Do-it-yourselfers will attest to two universal truths — projects beget projects and the outcomes are often funny if you are willing to laugh at yourself or others. Both phenomena happen to me all the time. Recently at our house it involved stickers.
My husband and I recently updated our bathroom by framing the mirror. With the mirror framed and looking lovely, it became apparent (to me) that our soap dispenser was lacking. Or better put, we were lacking a soap dispenser. We were simply using the bottle the soap came in when purchased from the store. Next to the newly framed mirror, it looked practically plastic (because it was). We were in need of an upgrade.
I found a suitable plain white ceramic dispenser and put it in the bathroom next to the sink. It was an improvement, but I couldn't shake the feeling that something was missing. And then it hit me: What we needed was a label.
I didn't trust my artistic prowess enough to paint a label on the ceramic. Instead I opted for stickers. I got some nice black letters and placed four of them on the dispenser to spell SOAP.
It was perfect. So perfect that I got two more dispensers — one for the other bathroom and one for the kitchen — and labeled them with SOAP stickers as well.
I was satisfied with my mini-projects, and for most DIYers, the story would end here. But I am not only a DIYer; I am a penny-pincher. And in this case, I had extra, unused stickers. I looked around the kitchen for something else to label.
Next to the sink, I have a spray bottle filled with rubbing alcohol to clean the stainless steel and other surfaces needing disinfecting. There wasn't enough space to spell out rubbing or alcohol so I took three letters — A, L and C — and placed them on the bottle.
I wasn't done yet.
There was a similar spray bottle on the stovetop that held olive oil of the extra virgin variety. Again, space was an issue, so I went with the well-known (or so I thought) abbreviation, EVOO. (Extra virgin olive oil, for those who have never heard of Rachael Ray.)
I still had some stickers left, but it was time to make supper so I put my projects on hold. And here's where the funny part comes in.
As we were prepping for our meal, my husband (who is a Rachael Ray fan) reached for the olive oil and reacted with a start.
"What the heck is ee-vu?" he asked (He pronounced EVOO as though it rhymed with emu.) Then he repeated his question, sort of.
"Ee-vu? That's not even a word. I've never heard of ee-vu. Is this some sort of joke?"
By this time, I couldn't answer him because I was laughing my ee-vu off.
Sensing an opportunity to laugh at a parent, the kids gathered nearby. None of them let my husband in on the joke. God bless the children.
My husband remained incredulous. "Ee-vu? Are you messing with me? Ee-vu, really?"
Each time he said the "word" we all burst out in laughter. The kitchen was a very happy place, unless you were my husband.
Finally, one of the kids took pity and let him in on the secret. We all got a good laugh out of that one, and my husband learned a new vocabulary word.
All-in-all, it was a good day, especially for a DIYer. And I'm not done yet. I still have a few stickers left. I just have to figure out what I can spell and where I can put them.
Jill Pertler is an award-winning syndicated columnist, published playwright, author and member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists.