NORMAN — Nowadays, beginners as well as the experienced may tackle home makeovers.
“Just look at these wonderful new colors,” Brenda exclaims, handing a fistful of samples to her husband.
“I think I’m getting a headache. I can’t be around paint without feeling sick.” He hands the samples back.
“Oh, Brad, you’re kidding. I guess I’ll have to do the painting myself.” She drops the samples into her jacket pocket.
Brad defends himself.
“I can try it, I guess, and if I get too sick, you can send for the medics.” He coughs.
Brenda hides a ‘you are so lame’ look.
“I never heard about your allergy to paint. Besides, most of it doesn’t smell anymore. See for yourself.” She sticks an open sample up to Brad’s nose.
“It’s hurting my sinus!”
“Never mind,” Brenda says. “I’ll find an agent and begin looking for a new home — tomorrow.”
Brad’s mood lightens.
“You’re right,” he says. “I can breath okay. Let’s check out the rollers and stuff.”
Marie and Kenny want to freshen their five-year-old home, new to them. Marie excitedly chooses paint in select new colors.
“I can’t wait to get started,” she says.
An early riser, Ken begins painting before Marie wakens. By the time she stumbles in, he’s finished two walls.
“How do you like it?” he says.
“That’s amazing,” Marie comments, staring at the walls. “I had no idea the living room would look so interesting in blushing pink. That’s the color I intended for the bedroom, Ken. I wonder, now, how the bedroom will look in fire brick red, which was to be the paint for the living room.”
Ken throws the roller into the pan.
“Don’t worry,” Marie consoles him. “It’s acrylic. It dries fast. Coffee?”
Sally helps Jeannie paint the living room. They begin opposite sides of the room. Listening to news and music, they work without stopping.
Only when they meet in the middle do they realize Sally used “earth red” and Jeannie used “cloud blue.”
“We used different colors,” Jeannie wails.
“Well, you only need a white wall now,” Sally quips.
Before the wallpaper revolution, parents sometimes agreed to wallpaper a child’s room:
“Stop brushing that end down,” Keith yells.
“Stop yelling at me,” his wife yells back. “That’s just about the 10th time you’ve yelled so loud the neighbors can hear.”
“Wait, I need to pull this end up.”
“It’s crooked at the top,” Teri observes. “We can’t leave it that way.”
“I know that. What do you think I’m trying to do? Now we have to paste it again.”
They lift the fairy tales paper and carry it to the table. Keith begins pasting.
“Stop!” Jeri yells. “It’s torn on one side. We’ll have to cut another piece.”
“Did you drop the string from the corner and chalk like you’re supposed to?” Jeri says. “The piece on the wall seems to be leaning on the dresser.”
Keith wipes his hands.
“I’m going outside,” he says. “I need oxygen.”
Shirley Ramsey, a retired professor of journalism, lives in Norman.