Bottom Shelf

Nothing like a barfing kid to get me motivated to complete a home improvement project!  G doesn’t mind tending to sick kids and I don’t mind letting him express that side of his Latin machismo.  That’s why I was downstairs this past Sunday painting a bookshelf that has been asking for it for ten years.  Our house was built in 1961, so it is eat up with paneling.  I think the color is called “Trailer Park.”

I’m a DIY dynamo…but only when the short people are barfing.  I put the primer coat on back in February when Vivi had a stomach bug.  I let it cure until June so it could really soak into that paneling.  Then she threw up again and I grabbed a leftover gallon of paint from the garage and ran downstairs.  I spent three hours dabbing and dribbling and sweeping and swiping.

My arm was all cramped up by the time I got to the bottom of nine shelves.  As I’m contorting myself into an angle from which I can paint the bottom of the bottom shelf, it dawned on me that I might could SKIP that step.  I tried to imagine scenarios that might lead to anyone seeing the bottom of this shelf that is 16 inches above the floor in my office.  This is all I came up with, in chronological life order:

  1. You are an infant….so you’re not going to tell anyone because you don’t speak English yet.
  2. You are a kid…so you’re not supposed to be in Mommy’s office rolling around on the floor.  Get out!
  3. You are a teenager…probably snooping.  Be aware Mommy has a webcam trained on you right now.  Get out!
  4. You are getting busy on the new carpet…focus on what you’re doing and not the bookshelves, please!
  5. You are having a heart attack…you’ve got bigger problems.  Call 911!

That about covers it, right?  Why paint the bottom of the bottom shelf?

bob rossWell, I did it anyway.  This office is going to be MY space, the only place in this entire house that is just for Mommy.  The only place with a door that I can shut.  As my Pop would have called it, this is my “Poutin’ House.”  He once called my dad and said, “I want you to come over here and help me build a 10′ x 10′ shack out in the yard and all I’m going to put in it is a rocking chair, a hole in the floor for spitting, and a door that only has a handle on the inside.”  I think he was fed up with Grandmama Irene at the time.

How am I supposed to relax in my space (much less enjoy that carpet), if I know that the bottom of the bottom shelf looks tacky?

What do you think?  Can you cut corners if no one is going to see?

15 thoughts on “Bottom Shelf

  1. Corner Cutter

    When I was a high school cheerleader I baked cupcakes for the football team and put them on the back porch to cool and the dog ate the tops. Nothing a little icing couldn’t fix. My wedding dress had sequins and pearls hot glued on the bodice. My hat is off to you Bottom Shelf Painters!

  2. Chris Antenen

    I would have painted it after sanding it. Then I would put a coat of polyethylene on it. Arachnids like to spin webs under bookcases and make little bundles of lunch there. I hate spiders almost as much as roaches, which are probably the bundlees in the lunches. I want to be able to hose off the bookcase if need be. Aha, you thought I was being anal. My kids taudght me those words ‘being anal.’

  3. Heart To Harp

    Oh, I’d be right there with you painting that shelf. Particularly if kids were barfing. ‘Cause I’d know it wasn’t painted, and it would drive me nuts. Or nutser than I am now. Congrats on claiming your own space!

  4. Amy

    Sadly, I am beholden to directions, rules and following recipes so I could never cut that corner. Would spend too much time obsessing over it. Love your blog!


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