Thursday, May 12, 2011

Why So Reclusive?

Quick update on my progress from yesterday: Second coat of paint - applied!  And it was sunny still (I got off early, miraculously) so I got to take a picture of the place in afternoon light:

More what it actually looks like in person
I forgot to take an "after" photo of this area, so you only get the before.

Last night after work, I go to the local Ace because that's the only place where I can buy BenMoore paint and I had a coupon for a freebie, and I was excited because there are so many BM colors!  But when I got there, they said they were not a participating store, and I was upset.  But I needed to buy ceiling paint and some semi-gloss for the trim work I'd be doing, so I gave them my business despite being upset.  (And waiting thirty minutes, but whatever.)

I go back to the house, pop open the semi-gloss so I can touch up the soon-to-be-home for the fridge since the McLazies blatantly painted magenta all over the trim.  I sit down in the corner where the fridge will soon find its home, and I settle in to begin painting. 

About two minutes later, I see something out of the corner of my eye.  I'm all, "Huh, maybe it's another bug or spider or whatever."  Because, you know, it's an uninhabited house and there have been a few run-ins with some small arachnids that I could tell were in no way harmless. 

As a good visual, I’m in a pretty tight spot, working on base-trim.  I’m on my knees and bent over so my nose is pretty much only about a foot from the floor. But despite my mild arachnaphobia, I am not panicked.  Curiosity, more than anything.  When I look over, I see this:

Y’all, that’s a Brown Recluse.

(Sidenote for you Not-Texas-ers:  There are really only two truly venomous spiders in this area:  The Widows (Black and Brown), and the Brown Recluse.  If I had to go toe-to-toe with either of these, I’d take Ms. Widow over Mr. Fiddle.  The former?  You’ll be alright if you get bit.  The latter?  Rots your flesh off if it wants to.) 

At first, I was like, “it’s probably just another brown spider!  Don’t panic.”  He was just sitting there anyway, kind of just chilling.  When I got up, he didn’t really freak out or rear up or anything.  He was really a little shy, if anything.  So I calmly, calmly sat up.  I calmly grabbed the first thing I could grab to sequester the fella (which ended up being a plastic casing for a motion detector thingie – nice and sturdy!  Poifect!), and then I calmly placed it over Mr. Fiddles.  Then I quickly looked for a place to safely (and calmly, don’t forget that) transfer our little creature.  But considering I have, like, painting supplies and empty McDonald’s bags and that’s it, I was at a loss.

So…I just left him there.  For serious!  I just kept painting around the box while I waited for Mr. Fiddles to either miraculously die, learn teleportation, or for someone with less of an arachnophobic streak to come and save me. 

You may be asking yourself, “Crazy not-spider-lover!  Why didn’t you kill it?”  And the answer is because, I’m not a murderer.  I recognize that spiders are great for the home.  I’d rather have a spider than flies and other bugs any day.  I recognize that they’re all over the house and they do a great service to me and all is well.  Plus, the dude didn’t do anything to me.  All he did was just be there.  He didn’t ask to be venomous.  He didn’t ask to cross paths with me.  Fella was probably just trying to eat or get some exercise or something.  He didn’t come at me like a spider monkey or pull a knife on me, so I couldn’t justify violence.  I mean, with as chill as he was being, he was probably just making conversation anyway.  “Yeah, so…I’m sure you had a good reason for putting this dark box over me.  How was your day?  I’d prefer if you took this box off, but it’s okay, I can still hear you.  My day was good.  I met with a beetle from the other side of the kitchen today.  Nice gentleman.”

So I went about painting, then I promptly went to the bedroom to paint the ceiling.  (Which is far away from the kitchen.  Classic avoidance!)

Sigh.  Yes.  It was unpleasant.  My neck was cricked at a 75 degree angle for five hours and my stomach muscles hate me this morning, but WOW.  The results are like 10000% better.  Witness:

I shouldn't have to tell you which side has been freshly painted...
Husband came to supervise and offered his help.  I, being the super-perfectionist, would not allow this "help", save letting him move the ladder for me.  Still, once I’d ceiling-painted and hand-trimmed the whole humongo room for hours on end, he took the brush from me and did his own work.


I was not impressed and took it from him to finish it.  :)  I’m generally so chill about stuff and get fussy when he spends two hours on something that would take a normal person 20 minutes, because it has to be perfect.  I don’t bother folding clothes perfectly or making sure that my pantry is perfectly organized.  But when it comes to stuff I’m really good at, I want it to be perfect.  And y’all, I’m good at painting, and I’m surprisingly good at doing trim on walls without tape.  (I bought frog tape but you can’t put it on walls that aren’t cured, and I’m NOT having my fresh paint come off.  You can’t even tell that there WASN’T tape.)  So when he kept “doing it wrong” (my words, he really was doing a good job), I reclaimed my paintbrush and finished the job.

And here is the fruit of my labor. 

Witness freshly-painted ceiling, ceiling-to-wall trim is nearly perfect, and two gorgeous coats of paint!
Ain't it gorg!?

Tonight I’m going over to do a final trim-coat on the top (where the ceiling meets the walls) and then work on the rest of the trim on the baseboards…this time, with the right kind of Frog Tape.  (FYI, Frog Tape is awesome…on cured paint.  If you want to put it on freshly-painted surfaces, you gotta get the Delicate Surfaces FrogTape.  Sigh.)    

And to finish off the story, as I was rinsing the rollers, I told husband about Mr. Fiddles, because I wasn’t sure at that point that it was a brown recluse (though his chill nature should have tipped me off).  Husband popped off the sequestered box like Superman, scooped up the spider and visually inspected.  He was like, “I think…it’s close enough that I wouldn’t risk it.”  Then he killed it.  L 

I’m sorry, Mr. Fiddles.  You were a good friend to me.


Jessica said...

Mr Fiddles could have been a Miss Fiddles who was a slut and made a spider egg sack to leave 100 more little flesh melting babies to run around your house. Mr Fiddles or her babies didn't ask to be venomous, but you if you left her alive, you'd be asking for your arm to be melted off.
Donny did right, and I like spiders. Go find the wolf breed.

Nice paint job. I would have never picked gold, myself, but it looks really good. I can't wait to see what it all looks like purpled up.

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