Tuesday, September 30, 2014

If You Give a Girl a New Duvet…


She will want to paint her bedroom.


Once the bedroom is painted (and she stops complaining about how it’s the wrong color), the carpet clearly must go (blech!).


If you give a girl beautiful, plush new carpet, she will notice how shabby the shutters look.


Clearly those will need to be replaced with beautiful shutters like these.

If you replace the shutters, it will become clear to the girl that the nightstands are so “last century” (probably because they are).  Throw in some lamps while you’re at it.


If you insert new nightstands, the girl will notice that the dressers are all wrong.  They will need to be painted.  She would replace them but nobody actually makes all wood dressers anymore, so paint it is.


If you give a girl freshly painted dressers, she will want a new chair to replace rocking chair she has been holding onto because it held her with her nursing baby (who is presently 17) in the middle of so many nights.


And, if you give a girl a cute chair in the corner, she might sit in it and notice that it’s now time for the duvet to be changed…


And so it goes with home improvement.


{with a nod of gratitude to Laura Numeroff.  I love her books and have spent many hours with mooses (meese?), mice and pigs who have vision!  She has explained this life truth so very articulately.  I want to be her when I grow up.}

If you give a moose a muffin

Monday, September 8, 2014

Misadventures in Home Improvement #4

It is a truth that when trying to match the  paint dried onto a teenager’s arm, it just might not match EXACTLY.

Therefore, by the next morning it was abundantly clear that the paint was not going to sufficiently dry to the point where you couldn’t see the line where the 2nd coat with the original gallon stopped and the 2nd coat with the paint “matched” gallon began.

Oh no, you could see it.


So, pull out the painting tools once again.  Only my helpers were all gone, so it’s all me.  Whatever, two days later every inch of that bed-vanity combo was perfectly painted.

In the wrong color.

Had I mentioned it was the WRONG color?

So my dear husband, who hates to see me cry, wrote a stinging letter of complaint to the store who shall not be named (but it rhymes with “blows”)

The manager was quick to call and get the entire sad tale retold as only I can with extensive detail, several asides, and dramatic inflection. 

He asked me what would make me a satisfied customer.

“My room painted in the correct color.”

But not by me, because I’ve done it once in the last few days and now I’m pretty much over the urge to paint.

By someone else that has my eye for detail. (I have found this to be an elusive quality in painters)


In the absence of that possibility (a girl can dream!), then the money back for the paint.

I might as well have money in my pocket to drown my sorrows in ice cream.

Apparently, a decision concerning 3 gallons of paint is above his pay grade and he said he had to talk to the rep from the paint company.  Now, I do not completely understand why it’s the paint company’s problem since the guy in the store was the one who mixed it incorrectly, but what do I know?  The paint itself worked just fine and actually did a nice job covering up that crappy texture job.  Ok, whatever.


A few days later, he asked me to bring in the cans and receipts and he’d take care of us.

So we showed up with our receipts and the last gallon of paint in hand.

The lady at the counter called back to our manager friend.

Counter lady asks us about the receipts (check!) and the paint cans (here’s one!) while manager is on the phone.  Oh, just one can?


Yes, we had already thrown the 2 empty ones away.

So she repeats this to manager on the phone.

In the absence of the other 2 cans, he can offer us (over the phone via counter lady):

  • 1/2 refund on the first 2 gallons and
  • a full refund on the 3rd gallon.

Really?  You need the cans?


Now I’m mad.  Before, I was just disappointed.  I care less about the money than I do about the principle of the thing because the fact remains that my room is painted in the WRONG color.  So, I raise myself up and insist that manager on the phone come out to talk to us in person.

At this point, Jeff recognizes the righteous indignation rising in me and just steps back as I take complete control of the situation.

Yes, Mr. Manager, you should be very afraid.

He explains that he can’t get reimbursed from the paint supplier without the paint cans.

Really?  A big company like this can’t pay me back for 2 gallons of paint if only for the sake of customer good will?! 

I explain, calmly and patiently, but incredulously, that my contract is with the store I purchased my paint from.  Their employee incorrectly mixed the paint.  Their arrangement with the supplier is none of my concern.

In the end, he was putty in my hand and succumbed to my vastly superior negotiating skills and a good dose of old-fashioned polite but firm persistence.

Yes sir.  He didn’t stand a chance.

I ended up getting both of those first 2 cans fully reimbursed.  But, I reasoned, since they didn’t do anything wrong on the 3rd can, I’d let that go.  I’m nothing if not fair.

I was VERY pleased with myself as we returned to the car.

As I was buckling my seatbelt I did the math (where X = the value of 1 gallon of paint)—let’s see, that would be:

Manager’s original offer:  2*(1/2X) + 1X = 2X

My counteroffer & settlement:  2X + 0 = 2X

Hey, wait a minute…


dang it.

Good thing it’s the principle that counts.

Because I obviously can’t.