Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Fountain is His Leg Lamp

     Most of the time hubby and I get along famously. He puts up with my Honey-Do lists and I put up with him not doing them. But every once in a while a storm hits the Fred 'n Lori resort and a little thunder and lightening ensues.

It all started last Summer when I discovered HGTV's Rate My Space. I'm a huge HGTV fan and get all hot and excited over decorating ideas. Hubby says home decor is my porn. I think he's jealous.
At Rate My Space, People can post pictures of a room they've decorated and you can rate it and comment. They can also post pictures of a room they'd like to redecorate and ask for suggestions.

So you get to play decorator and make helpful comments like, "I could be wrong here, but if you lose the moosehead you might have less of that 'lodgey' feel that you're tired of," or "Where did you get your decorating ideas - Better Trailers and Junkyards?"

Funny, I don't get too many appreciative responses to my comments.
No matter, because I've stopped visiting the site due to the marital strain its caused us. You see, I thought I would post pictures of our living room because it's quite unique, in my opinion. We have these super-high ceilings which mean super-high walls and those can be a challenge to adorn.

In case you're wondering, "super-high" is an architectural term used by decorating insiders. It also describes the condition of my shaggy haired cousin - God love him - when he painted said ceilings with a power sprayer and failed to cover the carpet.

It may also describe my condition when he asked me if he should cover the carpet and I said to him, "No, don't worry about it - we're ripping it out anyway." You'd be surprised at all the places paint goes when it's being applied with a sprayer by a "super-high" person.
Where was I? Oh yes, posting pictures to the site. I wanted to show everyone our lovely unique living room and how creative we were in figuring out what to put on those super-high walls. I would like it to be duly noted that I'm giving credit to hubby here.

Do you see the fake vines up on the right? Those were hubby's idea. It was his idea to fill in the higher wall spaces with some strategically placed silk vines. They're on the left over the small, useless windows that the builder brilliantly placed there and they're on the opposite wall over the other large window. 
I thought the vines were a great idea and my hubby was very smart and creative to have come up with it. Not only did he think of them, he helped me shop for them because not just any vines would do. They had to look realistic, with just the right amount of fullness without being pretentious. Because nobody likes pretentious vines. 

His anal-retentiveness in the correct placement of the vines added to the lovely outcome. They had to have just the right amount of curve at the proper angles to look like they were growing naturally, right out of the wall.
So I decide to share this bit of decorating brilliance with the Rate My Space readers. I perused the site looking at other people's living rooms and dining rooms. I see modern, clean, uncluttered spaces decorated in trendy chocolate browns and blues and plums. 

I leave the computer screen and look down at my living room with its fru-frus and vine-covered walls and I have a disturbing realization. I have an old lady's house. Old lady eclectic is how I would describe it. No, maybe geriatric eclectic. Whatever you want to call it - clean, simple, and modern it ain't.
I decide we need an updated look. I no longer want to post pictures for fear of nasty comments like the kind I leave other uncouth decorating oafs.* The first thing that needs to go is the vines. I didn't discuss this with Hubby first, mind you.
My decision happened to coincide with my cousin Gina's need for some silk vines for a trellis in her yard. So in my hasty I-need-to-update-our-decor-right-now ferver I grab the lowest of the vines that I can reach and give them to my cousin. It was these:

Ah, the introduction of the fountain. You can't see all of it in this picture, but it's a beautiful, indoor/outdoor lionhead fountain. The soothing sound of running water was a lovely addition to our home's ambiance...our old-lady, old-fashioned ambiance.
Don't get me wrong, I really liked the way our house looked - vines, fountain, and all. It has a sort of Tuscany meets Mediterranean feel with the old-lady whimsy thrown in. But I liked it considerably less after visiting Rate My Space. Really, isn't 6 years of the same look long enough?
Most of the time hubby leaves the indoor decorating to me. He makes suggestions, does whatever tasks require a ladder, and smiles and says it looks great when I'm done. Pretty much the same response he gives when I ask if my butt looks big in my jeans. When he got home from work the day I took the vines down, however, I got a much different response.
It was as if I'd kicked his sand castle. He looked at the blank wall, looked at me, didn't respond to my explanations of why the vines were gone, and trudged upstairs throwing forlorn, harumphy looks at me over his shoulder.
I felt a little bad because I had no idea the vines meant that much to him. I explained and apologized for hurting his feelings, but it was to no avail. So then I got miffed. It just vines, for crying out loud! If it were shag carpeting and psychedelic posters on our walls would we be stuck in the 70's forever just because he strategically placed them there? I think not.
It didn't help that I didn't exactly hop on the redecorating train immediately following my vine ripping frenzy. I knew I wanted a change, but I wasn't sure exactly what to do. So that one little wall with the fountain on it remained vine-less and unchanged for about 7 months. 

To hubby it was just a constant reminder of my thoughtless deed and the lone fountain was the only imprint left of his decorating influence. This illicited discontented mutterings from hubby every time he walked by it.
Then, sometime in April, Changeivitis hit. I didn't paint or do more vine-ripping (heaven forbid), but I moved things around. This meant the fountain needed to go outside on our patio and not because I didn't like the fountain, but just because it didn't go with the new updated look I was going for.     
Hubby avoided eye contact with me every time he passed through the living room while I huffed and puffed moving furniture around. I finally got everything in its new place, except for an entryway table that needed to go where the fountain was. The fountain is very heavy you see and had to be moved with a dolly. I put the dolly next to the fountain and hoped I could have my brother do the dirty deed while hubby was napping. 
To my surprise, while passing through the living room, hubby simply said, "So, you need this outside then?" He nodded towards the fountain while avoiding eye contact with me. I told him yes, if he didn't mind and just like that, it was done.
Ah, but it wasn't done, you see.
For instead of moving the fountain onto the patio, near our patio table, where we could enjoy the sounds of trickling water while we ate, he put it in the un-used, spidery storage area. He still felt inclined to let me know that he and his fountain were slighted that they were not included in my redecorating plans. If I didn't want to enjoy the fountain inside the house, then I was not allowed to enjoy it at all.

Then do you know what he did to this lovely piece, just to spite me? He covered it up with an unused door! Really. He was behaving like a put-out little boy. And all because I wanted to redecorate. I blame Rate My Space for the whole unfortunate incident.
The fountain is still outside, sitting in the spidery storage area. He finally took the door off of it, but only because we were hosting a wake and he knew it looked ridiculous. I expected him to put the door back over it afterwards, but fortunately laziness trumped slightedness. We don't talk much about the incident because we both have quite strong opinions of the whole thing.
That's the story of our leg lamp. It's not quite the same as the famous Christmas Story leg lamp ordeal, but you can see the similarities. I don't understand men's aversion to change. I think deep down they're afraid we're going to want to change them
I just want a new look for my living room. Is that too much to ask?

*  I really don't make snarky comments on Rate My Space. That was inserted purly for entertainment value. I'm not the snarky kind. Except once in a while with hubby. 



"Cottage By The Sea" said...

My rule of thumb after many, many, mishaps is: never let husbands decorate. You've got to make them a deal. You get the inside, they get the outside. Or maybe the inside of the garage. When all is said and done they really prefer it that way.

Savira Gupta said...

I have made a deal with hubby dearest Hands off the interior of the house but he gets to choose the house structure wise!
So far so good!

Cheeseboy said...

Lovely and unique, I would not have changed a thing. I like the fake vines.

Unknown said...

I like the geriatric chic. I like the vines. I want your house. Once Fred moves the fountain inside and I figure out how to transport it to Australia.

Susie @ A Slice of My Life said...

So what's wrong with little old lady decor? tee hee

Your poor sweetie, he was ready to keep that look for the next 40 years. Mine could care less, in fact, he barely notices when I change something....

Dani @ PFL said...

Love it!

Yeah, mine can care less. He's not very observant (unless it's something like dinner not on the table) and wouldn't know the difference! =P

And thanks for the kind comment on my blog! Always appreciate the support & encouragement.

Tracie said...

My husband doesn't notice anything but he isn't one for change either. I lived in a house with high ceilings, too. I never knew what to do with all that space.