one that was perfectly fitting – Chamois. A basement for bicycling painted in Chamois. Paint your walls with chamois. Heck, literally paint the walls using your chamois. See how that smells.
Anyways, we settle on Broome. How perfectly boring. Broome. Not sure why the extra ‘e’ but that’s what you get for letting Ralph Lauren name your paint. By the way, we did not buy Ralph Lauren paint because he makes crappy paint. We just scanned his color and bought Behr instead.
Back to the painting. A chore I love to hate. A few years ago, we were painting fiends. I had a painting outfit. Which by the way was an old race t-shirt. Finally found a use. Anyways, painted the kitchen Maple Leaf, the laundry room Pumpkin Butter, the foyer Caraway, the bedroom Winter Lake, the other bedroom Sage Mint, the bathroom Turtle Dove and everything else Swiss Coffee. I had to have coffee somewhere on my walls. My least favorite – the master bedroom was painted something like deep crimson burgundy wine which requires 8 coats to achieve the color you want that looks like deep wine.
After that, we swore off painting for awhile. Chris keeps saying he’s going to paint the living room but something about scaffolding and 30 foot ceilings makes me think maybe not. Also borrowing the ladder from his dad. Which we have found is like borrowing underwear from your mother. Something you should probably never do because it really belongs to him/her in the first place. Every time we even think about borrowing that ladder his dad is there asking “did you bring the ladder back.” We didn’t even take it out yet. I know, he thinks out loud, BRING IT BACK!
So we stopped the painting and now that we’re through with training we’re ready to start again. I’ll put on my painting outfit and tape the walls. Chris will wash the walls. Then we paint. He the edges, me the baseboards. He even bought me a special brush.
I remember one year when we painted the kitchen Maple Leaf. I have always wanted a red kitchen with white trim. I have it now along with speckles of paint all over my red kitchen walls and flicks of pink base all over my wooden floor. We were in the middle of coat number 3 when Chris left for Memphis in May. I was not racing down there that year so I finished the job on my own.
Not the best idea. Because if there’s a way to cut a corner with a household chore, I will. That includes cleaning the paint brushes and rollers. Chris has a method – he would painstakingly take the time to wash every item then freeze it for some reason. Retains its shape? Who knows. Seems like an awful lot of work for a roller that costs 99 cents. But I gave it a good try. Tried rinsing all the red paint out of the roller again and again and again when finally I said screw it. I’m throwing these out. Bought all new rollers and saved a lot of time and mess.
So that’s the way I roll when I paint. Get it? I roll. And that’s also why I don’t get to use the rollers anymore. Deemed not fit to use the rollers. Instead I get the 2 inch brush and get sentenced to the floor. Paint the baseboards woman and don’t get up until you’re done.
I’ll tell you what though. I’m really excited about this painting the basement Broome. We’re going to paint it then hang all of our pictures. Laminate a giant picture of our coach to throw things at all winter and maybe even some pictures of our competition too. Paint giant hands on the wall by the rollers with the warning if you are about to fall press here. And in less than a week the basement and myself - will be feeling it- the power of perfect Feng Shui.