a sticky situation

In the spirit of the hanger...

There was no hint of the mental images she had created of warm beaches and fresh fruit. The exhilaration that had often accompanied her thoughts of this incredible move to New Zealand was nowhere to be found. Replacing those idyllic sentiments were intense feelings of contempt. No, anger. No! Fury.

Double-sided tape had been a Godsend when she was single and spent her free time crafting and organizing photos. It melded all of her memories with the crisp scrapbook pages easily and with such simple elegance! As she prepared those albums for posterity to commemorate her children's quaint moments now, though, she didn't realize small eyes were tuned into her activities with curiosity and sparks of ingenuity were flying.

"What?! Who did this??!!" is what she remembers yelling the day she noticed the new artwork on the wall. Chances are there was a considerable bounty of expletives involved as well, but just as she liked to fancy herself quite a fashion diva, she also portrayed herself as a Picture Perfect Mother in her own mind, so those choice words had been edited from her memory.

Now, with four days left in this house, the one she had agreed to move into when she jumped headlong into this relationship and the same house her love had designed and built with his former wife (God bless her cold, money-grubbing narcissistic heart) she was spending her precious Friday evening partnered with medium grit sandpaper in a dramatic fight for optimal real estate value against the tape and its wall tattoo instead of cozying up on the loveseat with a dry Cabernet watching Meg Ryan conquer Paris with Kevin Kline.

As her beautiful creative children played, screamed and destroyed the rest of the house, she toiled at the wall, her ears deaf to everything but the scrape-scrape-scrape of the sandpaper. This time, the expletives came in more of a whisper and there were stuttered adorations for the inventor of the IUD included in her sweaty rant.

In the end, the double-sided tape with its mysterious placer partner was no match for her determination to leave this other-marriage house in the burbs rife with neighbors and patients who knew their bodies and did their research and her job with its measures and scores. The  small but important step toward a new start in another hemisphere and the lesson her kids learned (or surely would learn, dammit) from this undertaking were worth much more than the two pieces of sandpaper and 500 cc of middle-aged sweat expended from her furrowed brow.

It wasn't a sure thing. The tape had flatly refused to relinquish its grip, so she sanded the whole damn thing down to the drywall. At times, her fist could have been confused with a feral dog's paw rubbing psychotically to expunge a demon parasite. Canine comparisons aside, her efforts were successful. Tape, paint, drywall, her pride and her hope that her children would never be Those Kids Who Destroy Stuff were gone. A scattered pile of dust lay vanquished and still at her feet. The emptiness she felt in this win was unexpected and upsetting. Still, the tape was gone. Ha!

She gave the wall one last frantic scrub, felt the surface of the wall to be sure she had indeed conquered her adhesive adversary, and turned away caressing her sore joints and mopping her brow. Tomorrow she would be one day closer to her move. Between canceling the garbage service and sweeping the garage, she would paint over this dusty disaster and the whole sticky saga would become a charming memory in her Journal of the Journey and fodder for the psychologist that took her case six months ago. Poor guy.

She chuckled as she realized "tape" is a four-letter word.
As is "kids."
But Cabernet is not.


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