Sticking to the Topic at Hand

There i was, sitting on my new kitchen floor, laughing and crying and swearing all at once.

If there had been a fly on the wall armed with an iPhone, i’d be a meme by now.

It all started when i realized that i couldn’t bring one more thing into the new house until the movers brought the furniture. For the past few days, my son and i have been bringing box after box of books, dishes, books, art work, linens, books, clothes, and, did i mention, books? It is now to the point that the movers will be lucky to get the furniture IN the house for all the boxes we’ve brought. So i decided to change lanes and start putting things up. I swabbed out the pantry and set out the supplies to lay new contact paper.

Contact paper is the devil’s handiwork.

I pointedly lay out paper to make a pattern, carefully drawing out all the cutarounds for the various brackets. Since the pantry is actually makeshift over the basement stairs, there are A LOT of cutarounds. But i finish the pattern for the first shelf and painstakingly cut it out.

In retrospect, i should have heard the devil’s chuckling. He knew what was coming next.

I peel the backing from one of the rear corners. As i said, the pantry is built into what would otherwise be wasted space over the basement access, so the shelves are rather deep and oddly shaped. I get up on a step stool and lean into depths of the ersatz pantry cavern. I am in up to my waist before i notice that i have managed to stick the contact paper to my belly.

To note: When laying contact paper, it is best to wear more than cutoffs and a sports bra. Or so i found today.

I retreat to unstick myself and, in the process,  clock my head on the shelf above. A stream of curse words in a couple different languages fly out of my mouth like bats from a cave.

Pulling contact paper off your belly isn’t pleasant. First off, for every 2 inches you unstick, a different inch finds another place to adhere. Peeling it from your skin ranks right up there with a cheap bikini wax. And to top it off, the damned stuff will find ways to stick to itself.

After an hour, i had one shelf done.

The bottom shelf went much faster, as it was much smaller and shallower. It was a pleasant respite before attempting the top shelf.

Again with the pattern paper – this time, two sheets, as it is the biggest and deepest of all. I am exhausted from moving boxes the last few days, so even tho i wipe out the pantry, i am not at my most detail oriented. Which explains how i missed the spider web.

Another meticulous trimming of the vinyl. Back up on the step stool. Up on my tiptoes to reach the back. Peel the paper backing. Crease my pathetic abs against the shelf’s edge and lean in. Charlotte climbs from her web and walks across my hand.

I shrieked. I swore. I jumped. I smacked my head again – on the jamb of the pantry door this time. I missed the step stool on the way down, smacked my arse on the wall like a Tim Duncan jump shot, and landed on the floor. It took me a second to realize that i was now wrapped like a burrito in the contact paper, with both hands stuck inside the casing.

Thank God i couldn’t reach my phone, because asking for help to get out of the wrapper would have taken the last of my dignity.

I’m not sure how long it took me to peel myself out of my fly paper cocoon. I’m sure it was a while since i stopped periodically, as i said in the beginning, to laugh/cry/swear and curse the sadistic bastard who invented contact paper. Even after washing up afterwards, my knuckles and belly still have sticky spots.

But it could have been worse. If i’d clocked my head harder, i’d have had to explain my predicament to the Emergency Room. I’m pretty sure the story would have been hospital wide by shift change. Thank you, God, for that small favor.

And so it goes. The shelves are finally finished, olive oil got the adhesive off my hands and belly, and the spider got squashed in the melee. The satisfaction is on par with conquering Kilimanjaro. Or at least Mount Wannahockaloogie. It should be a year or so before i need to tackle it again. And last i checked, i’m not a meme yet.

A successful day overall.


2 thoughts on “Sticking to the Topic at Hand

  1. I’ve never heard of contact paper, sounds like something that we had back in the 70’s or 80’s

    Anyhow can i congratulate you on conquering your nemesis and writing an hilarious account of it.

    Your writing is fabulous, given the right marketing you’d sell in the published field.


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