Note: The "Trooper" in question is not actually in the military. It's a metaphor, people.

June 12, 2008

The Hesistant Decorator

A roaring jet engine, the hiss of a neurotic cat, and an ocean breeze carrying in the soothing rush of traffic from the nearby freeway. Ahhhh, the sounds of home. The new home I now share with Wine Guy.

It's been almost two weeks since moving day and I'm still staring at a long row of fully packed boxes along the stairwell. And more downstairs in the office. But with my trusty laptop Cherry finally hooked up to the web and my cat sitting beside my head, it feels enough like home to me.

I probably could blog an entire book based upon the relationship lessons and ups and downs we've already encountered over these bumpy few weeks. Lack of sleep, moving heavy furniture around tight corners, aching backs, procrastination (his, not mine - hey, it's my blog so I get to point the fingers) -- these are but a few of the factors that have contributed to our getting to know each other better - whether we like it or not.

To be honest, it all went better than I would have thought. Airplane and traffic noise aside (and it's not nearly as bad as I'd feared, considering this townhome - lovely and close to the coast as it is- is right under the flight path of San Diego's smack-in-the-middle-of-the-city airport), the place is really nice.

Truthfully, I guess I had already made up my mind about what was going to be the "big issue" -- I was absolutely convinced that I would have little to no say in how the place ended up looking. I realize now that I neglected to consider two things:

1) That worry was based entirely upon my one previous cohabitation experience (with Only Child), when I lived in his house and had not a dime to contribute to living expenses (he was being very generous while I worked my way through grad school). Now I know better. There was no way OC and I could move past the fact that it was his place and, without the complete marital commitment, I had no real ownership. Not that OC ever said or even implied that. But I knew it, and that's all that mattered. So all I kept thinking about this move was that I would be merely a passenger on this ride.

It also doesn't help that WG is rather bossy and a total know-it-all (all things he knows about himself) and sometimes I just say "whatever" because it's easier and I don't care all that much about most things anyway. So I was prepared to pick my battles, which is the compromise I came up with many months ago when I decided that I wanted to be with WG - faults and all. But that commitment was going to face some challenges if I didn't get to pick the colors for the bathroom. And I was pissed about it before I even found out if he would let me run with it.

Pay attention because here comes the most important thing I overlooked.

2) He's lazy. And a man. When it comes to picking out colors in the bathroom, he doesn't really give a crap. WG can have every opinion in the world (and trust me, he does) but it's a hell of a lot easier to point at something and say you like it or you don't than to actually think of that thing in the first place.

But as I said, I had forgotten all that. Instead my mind was clouded with baggage from co-habitations past. So while we're settling in and unpacking, I start doing my pre-planned decorator dance. Holding up paintings saying, "Look, isn't this beautiful? Don't you think the color would look terrific in the bathroom?" He barely notices and says, "Yeah, sure."

Hmm. That was too easy, he must've just been humoring me for the moment. I try again. "What do you think of this for the bathroom color scheme? Chocolate brown with an accent of ice blue. It's masculine enough, with just a feminine touch, don't you think?" I eagerly await his verdict. A moment, then, "Sounds nice," followed by a mostly ambivalent shrug.

Still waiting for the other shoe to drop, I set aside an afternoon to hit the home stores in search of chocolate brown/ice blue bathroom accessories. After two trips to Bed, Bath & Beyond and one to Target (just so you know, I hate shopping, especially stores like these, so clearly I am motivated here), I come home, ready to put it all together. While he does "man" things that involve wires, cables and all things electric, I begin hanging shower curtains, butterfly paintings and freshly washed towels.

When it's all done, I can hardly believe how perfect it looks. Exactly like I envisioned. I call WG down to see it. My heart skips, convinced he's now going to put his foot down and say the shower curtain is way too feminine (it is very girly, and I even called to describe it to him before I bought it to make sure he was OK with it. My warning was explicit, "It's really feminine. Are you sure you're OK with that?" His response, a very easy, "Sure.").

I was dead wrong, as usual. After he gave it the once-over he turned to me and said, "It looks really good. Like a professional did it." I almost floated out of my shoes I was so happy. Not just because he liked it or I was proud of the design, but that all of the anger and resentment I had been anticipating just vaporized. This was our place. I had just as much of a right to it as he did. And apparently I wasn't the only one who thought so.

Oh, and it doesn't hurt that he's, well, a guy and could give a crap about what color a room "feels like." And God knows I'm not going to be enthusiastic about wiring cables.

I guess Wine Guy's not as gay-straight as I thought he was.



mimi of 'sexagenarian and the city' said...

"the desire that is satisfied is not a great desire" -- blake, via yeats.

i have a desire that is not great and so perhaps can be satisfied: could you post a pic of your new bathroom?!? would love to see the space that generated so much angst and yet was so successfully decorated.

oh yes -- very happy that everything is going so well. can't wait to hear more.

- mimi

Loverville said...

Wow! Big mazel tov on the move-in! Great bathroom story - I love a happy ending, even if it only involves bathroom colors!

(the color combo sounds really nice, btw)