The Painters

I’m living in a Seinfeld episode.

About a year ago, after the roof at my condo-based office was repaired by the Association-designated repair people, my ceiling started to leak. The water from heavy rainfall had seeped into the roof, found its way between sheets of sheetrock in the ceiling, and soaked through the popcorn ceiling paint job. The water began hitting the floor about 10 inches behind my chair.

By the time the dripping stopped (about a week later), the ceiling was drooping and the paint was stained.

I was not a happy camper.

To make a very long and unhappy story short, the painters arrived today to paint the ceiling in two rooms of the condo: my husband’s office in the master bedroom and my office in the living room. And from the moment they arrived, I’ve been stuck in an episode of Seinfeld.

You know what I mean. Being in a situation so weird that you can’t believe its real. And it just doesn’t seem to end.

They’re a husband and wife team. An older couple. I can’t remember his name, but her name is Marie. All day long, I hear him calling to Marie, yelling at Marie, being nasty to Marie. Marie, Marie, Marie. When your name is Maria and half the people you just met call you Marie, it can be a very annoying distraction while you’re trying to work.

To her credit, Marie gives some of it back. But just some. I would have rammed my Keds down his throat by now. Both of them.

They can’t agree on anything. They accuse each other of doing various stupid things. They narrate what they’re doing. Maybe they think the place is bugged by the Association and if they don’t keep talking, they’ll be accused of going to sleep on the job.

The place reeks of paint, but Marie told me it’s “odorless.”

They’re done with Mike’s office and now they’re working on the “dining room” area. (They have to paint the whole ceiling in both rooms so the paint matches.) There’s plastic behind me, hanging from the ceiling. And they’re inside their little plastic tent, narrating the job, sniping at each other.

Tomorrow, they’ll do the rest of my office. I don’t know how I’m going to survive here. I certainly won’t be able to get any work done. Maybe I’ll lock myself up in Mike’s office with my PowerBook.

With the door closed.

What do you think?