I was painting this weekend. Before this weekend I mentioned my plans to my dental hygienist and she mentioned how much she hated doing trim and much preferred rolling. She said her husband thought it was out of character since she was so detail-oriented in everything else she did.
I couldn’t know for sure, but I imagined anyone who cleaned other people’s teeth for a living had to be focused in on the details. She had spent a half an hour scraping and picking at my teeth until they felt like the hull of a yacht that would soon be put on the market.
I always thought that cleaning someone else’s teeth would take the type of patience I didn’t have. I had spent the time she was polishing my teeth imagining how spic-and-span her grout must be at home. I myself am not that fastidious.
But when I started thinking about the two different painting jobs, I realized I liked trim-work much better. The thought of rolling on the paint in the wide open area in the middle seemed like so much more work. I much preferred the careful precision of working carefully around the edges.
I wasn’t sure if it was because of the body movements, small and controlled with trim, versus big and strong with rolling that made me prefer one over the other or if it was something else. Maybe it was the even keel nature of the trim work and of knowing exactly where my work started an ended, like a neat checklist.
Everyone I asked had strong opinions about whether they preferred rolling or trimming, though no one could really articulate why. Both camps seemed to see value in their own preferred task, while still seeing the other as having merit as well. Most often people were tied to one, and were sure they could never do the other.
I’m not sure what it is about this job that makes people so loyal to one over the other. Or if your preference for one versus the other says something universal about you. I do know in the end whether you are creating the outline or filling it in, it’s easier to paint within the lines when you do it together.
So tell me, which do you prefer, trimming or rolling? What do you think it says about you?