Saturday, May 5, 2012
Why The Teal Will Never Work
It’s weird. I can’t make decisions like I used to. I used to make a split decision and then bam, next thing you know, we were heading out to Oklahoma to be cowboys. When the wind was blowing up my skirt a little too much, bam, next thing you know, we were in Virginia chopping wood and baking pies. When I wanted to go home, I thought nothing of the fact that the economy was in the sewer and it’s more expensive in Jersey and we had no jobs. Next thing you know, we were up here. (Well, not exactly that fast. It took a year to sell that house but once I made the decision, in the heat of the moment—wailing over my mother, kicking myself for getting shanghaied into buying that bad luck trailer from someone who I thought was my friend, sick to death of trying to make a living in a place where there were no people—I might as well have been gone.)
I used to make fun of my girlfriend who would go to the paint store and come back with eight quarts of various shades of white—cream, antique white, cloud, linen—and still not be able to decide which of the whites she should go with. I’d think, Com’on! It’s just paint! Paint it already!
With all the moving I’ve done, it was a good thing I could make decisions. I’d unwrap my pictures, get out the hammer and nails, eye up a spot, and nail it up. And that was that. There was no measuring, no standing back and scrutinizing it and taking it down and filling in the little hole with a dab of paint and then doing it again. No. I hammered that nail in with confidence and often confidence begets excellence. My pictures were always the right height, neither too far left nor too far right, and the perfect composition for the room I hung them in.
Nowadays, I’m stymied about where to hang my Wallace Nutting and I grapple with my decision on the rearing horses. I’ve bought a number of samples of paint for the living room, repainted one wall twice when I thought one of the samples would work but it didn’t, and still haven’t decided what I should do with the built-in cabinet. Should I paint it a color? What color? Should I just leave it white? Should I strip it?
I also don’t know what to do with my accessories. Do the insulators look good on that cabinet or should I put something else there? The blue Mason jars look nice but are they too kitcheny? What about the Texas stars? Are they too cowboy? Should I just do the whole living room over in monochromatic creams and browns like how it looked before I started unpacking all my things and it reminded me of the spread that’s in this month’s Country Living? But then I’d have to get rid of my cool lamps, one green, one turquoise….
I haven’t decided what color to paint the woodwork. The trim on the outside of the windows is brown and the trim on the inside of the windows is white. It should be one or the other, shouldn’t it? And what about curtains? All of my windows are bare. Even if I had the money for new curtains, I wouldn’t know what to buy. In the old days, I’d throw a bandana on the window and it would work. I’d pick something out of Linens & Things, eenie, meenie, miney, mo, and whatever I bought—lace panels, flowered swags, a simple valance—would look great.
I am frozen with indecision. You might say I have performance anxiety. Perhaps part of the reason I’m afraid to commit and buy some brown paint is because I don’t have any money and if I make a mistake, I blew it. Who knows when I’ll be getting a few bucks again? Maybe another reason is because I made so many mistakes, moving all over the country on a whim, thinking I could learn to make pies, thinking I could trust my new friend who told me she was giving me a great deal on a trailer and I better not pass it up, not thinking about what would happen if someone I loved back home got sick and I was so far away….
Now I’m older. There’s not much time left. If I don’t get this right, I may not have another chance.
So it’s much more important than it seems, whether the bookcases should be white or the bookcases should be brown. There’s a lot more riding on this than it appears.
What I decided for the living room: