No, Really, I’ll Be Fine Come Fall

I am getting an urge to redecorate the living room.

It’s entirely because I am cooped up away from the garden because it’s too bloody hot.  I know this. Lack of ability to fool around in the garden kicks me into home-improvement mode, which generally involves paint and bookcases. Apparently I have to keep altering my environment in some fashion, or I get twitchy. Unfortunately, much like knowing that PMS is a set of chemicals in your head, and you don’t really want to pull that person’s guts out through their ears and nail them to a tree, the knowing is only marginally useful. Everything is chemicals in your head, after all, and they all feel real.

Nevertheless, this sequence may end with the living room being turned either China Red or a fairly strong green.  In the course of my daily errands, I find myself stopping at places with bookcases and interesting furniture and feeling lust in my heart.

There’s also the problem that I keep running into, which is that I’m clearly not quite over the shape of my last relationship. I see furniture I like go on sale, I get an urge to repaint the living room, and I think “No, no…gotta go run it by the Significant Other first.” James had distinct opinions on furniture, and would never in a million years have gone for a intensely colored living room, which might damage the property values or something, and anyway we had a joint bank account, so dropping four or five hundred bucks on completely new furniture would have required some serious consultations.

Then I feel resentful that I am forced to compromise on this, and recall that when I was single, I could have just hauled off and bought the entire damn set (or at least what my limited budget will allow) and hauled it home and consulted no one and if I wanted to paint the whole room blaze orange–well, I was renting, so I couldn’t, if I was a single homeowner, I could, and it would be nobody’s damn business. Compromise is one of the requirements of relationships, and on most things I’m unbothered by this, but running my hands over bookcases and contemplating paint swatches, I get a little sulky. Why must I compromise? I am an artist, damnit! I have a vision! A vision of bookcases!

The thing is, this isn’t fair to Kevin. More importantly, it’s inaccurate. Because the fact is, if Kevin came home and discovered that the living room was a different color and loaded with different furniture, he’d say “Oh. Cool!”* As far as he’s concerned, a partner who is seized with the desire to redo parts of the house at random, on her own nickel, is a gift from the gods. He does not want to consult on the color or the styling beyond the basic brainstorming. He doesn’t care. If it looks good and doesn’t break and has room for everything and makes me happy, then the actual details could not interest him less. So my irritation at compromise is more or less completely misplaced, and belongs to a relationship I’m already out of.

This is a man, after all, who when I bought a gigantic painting of an abstract rabbit and left him a frantic voicemail about my inability to fit it in the car, could hardly talk for laughing and managed to bungee cord the beast into his convertible, despite the fact that a large piece of canvas in a convertible is not a painting but a sail.

The only things Kevin would really object to are things that I’d never do, like wallpaper borders, which I loathe, or freehand murals, which I could never live with.  Well, and he probably would balk at turquoise and pink, which I’ve always kind of liked as a combination, but that’s not a living-room thing anyway. More of a small bedroom thing.  And if I embraced Country Kitsch, there would be some whimpering, but so far, my only inclination in that direction is a fondness for chickens.

Screw this. I think I need to go buy paint.

*We have a standing deal that if I repaint a room and he really hates that color after a suitable adjustment period, I’ll repaint it, but it hasn’t come up. Although I did help him repaint the dining room which had been turned Uterus Pink by his ex-wife.

Leave a Reply