2004-04-03 @ 4:32 p.m.
|So I was painting door frames with lesbians today. Yeah, I know you're all jealous, but there no there was no girl-on-girl action. Just a lot of dripping of paint and eating of tuna salad and brownies.
I had signed up for a spring clean up at my Survivor meeting place. It's a big old rundown house which has just recently got some funding for conversion into a respite place for people who may be needing some kind and compassionate hand holding rather than being tossed into a mental hospital.
I had been part of the original brainstorming for the place back last Fall, and fortunately the women involved were able to squeeze some funding out of the state to renovate the place and bring it up to code. Most of the real labor is being done by professionals (like electrical and window replacement), but stuff like cleaning and painting has been left to us hippy chicks who like to have committees and change the world one project at a time. And I was more than happy to volunteer my times today, since I think its a great project. And I also may end up there someday, so I want it to look nice and pretty.
I did accidentally sleep until 10 minutes before arrival time, but when you're volunteering, people are always happy to see you whenever you arrive. There was supposed to be 18 people but only five showed up. All but one were familiar faces.
There was already some painting going on when I arrived, which is good since I'm not really that good at painting, so I just headed towards another room which needed cleaning. Hauled out big bags of garbage and gathered up some really filthy rugs to take outside outside to clean.
Also fired up the old vacuum. I'm a master vacuumer. I love vacuuming for some reason. I guess I have sucking in my genes.
Almost immediately the head hippy chick came in and told me I was doing something incorrectly. I was like, huh? How can you fuck up vacuuming? I am the Master Vacuumer of the East Coast after all. But she had to tell me to do something slightly different...as in her way. Oh, ok, got it. YOUR WAY. But then as soon as she left I went back to my way. Heh, heh. I am the Master Vacuumer!
After the vacuuming I headed into where they were painting. Uh oh. I know I'm not good at painting, but they handed me a paint brush anyways. Ok, I'll try it.
When women get together, they tend to chatter like a bunch of magpies. At least that's my humble opinion. And then when there are Survivors among them, there is this thing, where absolutely EVERYTHING has to be absolutely PERFECT.
As in, one woman was wringing her hands over the fact that you could see her brush strokes down along the baseboards.
Oh my...brush marks...down by the floor...as in they will probably be behind furniture. But this woman was truly distraught.
I'm such a failure. You can see my brush strokes. I think I may have to call my therapist.
The head hippy woman assured her it was ok. And then suddenly a second woman, who I will talk more about in a minute, suddenly got all angsty about the fact that when she painted tiny speckles of paint were flicking off the edge of the brush and hitting the floor and surrounding areas.
"And my father hated me too"
So suddenly there are two women weeping because their paint brushes were malfunctioning, and their worlds are collapsing.
And I'm standing up on a ladder with a small plastic bucket of paint on the top rung, completely covered in paint splatters and a big smear of paint on my pant leg and I've already managed to slop the paint off the edge of the door frame about 23 times and there are about 5 places I've missed.
And all I could think was "Oh dear, how can I help my fellow women here....there must be something I can do to relieve their paint-related anxiety."
When suddenly, in a moment, that can only be described as comic relief a'la wittykitty, I jarred the ladder just slightly and my paint bucket flew off the top rung and fell and splattered across the hardwood floors in a rather dramatic thud. I don't think Jackson Pollock ever did a better piece. Paint EVERYWHERE!
Everyone turned and looked at me.
Of course all the control freaks leapt out of the way. God forbid, they should get a speck of paint on their clothing. It was a pretty big mess. It took me quite a while to clean up. Felt bad because I wasted the paint, but hey, accidents happen.
Also felt the need to ply them with humorous stories about the fact that my grandfather was a housepainter, but I didn't inherit his skills. ha, ha. Everyone was quietly painting by now. Um, ok.
Someone finally suggested lunch which was good because I was working on a no-food tummy. It was a tuna-salad concoction, which was ok. I ran over across the street to get a diet coke. I really needed an injection of caffeine by this point.
The two main hippy chicks told of their long history together. They've done alot for the women in the community. They told about how they brought hetero and lesbian women together for these festivals in the 1980's...you know the kind...the ones where naked dancing under moonlight was involved.
Sounds kind of fun.
After lunch, one of the control freak chicks came back after a meeting. She got on my nerves a little. She actually co-runs the crazy crazy place I go for art, and she talks like a corporate clone. Most of her sentences are punctuated with words and phrases like "autonomy" and "goal-oriented". And that's when she's talking about a bowl of cornflakes. I'm not sure why she feels the need to talk like that in an informal setting.
And what's weird is that I have met her several times down at the crazy place, and she acted like she didn't know who I was today. And then she talked down to me, like, oh, you're a good little volunteer. I not only know her but I've even been to a two hour meeting with her. And I got damn sick of listening to her spout off her corporate double speak during that too. Its like get over yourself, chick. You just run a tiny nonprofit agency, that could easily be axed in the next State budget. And then what? You'll be JUST LIKE ME...unemployed.
Except I'll be cuter!
So, I finally ended up going into another room by myself and painting some other door and window frames. When I peeked into the room where everyone else was working, they were repainting what I did. Oh, well.
Guess they won't be renewing my membership in the Perfectionist Club this year.
But I was happy with what I did. I'm really sore right now, and had to take some of my pain medication, but it was worth it. I enjoyed being part of something that will help the community.
Lyrics by Lennon/McCartney. All angst copyright by awittykitty