Friday, January 20, 2012

Adultiship? ... Adultery? ... Adultiness!

For years and years I've felt like a student, even though I'm not. Maybe it's because I'm a teacher - all of the studentiness just rubs off on me. This transitory feeling was reflected in the way I lived: everything seemed to have a temporary feel to it (not helped by my husband's view that packing boxes are a legitimate piece of furniture.) Last weekend, I finally did two things that, in my mind, have established me as A Real Adult.

1) I Bought a Decorative Household Item
"Grrr! Take me to your leader, earthling!"
Paintings not supplied by kindly relatives,
they're Monet prints that cover a hole in the wall.

All other decorative bits were presents from people
with a keener sense of the household aesthetic than I.

All about the functionality, me. My minimalist soul is constantly battling with the part of me that clutters spontaneously (how oh how can one be a minimalist and yet be stalked by clutter? I don't get it), so I've always bought furniture, fixtures and fittings that Serve A Purpose. And then I saw this lamp and, mesmerised by its wavy arms and the fact that it was vaguely reminiscent of an alien, I bought it. It serves no purpose other than decoration. I am so proud.

2) I Framed and Hung Pictures
Daddy Gingerbread took the husband and me down to his painting studio and showed us his paintings. We rifled through his private stash and selected two, with which we absconded to Germany. Added to that was a painting by my little sister, Emily, and a small landscape by a friend of ours - and before we knew it, we had enough eye candy for a wall or two. My husband did the technical work - measuring walls, brandishing spirit measure, hammering nails - whilst I was the Artistic Director, which (I think we all agree) is the more important task.

"It's crooked! Crooked! Straighten up that picture or you're fired! How can I expect to work like this?" (flounce.)
a.k.a The Trials of the Artistic Director

Mr G's candlestick. He brought it
into the relationship, along with two
computer monitors, three printers,
a veritable snake's nest of cables
and a chrome bookshelf that, um,
got lost in the move.
 Clearly, this signals a new chapter in my life, so in order to celebrate my inner Terence Conran, I borrowed a stack of books (chapter, books - get it? Never one to shy away from the lowest form of humour, me) from the library with impressive names like Moroccan Interiors and Decorating in Provence. I spent a pleasant afternoon looking through pictures of other people's houses. Every time Mr Gingerbread passed, he looked over my shoulder and alternately said, "Yuck" or "No".  Our divergent taste in interior design is only becoming apparent now, and it's probably a good thing, as it might have been a pre-marriage dealbreaker. My love of Cuban colonial furniture, Moroccan textiles and Provençal tilework are at odds with his idea that chrome is too pretty to be confined to the bathroom and kitchen. If either of us had enough energy to do anything as dynamic as, say, interior decoration, this might be An Issue in our marriage, but I think the divorce lawyers of Gingerbreadtown needn't get too excited yet.

Considering that it has taken me two years to hang paintings, these might be
unrealistic aspirations.

9 comments:

Paul & Carla said...

Ah, yes, the yawning chasm between a married couple when they (gasp) both have definite opinions about what to put in their house. My own father allowed my mother to have a pink (pink!) living room! He didn't care. My husband, however... don't mention the "P" word to him.

A few years back I had coveted some very cool, but inexpensive, wall decorations which I thought would look superb in our bedroom. I made the mistake of showing them to him in the store rather than buying and hanging them before he ever got a look at them. Note the scene: I drag him down the store aisle to display my nifty find, positive he will see how this will turn our bedroom into a special retreat, a veritable boudoir. He takes a look, then turns a cold eye to me as if to say, "You like this? THIS?" And summarily negates my choice. — Alas.

That wall is still bare. I have no heart for it now.

Tink Edwards said...

I love Mr G's candlestick!

So far, no major interior design related arguments have surfaced in the six and a half years I've been with my other half - long may that continue!

Reality Jayne said...

Mrs Gingy...You are in an art deco / retro phase....I like it...And I love the paintings!!!

Annie said...

Another minimalist hoarder of clutter here ... but I get away with it because we have a store room (nothing too fancy, part of it has a computer desk, there are bookshelves, and I dry the washing in there) ... but the rest of the room is floor to ceiling shelves filled with boxes of stuff. It's not quite as bad as that sounds, we really are minimalist so we have hardly any storage furniture elsewhere in the house, just wardrobes and such in the bedrooms, kitchen cabinets, and a few bookcases. It means I get to keep stuff and keep it out of the way, a whole room alternative to an Auntchristinaspress ;D

Erica said...

So, I'm sitting in class reading this and trying very hard not to laugh out loud (my fault, I know--pay attention Erica. Meh). This is also very close to home for me right now because HTB and I are thinking about how we want to decorate our apartment after we get married and I am not a decorative person in. the. slightest.

Anny said...

Oh yes my husband has 'lost' many things when we move!! Other things can come as far as the garage! When we both agree on any item it is bought straight away as us agreeing (on household decoration)is very rare.
One question...what is that gorgeous crochet in the basket near the candle sticks? Can we have a look? :) :)

Sue said...

I love your new lamp! And I have to say Mr Gs candlestick is very pretty too, obviously artistically arranged by your good self! As for the interior designed look, yeh well we can dream can't we!

Laura said...

I'm laughing with you on this.... DH and I have been married 17 years but in Year 2 I made the mistake of giving him a paintbrush and a tin of paint to paint his study.....now we have an unspoken agreement that he does the garden and I do the interior stuff. It seems to work.....lol x

Laura said...

I'm laughing with you on this.... DH and I have been married 17 years but in Year 2 I made the mistake of giving him a paintbrush and a tin of paint to paint his study.....now we have an unspoken agreement that he does the garden and I do the interior stuff. It seems to work.....lol x