Wednesday, November 16, 2016

This Is Not My Beautiful House

A few weeks ago, the Mayor put the "fun" back in fundraising when he participated in his school's Booster-a-thon Fun Run. For guilting obtaining pledges for each lap run, he got prizes. His last prize was delivered today. A big blow-up beach-style soccer ball. He. Was. Amped.

He and his grandparents tried to pump the thing up, but the universe knew I hadn't gone to the gym today and it beckoned me to figure out how to get the bike pump properly hooked up, ball filled with air, and sneak in some semblance of an arm workout. Added bonus: hero status.

He dragged that big ass beach soccer ball all around the house while his sister napped. He quietly took it out to the backyard so as not to wake her. He awed her with its majesty once she did wake up. They played with it for about 20 minutes when from the kitchen, I heard the wailing. A tear-streaked Mayor ran toward the back door, carrying his now flaccid ball. He had managed to rip a hole in it in record time.

The consummate consoler, I offered these soul-soothing words of advice: "well, you can't play so rough with your toys!"

He got over it pretty quickly (I am just that good!) and found something else to treat like shit, probably some of the furniture in the living room.

I know I'm far from alone on this one, but my kids are the biggest reason why we can't have nice things. Yet, I am tired of living in a house decorated furnished pieced together like an homage to one's first apartment after college.

I'd like to live in a house with a modicum of style. Yet I'm not quite sure how to go about it. Growing up, I was never really allowed (as if I needed permission) to cultivate my own style. When my turn to redecorate my childhood bedroom came around, my dad handed me the reigns (retaining right of first refusal) and his long list of Don'ts.

I didn't want another pink room. He only approved of pink. I wanted that comforter for my bed. Maybe you should consider that flowery quilt. How about this wall paper? Not that one, this one. I put my foot down at a wood chair rail and won that battle. But it meant the matching wallpaper trim border.

So when I got to college and while many of the other ladies were putting their beds on risers, piling up all the throw pillows in the matching bedding set, and hanging tasteful pictures on the walls, I was going in almost the opposite direction: mattress on the floor, one tattered pillow and Teddums, and posters (of bands, from concerts, Star Wars, and the piece de resistance: Van Gough's Starry Night). Tres original.

And since then, I've not had much of an opportunity to do much decorating of spaces of my own. I lived back in that pink room between college and law school. Then again between law school and getting married, at which time I moved into Fella's condo, the quintessential first-place-after-college. Outfitted with hand-me-downs and one-step-above-curbside finds.

We have replaced and upgraded a few of those things, including the condo itself. But we still have hand-me-downs, even if it doesn't reflect our style, because furniture is damn expensive and I married a guy who doesn't want to settle for IKEA (don't tell this to the IKEA couch that he bought).

I won't even get into my organization style, which does not at all mesh with the design aesthetic that most appeals to me.  

So between having kids and feeling rather impotent in the style department (and did I mention that very particular husband?) I feel like a deer in headlights when I try to think about how to make my house my home. So as with all things, I have to remember to take this day-by-day, baby step-by-baby step. And maybe one day, I'll feel like a grown up, living in a grown-up home.

A girl can dream.

P.S. this has rambled on WAY longer than I expected. I hope when I come back to read it in the morning it sounds better than I fear. So definitely many thanks for hanging in with me on this one!

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