I may have mentioned a time or two that I hate painting.
I don’t think I’ve mentioned that I’m an old woman.
When I was 30 or so, I had a sudden onset of back spasms. Doing the Granny Clampett walk, I waddled my way over to the chiropractor’s office. We’d never met before and he walked into the exam room and looked at me. Then he looked at my x-rays. Then he looked at me again. Finally, he said, “You have a lovely spine for a 70-year-old woman.”
My misspent youth was not kind to my back.
Between yoga and outright refusal to be one of those whiny-assed people who complains about their back all the time (preferring, of course, to whine about other things), I refused to accept his or the neurosurgeon’s diagnosis and have lived reasonably well without back surgery or a wheelchair.
Over the years, I’ve learned how to do things in such a way as to accommodate the limitations of my back. (I was, hands down, the strangest rock climber you’ve ever seen.) I have not found a way to minimize the physical agony of painting.
Lord’av’mercy, I hate painting.
It goes something like this:
I decide to paint.
I sit and ponder the painting.
I get up and gather a few supplies.
I repeat steps 2 and 3, sometimes for weeks.
Sit and rest.
(Rinse and repeat)
I sand. . .sit and rest.
I bite the bullet and get the paint out.
I repeat step 2 for hours.
I begin painting.
I paint 5 minutes, rest 40.
Eventually, 5 minutes at a time, I get the painting done. But my back curses at me the entire time and, in turn, I curse back. It’s rough having an old woman’s spine. It also sounds like a biker bar in here, what with all the cursing.
It’s the ladder work that gets to me. That and the spots near the floor. And around windows. Let’s not forget the bits at eye level.
But ceilings. MY GODDESS I HATE PAINTING CEILINGS.
After two weekends of painting prep, I got the paint out yesterday. It took all flippin day to do about 20 minutes worth of ceiling painting. Tonight, I girded my loins, told my back to shut up, and set to. Three hours later, I have one coat of primer on the ceiling. I’m figuring on two coats of primer and two coats of color. It’ll be years before I’m done.
And since I’m now 50, I’m guessing that means my back is 90 – not too many 90-year-old women up to painting their study. I’m right proud of my progress.