Saturday, the Pretend Husband, the Pretend Father-in-Law and I spent three hours painting the biggest room in my brother's new house tan. Sunday, we spent three hours painting the biggest room in my brother's new house blue-gray.
Kat's lil bro has been incredibly busy lately (like working multiple 24-hour shifts at his job, which basically means working days at a time) and needs to get his house into good enough shape to move into it when his rental lease ends. So the family has been pitching in and doing work, buying some of the items he needs and giving lil bro more advice than he will ever use.
Last week, lil bro asked me to go to the tile store and pick out the tile for his bathroom remodel. And I was all set to do it, but then I chickened out and made him come with me during the few hours he had off one afternoon. Because, as much experience as I have with remodeling and as well as I know my brother, I was not ready for the responsibility of picking out hundreds of dollars worth of (non-returnable) tile for a bathroom he would have to live with.
And it's a good thing he went with me because, out of the two colors of tile we both liked, he chose the one I wouldn't have (I would have chosen the other one only because it was half as expensive, but I agree he got the better of the two colors).
But, even with that experience, I agreed to pick out paint for the family room. I had a long conversation with lil bro about his preferences ("I don't care as long as it's neutral") and got warnings from the PH ("You like dark colors. Don't go too dark. He likes the color we had in our old living room"). And when I got to Home Depot, I chose a shade of brown that was sort of dark, but still much lighter than anything I would have picked out for my house. And, when they were unable to mix that color in a five-gallon quantity, I agreed to go even lighter, ending up with a very light tan...
... that had a peach tinge to it when we got it on the wall. But we wanted to surprise lil bro with a completed room so we painted the whole room anyway (and it's a big room-- it used to be a two-car garage, to give you an idea of how much wall space we had to cover). And when lil bro saw it on Sunday morning, he hated it. He thought it looked peachy. And better yet, I showed him the color I intended to get him (the one the PH, my dad and the Pretend Father-in-Law all said was way too dark and good thing I didn't get it), he said he would have preferred it.
So, off to Home Depot the lil bro and I went, returning not with a darker shade of brown, but an entirely different color altogether. And we spent yesterday afternoon repainting the very room we spent the day before painting (so it's kind of like we did nothing at all on Saturday).
And that's why I will not be trying to surprise anyone by doing something nice for them. Nor will I be shopping for lil bro's house by myself (although I'm happy to to help paint with whatever colors he chooses). But I'm not making decisions or buying anything non-returnable. Pretty much, it's the last time I try to do anything nice for anyone ever again (or at least until my back stops aching from a weekend of work).