Thursday, July 19, 2012

Painting in a Boys World

During the school year, I'm surrounded by women.  It's what I know.  It's what I'm used to.  It's what makes sense.  But I have discovered a new world this summer.  It is a world of men.

Now, for the most part, I can hold my own.  During the long hours of painting at my two jobs, I can be one of the boys.  Want me to haul five gallon buckets of paint up the stairs?  No problem.  Need those bunk beds moved out of the way? I got it.  Want me to spend hours on the a ladder trimming popcorn ceilings and ignore the amounts of stuff falling on me? My ballcap and I can handle it.  Want to make up some lame excuse as to why I'm better qualified to do all the trim work while you take on the roller?  I can deal with it.

And then today happened.  I showed up to my apartment painting job with my bag of supplies.  Just your basics--paintbrushes, extra paint cup liners, rags, and the all important toilet paper.  (These are vacant apartments, after all.)  I walked through the apartment assessing the situation when I discovered a big problem.  It wasn't the incredible wall of odor that hit me when I walked in the door. It wasn't the fact that the windows were open on a day when the expected high was 107.  I've done this long enough to deal with these factors.  The problem was the lack of a toilet!

I remained calm.  I didn't react.  I waited to see what the menfolk had to say.  The solution was simply to use the bathtub as a toilet of the day.  What???  Use the bathtub???  Now, I can roll with most situations, but this was asking a bit too much.  Determined not to sound like the wimpy girl, I grabbed my brush and started my designated job of official trim painter.  Hour 1 passed.  Hour 2 passed.  All was well.  And then hour 6 was upon us.  It was time to face the situation.  I put down the paintbrush and grabbed my keys.  "And where do you think you're going?"  I looked at them and simply said, "To remind myself that I am still a girl.  I'll be back in five minutes."