Of all the things i missed in “chick school”…

i think that “Home Decorating 101” is currently the most desperately needed.  The genetically-coded shopping thing bypassed me as well, and was replaced with a near maniacal hatred of shopping malls.  And while i like shoes, shoe shopping brings no emotional orgasm.

The Barbie Dream Condo is coming along nicely, with the addition of the pool table, home theater/digital audio zones and plans for the custom wet bar well underway.  Never mind the fact that there’s no furniture in the living room.  The Girl will help me with that when she gets back in country next month.  My priorities are fine, thank you very much.

The most egregious decor in the newly purchased condo was the “fruit basket” wallpaper in the kitchen.  Beyond hideous, i removed it from the walls within a week of living here.  Figuring i’d eventually get around to painting.  That was a month ago.  Having no color sense, and not knowing the difference between “feisty autumn gonad” and “roasted pepper giblet”, i knew i needed help.  And i found it at the local Paint Emporium! 

Rather than go to the hardware store again, and chat up the burly-hot biker boy in the paint department – and risk household hideosity– i took the advice of a friend and went to the Big Time Paint Professionals!  If i agreed to buy at least $75 worth of stuff, they offer a free home “Color Consultant” service!  Woo Hoo!

A few weeks ago, the Color Consultant arrived at the condo.  Trying to gauge my tastes, she eyed various objects d’art*, and enquired about how i’d like to the place to feel.  Explaining that i like to throw parties, have no actual artwork, and wouldn’t know sophistication or class if it bit me in the shorts, she furrowed her brow and made some notes.  Spying the giant plastic Sea Monkey hanging from the dining room chandelier, as well as the 3′ steel sword by the stairs, she continued to scribble furiously – and headed out to her car to retrieve more paint samples.

Returning with a dusty box – which, in hindsight may have been labeled “Paint Samples – Cyndi Lauper 1985 Collection” – she said i seem to be the “eclectic, international party girl”  What she left out were the words “dorky, unsophisticated and juvenile”.  We walked through each room, she made suggestions, stuck little colored papers here and there, and wrote everything down for me.  At the end of the hour, she gave me my “Color Strategy“!  Do you hear that?  i had a COLOR STRATEGY!

Armed with the confidence that only a certified Color Strategy provides, i wandered off the the Paint Emporium yesterday morning.  It was finally time to tackle the kitchen**.  Taking three of the colored papers (for the kitchen and living room) to the manager, i explained that i was “Deploying Phase I of my Color Strategy”.  And i might have done so with just the hint of smirk.  He asked what finish, and which type of paint, i wanted for each color.  “Huh?”  Oh, and he even asked me how much…  Shit, i don’t know.  Enough to paint a fucking kitchen, for christsakes!

Confidence rattled, i returned home and set about painting.  Going from a “melted butter jism” color to a “festering mosquito bite red”, even i knew it would take a few coats to fully cover the walls. Painting away merrily, i was disturbed to find that the walls were really splotchy.  Maybe from the wall paper glue residue?  Crap.  Well, i had enough paint for three coats, so it would probably cover ok… Finishing the second coat, i knew i was hosed… Let it dry?  My walls looked like “Sunburnt Teenager with Acne”.  Shit.  Should i have used primer?

Returning to the Paint Emporium, wearing my paint covered t-shirt and looking a bit despondent, i noticed the manager and clerk exchanged knowing glances.  As if to say “Another Paint-tard…”.  The manager looked at the clock.  Hey… did those little shit weasels make a bet on how long before i came back to report disaster?  The manager set his strategically stubbled metrosexual jaw, and drilled in with questions about my “situation”.

After consulting with nearly every clerk in the store – and perhaps a few customers to assure my complete public humiliation – they gave me some tinted enamel primer, another quart of “festering mosquito bite” paint, new roller pads, and i was on my way. 

The best thing about oil-based primer?  Massive destruction of brain cells.  i hadn’t realized it was a problem until The Boy arrived with a few of his friends, and demanded that i quit huffing fumes.  My response?  “Hey, anybody wanna get high?”  He opened some doors and they scooted downstairs to avoid the toxic cloud in the kitchen.

Whew.  It turned out lovely.  My confidence rattled, but not completely shattered.  i’m not afraid of color… and i still have a Color Strategy!

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* during our discussion, the only thing i plan to hang on my wall in the living room is the bedspread my paternal grandmother made for her marriage bed.  it was used once (Ewwww!) and is simply stunning.  Color Consultant?  Went nuts, said that with a 30′ tall wall, i’d be crazy not to mount it and display it in the living room… and off we went!

** Motivation?  Hosting a party for my fellow “professional degree” graduates Monday.  Somewhere between 20-40 people will descend upon me for a major throw down.  i thought it might be good to paint the kitchen first…