Personal Statement

Personal Statement

Friday, October 15, 2010

State of the Union - 10/15/10

Update on the home office redo (which should be finished tonight, but I can't post pictures until next week, as I promised Robyn her own personal "big reveal" (it's only fair, since she donated her labor and all, and also talked me out of my "OHMIGOD THE WALLS ARE TOO PURPLISH" tree).

I have made my peace with the sort-of-plummy curtains. Let's just get that out of the way upfront. Thank the sweet Lord that they weren't the color that I thought that they would be, because I found some in that hue at Target and brought them home to serve as a color reference, and WHAT was I thinking? So, YAY to happy accidents.

Shelves are in the bookcase, after a minor glitch. The ten year-old WATERED THEM a few minutes after the second coat of stain went on (he was watering plants in the front yard and went a little crazy with the hose, as ten year-old boys are wont to do). I can report that the polyurethane built into the stain pretty much worked as advertised (took a little longer for them to dry, but they survived the ordeal). I would also like to point out that it is perhaps a sad commentary on my life when drenching eight just-stained bookcase shelves only merits "minor glitch" status.

Books are on said shelves. Book replacement-slash-organization phase of the project took WAY more time than it should have, because my (self-diagnosed) "situational OCD" kicked in, and I wasted considerable time trying to determine whether non-fiction should be on the left or the right, etc. The dithering got worse when it became apparent that I actually could move books out of the living room and into the new bookcase. (NOTE: Why did this surprise me? New Bookcase is a foot wider than Old Bookcase, also taller, and a shelf and three quarters' worth of books and DVDs moved along with Old Bookcase - yet in the early stages of book replacement-slash-organization I was repeatedly heard to say, "It's not all going to fit. I'm not going to get it all to fit." It's called math, honey. You used to be good at it, before kids and life in general fried your brain.) Should I move books based on color, or subject matter, or author? It might make sense to reunite the living room John Grisham novels with the home office John Grisham novels - except that, WOW, we have a lot of John Grisham novels (who knew? I stopped reading after "The Client"). There isn't room for all of them. Hmmm, I could free up enough space if I moved the home office Tom Clancy novels in with their living room brethren . . . but the spines are the wrong color.

In the end, I winged it.

But then I wasted more time deciding which books should be upright, which should be stacked horizontally, and which should serve as pedestals for other things. Oh, and don't get me started about the other things. SO many other things to display - autographed baseballs and other sports memorabilia, photos of the kids, Parnell's odd collection of carved bears holding fish. About the bears: he doesn't particularly like them - bears, I mean - but on our honeymoon tour o' Canada, he became enamored with native carvings, and a carved bear holding a fish came home with us. Then we went to Mexico, and Bear Holding Fish #2 was acquired. He got way too excited about Bear Holding Fish #2: "They are from two totally different places, and they are so different, but yet they are the same." Okay, honey, I get it - yay, NAFTA, and all - but these are going to go WHERE in our house?

Then he discovered Big Sky Carvers, and we acquired Bears Holding Fish #3, 4 and 5. Then he ran across a really cool fetish bear carving in New Mexico, BUT IT DIDN'T HAVE A FISH IN ITS MOUTH, and we actually had to have a conversation about it: would the collection be ruined due to the lack of a piscine motif? We got the fetish bear, which, in retrospect, was a mistake, because it freed up the world o' wooden bears for my dear husband to Bears That Don't Have Fish.

Hence, I have a chainsaw bear in my house.

It is a relatively small one - bereft of fish - and it resides under an end table.

Back to my situational OCD (which, as you can see from the apropos-of-not-much bear explanation above, wages a constant battle against my "situational ADD"): it took me in excess of two hours to get the balance of things just right. The balance of dark versus light wood, the balance of photos featuring Parker versus photos featuring Connor (Connor wins the "Battle of the Home Office," but that's okay, as Parker has edged him out for dominance of the living room) . . . and so on and so forth.

Ultimately, I got things just where I wanted them. At which point my husband breezed in, fresh from his tennis match, and gushed over the results of my efforts. Okay, he didn't gush so much as say, "Looks good, honey." And then he got on the computer. But, hey - neither of us have any illusions that any of this is about him. He was quite happy in his old, bland, boring, sort of butter-yellowish room with the dog-colored couch and the balled-up wads of receipts doing battle with the tsotchkes.

Whereas I shielded my eyes and ran through the room as fast as possible en route to the back door. Yeah, this is definitely all about me regaining some sense of ownership of home real estate that I forfeited to the men in my family a long time ago.

All in all, I think we'll be happy with the results. It's like Elle Decor and ESPN the Magazine had a baby; there are genes from both in the room design, and as disparate as those genes are somehow they have come together to create a pretty cute kid.

Oh, two more update items, both pertaining to the five year-old, who has been home sick for a couple of days. On the first day of his recuperation, he passed out on one of the new Ikat pillows, and I guess he drooled a bit in his sleep, because when he woke up the pillow was wet - and he had a blue-and-purple Ikat design on the side of his face and neck. Looks like the Ikat pillow covers have a date with a washing machine full of saltwater and perhaps a sinkful of Dawn and hot water after that, all in an effort to rinse out the remaining dye.

The next morning, Parker stumbled in to pass out yet again on the dog-colored couch - and discovered that the dog-colored couch had been taken to Goodwill, to make room for the new, non-dog-colored couch. He just stood there, half-asleep, and blinked. Finally: "Um, Mom, what happened to the couch?"

Guess I'm not the only one who's ready to be done with the home office project?

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