This weekend we embarked on an ambitious project - turning my office into a guest room! The reasons for this were many. That particular room has morphed from playroom, to my personal office/junk room/convenient dumping zone, to a kid's bedroom, to another kid's bedroom, back to an office, to a room housing two teen friends who lived with us for a while, back to an office and finally, to a guest room. It will still double as "my" space since the closets are full of empty promises - scrapbooks I'll probably never make, photos that live in dark boxes, craft projects that may or may not come to fruition - but for the most part, it's slowly becoming a sanctuary for our family and friends who might be inclined to visit.
But, here's the thing. I think we're too old for ambitious weekend projects. Two days of painting, cleaning, organizing, purging, errand-running and sweating was not enough to complete the project fully, and my husband spent a good chunk of today "icing his back" which meant he was napping upstairs. The house is in all sorts of disarray. It will take the rest of the week to sort it all out. And I'm sort of "over it" already but now there's this big mess. Sigh.
I started the weekend off with a detailed list. It included ALL of the things needed to transition my office to a guest room, and also things like "finish book club book" and "clean bathroom". HAHA! I crack myself up. I didn't plan on things like buying a headboard and footboard that required a special bed frame that NO store in the world carries, but that can be ordered online. That, alone, put us behind schedule, because, you know, TWO days was all we allowed. My husband primed and painted while I sorted through years' worth of stuff. And you know how one things leads to another? Well, once we started on the room, we decided some things needed to be stored in the garage which led to a mini clean-up of the garage (haha - just a two-hour detour) and the next thing I knew, I was sorting through the kids' dress-up clothes. What the hell? My kids don't even play dress up anymore, but you never know when you might need a Halloween costume, right?
In the meantime, I was posting stuff to give away on my gifting group, and people were coming and taking crap off my porch all day long. I even somehow got the outdoors involved by deciding that the lava rock we have in the dog run needed to go, so some nice ladies came and scooped up wheelbarrows full of that nasty rock and carted it off for their own gardens. Because, used lava rock has everything to do with a new guest room. Right?
This morning I decided to make a rare trip to Walmart. I almost never go there because.....Walmart. But where else can you outfit a whole room for such a bargain price? So, armed with just three chocolate-chip cookies and a travel coffee mug full of milk, I headed into the unknown. Upon arriving I met the gaze of a disheveled young man lurking in the parking lot. He was pacing and looking around nervously and there was evil in his eyes. Or maybe just disinterest. I immediately asked myself why a young 20-something man was lurking in the parking lot of a Walmart at 9:45 a.m. and I could only come up with all manner of criminal scenarios. My next gaze met a slightly older man pacing in front of the store, smoking a cigarette. I surmised the two were connected somehow, the 20-something and the 30-something, and surely they plotted evil. I contemplated not entering the store. The 30-something extinguished his cigarette, put the butt in the garbage and headed inside. Ah, just an employee on his smoke break. Nothing to see here, folks. (I still kept an eye out for the shifty college kid, though). Also, I need to stop watching crime shows.
I acquired most of the bedding in short order, and began my quest to purchase a laptop for a family member who is in the hospital. I circled around to the laptops, became utterly confused, stood in the aisle for several minutes researching laptops on Amazon, then remembered I forgot to buy a mattress pad. So, I circled back around to the bedding again. Then, I thought, a blanket would be nice. And, oh yeah, I needed some new hand towels for the guest bathroom. And a birthday gift. And a stuffed hedgehog that makes a sound like a pig (for the puppy) and a big bottle of Tums because I was in Walmart. Back to the laptops. This time, I would ask the kind young man working the register to help me. I asked a few basic questions and he stood, slack-jawed with nary a spark of understanding in his eyes. "You know," he said, "I'm not very techy - I'm kinda behind on technology. What I DO know is gaming - do you have any gaming questions?" Um......no.
I messaged my neighbor, who is my go-to for all things computer-related, and he was kind enough to muddle through the options with me over the phone. Slack-Jaw came around a couple of more times asking me if I needed any help. I told him I had "my guy" on the phone and I was good. I remembered a few more things I needed, grabbed a bedside lamp for the guest room because it was cute and matched the bedding, saw pumpkin spice oatmeal so of course I had to get that, and just because I happened down the aisle that sold Pioneer Woman kitchenware, decided I really did need two new saute pans from the "country kitchen" collection. And then I remembered the stupid bed frame and went to the furniture aisle only to find out that Walmart doesn't carry it, so I called several mattress and furniture stores from the rug aisle while I picked out some kitchen rugs, because the puppy chewed all of mine. Oh yes, the laptop.
I decided on the one I wanted, acquired the actual laptop with the help of Slack-Jaw's co-worker who knew how to retrieve one from "the back" and then enjoyed a personal escort to the cash register, lest I decide to tuck the 16x12 laptop box under my arm and make a run for it, wearing my heeled sandals that I can barely walk in, much less run. Plus, I don't run.
On the way to the register, we passed through a beverage aisle. Three hours at Walmart had made me tired, slightly sweaty, thirsty, starving and near tears from all the DECISIONS I had to make. I spotted a bucket of margaritas and I paused, contemplating opening the spout and letting the contents pour into my open mouth. But then I remembered that you have to put the actual tequila in the bucket first and it's better frozen, and they frown upon acts of desperation in Aisle 10. So, I continued on my way and the employee/pretend security agent walking with me was kind enough to pause with me, let me have my fantasy, and move on without a word or judgement.
At checkout, a total rang up that rivaled my most expensive Costco shopping trip. I loaded up the car, by this time shaking from hunger, and called my husband to bitch about how long this shopping trip took me, and did he want anything from Taco Time? And why was he just now finished painting? Did he KNOW it was after noon?
After a delectable lunch of soft tacos that came back to haunt me hours later, we got back to work. Right around the time my brother-in-law texted me that he was on his way. TO STAY IN OUR GUEST ROOM! At that moment, the room was empty with painting tape still surrounding the windows and door. The house was beyond messy, piles of stuff everywhere, and I knew I needed to surrender to the fact that yet another ambitious project with an impossible deadline did not get completed.
We pressed on, dragging the bed and box spring into the room to rest on the floor, since the frame won't be available until tomorrow. I washed and dried all the new bedding, but the Egyptian cotton blanket I purchased on one of my circles around Walmart took THREE hours to dry so now I already HATE that blanket and it hasn't even experienced life outside of its plastic zippered pouch for more than half a day. I finally made the bed at 9:30 p.m. except for that stupid blanket so I hope our guest doesn't freeze tonight for lack of warm bedding.
I just really want to hire people to make my ideas come to life. This working hard thing is so overrated. But maybe in a few days, the room will actually look sort of put-together. And I'll take a picture and post it online and say "look at our new guest room - so cozy and peaceful - come and visit and rest here while all your cares float away under your Egyptian cotton blanket!" And I will enjoy the two seconds while that room is actually clean and peaceful, before someone dumps a random pile of crap on the bed because it's "the spare room". Tonight..........tonight it's the guest room in all it's soft, grey, bare walls glory with magazine-perfect bedding and NO Egyptian cotton blanket because that's still in the dryer. We tried!