Friday, February 26, 2010

Stories I like to tell: Part IV (including excessive amounts of tongue in cheek)

The semester before Scott and I got married, I was roommates with his little sister, Katie (who happens to be my age. well, five days younger. but who's counting? I am). We lived in a basement apartment with six other girls. Although I was betrothed to her brother, we had met only briefly before we started sharing a room.

There are many stories that could be shared from that four month period (many!), but my favorite one to tell is the one about the quote wall.

We were young. We were foolish. We did many things that made little to no sense. Case in point: "I know! Every time someone says something funny let's write it on that wall in crayon!" "Brilliant!" "Crayon washes off, right?" "Quite easily, I believe." And thus we spent the prime of our higher education filling every corner of one bedroom wall with quotes--hilarious quotes, to be exact. (No photos! So sad.) This was all great fun and a big hit with all of our friends and we congratulated ourselves on our genius.

Until.

I received a frantic call from Katie while visiting Scott one afternoon. "This is another fine mess you've gotten us in to!" "Me?" "The landlord's coming for a cleaning inspection tonight!" "Yikes!"

By the time I got back Katie had already begun scrubbing with soapy water. To our incredulity, it didn't just wash right off. No, instead the paint started coming off until we were scrubbing brownish sheet rock. Oh the ignorance of young adults!! We realized that we would need to repaint it eventually, but there was no time for that now. No time to buy supplies and apply a primer and two coats and that's not to mention the dead-giveaway paint smell! What to do?

Sometimes in a highly stressful and gravely serious situation, people's minds are elevated to a higher plane of genius. Time slows down for just a few moments and everything comes in to perfect focus as our path is made clear. It was with just such a preeminent cognition that we realized our solution: we'll just cover the whole wall with posters.

Luckily we had many. Side to side, slightly overlapping, we created a screen of deceit with the Beatles and swimming elephants, Annie and U2. Where there were small gaps we filled in with photographs and silk scarves. With time to spare we completed the mask of our impetuous inside-joke-graffiti. The inspection was made with none the wiser. We congratulated ourselves on our well pulled off tomfoolery and resolved to get to that painting job the following Saturday.

The day before we moved out (weeks later) found us holding various white paint chips to the wall trying to match the perfect level of dinginess. Our last night, we spent sleeping in the room with two fans on trying to relieve our nostrils and brain cells from the fresh paint smell (also hoping it would not be too noticeable when our landlords evaluated who would be keeping our deposits).

We got them back. In full.

And when Katie returned to our basement apartment the next fall she reported that it was all for naught--they'd repainted the entire basement over the summer.

7 comments:

Sharlene, Mom, Grammy said...

I LOVE this story!! So funny and you tell it so well. Please write a book, Lori. You've got so much experience to draw from and great talent. I'm Still laughing and smiling. You funny, funny girls! Ah to be young and crazy again. (albeit, in this case: very clever crazy young girls)

julie said...

I had not heard that one-and it's a beauty. My college-age self found nothing irresponible and idiotic about the events.

lisa said...

THat story is sooo you, Lori. I can picture that happening yesterday...heh-heh :).

Alice Wills Gold said...

Hilarious..never heard this one before...you need to share any quotes that you remember.

Maybe next time you can add this one: "WD40 takes crayon off anything like a charm." Doesn't strip paint either. You just have to wash the wd40 off with some good dish soap afterward.

Oh and we will have to be sure and give our kids plenty of posterboard for their quotes when they go to college. :)

Yo Mamma said...

Oh, what a classic. I can't believe that I had forgotten this one! I'm sure that if we had just found the right amount of "randomness" in our decorating we would have never had to have resorted to a quote wall.

Troy said...

Did you already have these elephant and Annie posters on hand-- in the closet or something?

Jeigh said...

I love this story! It was funny all the way through, but when I read the last sentence, I laughed out loud, AND launched a snot rocket. Perfectly written.