Guest blogger Kris loses her senses of humor and proportion:
Several rounds of sanding and spackling later, I had lost my senses of humor and proportion. Then he held a straight edge to the wall and shone a flashlight toward it to see if any light passed between it and the surface of the spackle.
"You're just doing this to punish me," I accused.
My husband then used his most bland tone to utter a sentence that amounts to fighting words in our marriage: "I'm just being objective."
He turned on the flashlight again. "See, it's still sloping too much. You'll have to fill this valley"–he took a pencil and drew a straight line on the flatly sanded spackle–"with one more coat, then do a final coat and feather it out to here." He drew a wavy line about eight inches out from the straight one.
Maybe I'd been sprung from the Naughty Box–maybe–but if so, I'd landed directly in the seventh circle of Hell.
"I'll do one more layer. That's it. No more." Clever man that he is, my husband knows a mule when he sees one, and there I stood, arms crossed in defiance. In fact, since I'd been wearing the same shirt for each round of sanding, I smelled like one, too.
"I'm really not trying to punish you," he said, trying to sound reasonable. "But otherwise it won't look right."
"Perfect, you mean."
I had him there, and he knew it. He's famously incapable of tolerating quantifiable deviations from standard. It's the engineer in him.
"Look, if you spackle again, I'll sand," he said. "Then you'll just have to do the skim coat. Lay it on nice and thin, and you'll hardly have to sand."
Wheedling, that's what it was, because in the end, he'd never settle for "good enough." I knew it was the best deal I was going to get–and it was the kind of thing I knew I'd laugh about with my sisters-in-law at some future family get-together–but just then I was too mad to verbally accept the offer.
Instead, I grabbed the car keys and took my smelly self, dusty hair covered by a baseball cap, to the hardware store for another bucket of joint compound.