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The stereotypical woman is expected, I think, to go hideously overbudget in Designer Shoe Warehouse. I, on the other hand, start hearing “Danger, danger Will Robinson,” in my head as I cross the portals of a hardware store. Today, I had to go to the hardware store to get some plastic for the bedroom windows and the one living-room window that is the same shitty vinyl-framed abomination as the bedroom windows. The rest of the house has its original 80-year old wood-framed, double-hung “four-over one” windows, but for some reason, a previous owner saw fit to replace the windows on the west side of the house with hideous Sears vinyl windows which don’t seal worth a shit and are just plain awful to look upon. Whereas the old windows have handsome, varnished, dark wood frames, the new windows are plasticky and don’t have the cool “three-over-one” or “four-over-one” divided panes. Those kinds of windows are part of why I love old houses so much! Someday, when I have the money to do so, I am totally getting rid of those godawful 1980s plastic windows and putting some decent wood ones back in. In the meantime, the bedroom is the coldest goddamn room in the house, but with any luck taping some plastic over the windows will help matters somewhat. Today, I managed to stay within my hardware-store agenda and budget. I only bought plastic sheeting and tape with which to hang it.

While I was there, however, I remembered that I wanted to repaint the bathroom. Want to and actually kind of need to. You see, the previous owners of this house, before they sold it, painted the bathroom incredibly badly. They did a thin coat of latex enamel over old oil-based paint. Bathrooms, being damp and steamy places, need durable paint. That paint was not in the least durable, and is now cracked and crazed and looks like hell. It’s not cracked and crazed enough to look like some kind of artistic, Martha-Stewart-y faux finish, it just looks like some kind of pathetic slumhole tenement bathroom. The chipped and busted toilet seat doesn’t posh the place up any, either. Nor does the perpetually rust-stained sink.

To make matters worse, the bathroom tile is an insidious shade of baby-blue. The tile is, I think, a rather passive-aggressively bad color. It’s not hideous enough to be truly offensive, but it’s just vaguely unpleasant enough to get on your nerves. It’s like the “hot enough for ya” guy at your work. You always kind of want to slap him, but nothing he does is really quite bad enough to warrant violence. Just ill-defined dislike and avoidance.

You can see the color of the tiles quite well in this picture of Griswald in the sink. As I stated, it’s not an overtly awful color. It’s not one of the Interior Decorating Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, those being Harvest Gold, Burnt Orange, Avacado Green, and Chocolate Brown. No, it’s just kind of “meh.”

So, what I want to do is re-paint the non-tile parts of the wall a more interesting color that might harmonize with the mealymouthed powder-blue and give it a little more character. What I’m thinking is a lavendar purple in a similar pastel value as the blue tile, then perhaps a kind of piney green for the trim around the top of the tile, window frame and medicine cabinet.

I haven’t bought paint yet. I want to do what holiday shopping I am going to do first, but I reckon my New Year’s Resolution is going to be to paint the goddamn bathroom so that it doesn’t look like the walls are about to fall in.

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