Two weeks ago was perhaps the most stressful nail-bitting, stomach turning week of my life. I lost sleep, couldn’t eat (which is never a problem for me), and chewed off most of my nails. I had heard so many horror stories about loans falling through at the last minute, and was convinced that it was going to happen to me. It didn’t matter that my credit score qualifies me for a Black Amex Centurion Card (but my income does not), I knew I’d get a call at the last minute saying that there was a small problem and the bank wouldn’t be able to finance me.
But then, two days before closing I got an e-mail while in Ikea. Jen and I were picking out a new worktable for my office that will be used to lay out album spreads and prepare print orders for clients. We were fully approved, and the financing was in place. Whew. I shed a tear of joy right there in the office section of Ikea.
Not only was I a new homeowner, I was given the given the ultimate stress relieving puzzle in the world. If only I had the ability to pull wallpaper last week! I would have been so much nicer to be around!
Wallpaper removal is a never ending puzzle of paper, paste, and horrible 1970’s patterns. There are multiple levels to navigate through – from finding a corner to start pulling at, to sorting out the right diluent that effectively transfers through the top layer and penetrates into the paper backing and dissolves the glue underneath. When you do figure out the proper combination, sometimes you are rewarded with a full sheet of paper peeling off in your hands, and other times you only get a tattered one inch fragment of sticky wallpaper.
There are multiple levels to wallpaper removal, too. Like an archaeologist digging in ancient Rome, you may peel away the first layer to discover another hideous sub-level (and these sub levels have more secret levels underneath). And just when you think you have finished the room, you walk down the hall to another room full of puzzles.
It took me a week, but I have finally mastered the wallpaper puzzle. There are no more levels to combat. I am done.
There clearly is a direct one to one correlation between the amount of stress one goes through when buying a home, and the quantity and quality of wallpaper inside that same house, don’t you think?