Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Will I Ever Live in a Magazine?

You know how you walk into some homes and it feels as if Grown Ups Live Here, rather than People Like You who own children and have sentimental hoarding tendencies and still feel as if you are 27 and live on bread?

Well, in South Africa at age 43, I still feel as if my home in Seattle is a share house compared to the Realio Trulio pretty houses of some people around here.

For a start, I don't have any crystal, not even a decanter or a small chandelier.  I don't own a new couch

(we said we would wait till the children were bigger but since I only had the last child around age 40 it doesn't seem that I will get to sit in a new couch much before my 50th birthday).
The problem with the couches
There are two couches in our living room.  The one that is kind of textured in blue, red, purple and black, also has nails sticking out the front where the arm panels have been torn off by the cat using it for a scratching post.

It has a crevasse at the back into which once dropped a few Christmas Tree ornaments [I use the passive tense intentionally, since no-one has claimed responsibility and thus is was imagined to be me].  These shattered under the seats and now, if you stick your fingers in to retrieve lost hairbrushes, keys, remote controls and lego guys - you risk slicing your fingertips as I have done on a couple of occasions.

The other couch is cream.  We all find it very comfortable but lets face it, it had to be comfortable after being shaped by the unknown years of some family in Wallingford who discarded it on the sidewalk around the time I happened to drive past with a rental truck on a dump run to the transfer station.  Out went the construction debris and in came the dumped couch.

It was synchronicity.

The couch is also a bed (although we seldom convert it) and has holes through which the foam appears and lots of odd dark marks along the back and arms.  I cover these with exotic cloths which are always pushed out of place, along with the curiously mobile cushions.  I swear, I "refix" the sofa about 5 times a day after people sit on it.  It embodies the truth of entropy.

The Alternative
Sometimes, I just want to get the grownup interior design and let nature [aka family life] take its course.  I want to have a pair of white pants [Trina being the only girl I know who has a son and white pants]  so perhaps this is her way of saying "fuck it" and getting grown up on her own timetable.

Ingrid fanned the flames of this impulse when she took me to a local Interior Design and furnishing store near Gateway.  Here are a few "looks" that I imagined in our house ;)

Can you imagine two large white wooden
antelope heads on our coffee table?  What style!
What Elan!

These wooden... lumps... were really comforting
to sit on.  I could contemplate on a lump
of wood like this.
How splendid to have a Botswanan makororo
(dugout canoe) to rest your ... emptiness in.
I am sure there are enough left on the delta and we surely
lack emptiness.

What I liked here was that wooden bench and the corklike carpet
and the brown. Oh, the brown everwhere!  I love brown.
And the nude wood:
The Unfinished openness of it which says "it is alright to be incomplete
It is alright for your children to draw on me or put their lego bits
in me and leave crumbs of coconut in the pile of the carpet
(which probably can't be vacuumed)."


"It is all alright because if you have bought me you are rich enough to
get another one when the kids leave home."

I should have asked for a couch for my 40th.  I have unfinished business with interiors.  I should have stood for self-esteem and asked for crystal or at least the chance to paint a room exactly the color of my imagination, with a bit of faux zebra thrown in.

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