In the old days, they didn’t have home improvement television shows, so if you were interested in interior design or remodeling or were just particularly nosy and wanted to see Other People’s Houses, you had to become an Avon lady. I was a lucky child of an Avon lady, so I got to see OPH all the time, as well as be extremely informed what shape of cologne decanter (Antique car? Pheasant? Steam engine?) each man in my small town was getting for Christmas/Father's Day/Arbor Day etc. I still kind of wonder how thrilled the farmers weren’t on Christmas morning, hoping for some shiny manly thing they saw in the Cabela’s or Wards catalog, but EmmaClaire and little LukeLeroy hand over a thick glass tractor bottle with a plastic lid where the exhaust should be and 6 oz. of Wild Country cologne inside…but I digress.
Some day I’ll tell you all about how wrapped presents sitting around simply Make. Me. Nuts. I don’t care who they’re for, I really just need to know what’s inside. I remember a particularly impossible holiday season where I was stuck at home sick on a sofa while my mother folded laundry with soap operas on in the background. Each show had a tree loaded with presents…that had NOTHING to do with the storyline. No one was even TALKING about the presents. I kept squawking at my mother through inflated tonsils about it, and she didn’t know what was in the boxes, and eventually the episode would end without ANYONE even opening them or anything. I’d force myself to stay awake the next day to see if someone opened them, no dice. Eventually, Christmas passed and instantly both the trees and presents were gone and no one on the shows seemed to give a shit about it or even mention, “Oh Dr. Thad, thank you for the lovely mink stole that you put in the big square box with gigantic bow! It’s perfect!” Finally, my mother broke it to me that very probably, they were empty boxes just wrapped to look like presents, and no one was EVER going to open them. EVER. Gives me hives thinking about it to this day.
Again with the digression. Back to home improvement television. Do you know that you’re supposed to be barefoot when painting walls? I am not sure who I learned this from, some very talented television designer no doubt…One of the ones that can do things with 48 hours and $200 bucks that a normal person needs 9 permits, 8 months and a second mortgage for. The theory is you’ll feel wet paint on your foot and therefore not track it everywhere like you would if you had shoes on. These are the types of tips I file away and rarely use, but dole them out to others as if I made them up. Anyway, I was painting recently AND wearing some of my very favorite and adorable Sundance leather sneakers (the red ones) so I took off my shoes to avoid dripping on their cute suede toes. I then prided myself for remembering the valuable tip about the paint tracking like that was the ingenious reason I’d removed them. I painted an entire room, and then, wanting to be clever AND tidy, I tippy toed all barefoot to the kitchen to clean the roller…completely forgetting that our pal (Hi Bobby!) had been in there all day cutting granite tiles.
Here’s a factoid Ty Pennington has never once mentioned on Trading Spaces or Let’s Build a House in Two Days for People who Probably Won’t Take Care of It Because They Certainly Didn't Take Care of Their Last One: granite tiles + tile saw = MILLIONS OF LITTLE GLASS-LIKE SHARDS. Made of granite.
They’re all about the eye protection on HGTV, but not once has anyone said, “Oh, and hey - make sure you you’ve got shoes on when you’re redoing countertops!” Good news is that these glasslike shards are thin, yet strong! Like nature’s own needles. You can’t even feel them until there’s about a dozen of ‘em all ready in ya! Handily though, they do eventually break off, at least the part sticking out does. The centimeter or so that’s in your foot, well, in ain’t going nowhere.
So I’ve got a zillion or so in there, or at least three, and it’s been a couple of weeks and even though the Big Dude with Little Glasses says they’ll fester out, they’re not festering. I really tend to believe him on this, though, because if you ever met some of his ancestors you’d understand that he knows A LOT about festering. I shouldn’t complain, because my foot really only hurts when I step on it. Or move my toes. Or go down stairs. Or drive. Or bump it with anything. The only relief – ironically - is wearing the cute sneakers. (Thanks, Bob Redford! Guess if I like you more than Ty Pennington?)
I am a little worried that the promised festering might occur whilst wearing cute sneakers, but it’s a chance I’ve got to take.