Thursday, July 9, 2009

How complicated is paint?

Recently, I was talking to my elderly neighbor about painting. He talked about how he used to be a die-hard paintbrush supporter, but eventually got converted to rollers; we discussed how much of an improvement a good paint job can be to a room; the satisfaction that can come from completing a home project such as painting a room.

He also mentioned that when he and his wife (now deceased) painted a room, she put masking tape to protect areas that shouldn't be painted; he applied the paint. He sounded proud about how they had worked as a team, which I thought was nice.

He went on with a story about how she had painted once; she didn't know to thin the paint before applying it, and the whole wall had to be redone. When that happened, he said, he told her to stick to the taping. For the rest of their marriage, she only taped.

These additional details changed my feeling about the arrangement. Confining herself to taping wasn't her choice - she had wanted to paint. She tried one time, messed up, and understandably her confidence in her abilities was undermined. Instead of supporting her by teaching her which paints had to be thinned and how to thin them, he reinforced her belief that she wasn't capable of the task.

I was sad and angry to realize this. I couldn't think of anything appropriate to say to him, though, so I came and wrote about it here.

1 comment:

Rachel said...

There is definitely something sad about that story, that she wasn't trusted to try again or assumed to be capable of learning/improving.