Saturday, November 7, 2009

Decoratingly Challenged

Light bulbs set in the super high ceilings and super high plant shelves that adorn the 12 to infinity high walls of some homes are good for the economy. They have actually created new jobs. All 6 foot one and shrinking of Hubby never needed anything more than a stepladder to change our highest bulbs before we moved into our new home. “You need a 12-foot ladder,” a neighbor advised when looking at our ceilings.

Hubby paled. He doesn't climb anything above a step stool. Never. Ever.

“There’s a contraption,” another neighbor said. “It kind of looks like a telescopic toilet bowl plunger that grasps the bulb and then you twist. Nothing to it.”

With Hubby’s hand tremor and my lack of anything even remotely resembling eye-hand coordination, I visualized the bulbs smashed on my floor.

“Call my bulb man,” a friend suggested. “He has a route and changes all my bulbs once a year – that way the most I’ll ever have is one bad bulb by the time he comes.”

A new industry has been born. Yesteryear’s milkman has become today’s bulbman.

Another industry that is a direct result of high plant shelves - that were not designed for real plants because they are virtually impossible to water - is the manufacturing of oversized bric-a-brac to adorn the shelves. Normal-sized collectables - plates – vases – figurines - that were good enough for my mother and grandmother’s curio shelves and breakfronts just don’t cut it on shelves that are sky-level, not eye-level. Instead, people put platters and bowls from the Green Giant’s own china, urns big enough to hold a dinosaurs’ remains, as well as flower filled bike baskets, doll carriages, and huge containers on the shelves.

Some folks are original and put their real lifetime collectables – clocks, big dolls, or even hats – along the shelves – as long as they are visible from below. One friend has every 8 x 10-school and special occasion picture ever taken of her kids and grandkids framed and perched like birds on the perimeter of her dining room shelves. I feel like I’m inside a yearbook when I dine in her home.

Hubby likes the idea of collectables. The major problem is neither of us are collectors with one exception. In one corner of our garage stand the crutches I used when I broke my foot. Next to them is the walker Hubby was given after his knee surgery. In a carton close by are the two different black boots – one knee high, the other mid calf – that I wore when I broke my foot. Now we have to decide if we put them on our plant shelves how they would look with artificial greenery wrapped around them. We know they can be seen from below, but we’re not sure if they go with our decor. They’re the wrong color.

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