Friday, July 3, 2009

Decorating Disaster

When we were first married, Hubby and I shopped for our furniture together. It was quickly obvious to me that we had different taste. We compromised on all choices. I was a new bride and enjoyed the experience of having my new husband take part in the decorating of our home. As each individual piece of furniture arrived, I was anything but ecstatic. Our living room was a hodgepodge of colors and styles that did not jell. Even the word "eclectic" was not suitable. My mother told me it was my fault. “What do men know about decorating?” she asked. “Besides, they forget what they picked two minutes after you leave the store.”

“The salesperson was a man,” I said.

“So? See what a mess he made of it. Men just know how to sell. Do you know any man that can match his socks to his pants?”

I could not argue with her on that point. My father wore white socks with everything and I was already coordinating my husband’s clothes.

Every time I vacuumed, I didn’t care if something was nicked. Silently, when my oversized aunt sat on the sofa, I hoped it would collapse. I fanaticized about painting the wood on the buffet a color I liked.

When we moved to Florida 35 years ago, a new friend gave me great advice. “The person who cleans is the one who must love the furniture. If not, you’ll get no pride when you finish your house work.” I listened and left Hubby home while I shopped for new living room furniture. He was busy starting a new business and was visibly relieved when I only consulted him when I was down to two or three choices that I loved. This time the finished product was one I adored.

Then we moved a few months ago, and my perfect furnishings looked vey imperfect in my new surroundings. Since you know who has time on his hands, guess who is shopping with me for new furniture. It has been almost 50 years since we last did this, and do you know what? NOTHING has changed. Hubby still has strong opinions on what we need and where we should buy, and I am compromising my views or just giving in as I did years ago – with the same results. The new items are arriving and instead of being ecstatic, I am down in the dumps.

I told him I have no choice but to change our house rules unless he lets me make the decisions on all the rest of the things we need. Since he loves everything we are getting, he will have to take over the dusting and vacuuming (my jobs), and I will take care of the outside – his responsibility. I love the gardens and the flowers that surround our retirement paradise, especially since our development’s fees include all ourside maintenance.

Hubby told me to go back to shopping solo and let him know when I’m down to two choices. He knows a good deal – when it comes to maintaining our home.



Maniacal Mommy said...

Oh, I feel you on this one! I told my husband with our first major carpet purchase that "she who cleans it, picks it out." He has been fine with that arrangement.

Brad the Builder said...

Ha, good post, thanks