Sunday, December 10, 2006

Pottery Barn can bite me

Indiana weather is just plain screwy. Friday morning, it was 6 degrees. This Friday? It's supposed to be in the mid-50s. Yeah, I have no idea what to wear from one day to the next. Does the weather change that much in other, non-Midwest parts of the country? I've lived in almost every region but New England, and I don't remember the weather being so capricious elsewhere. Maybe I'm just getting old and crochety and prone to bitching about the weather . . .


The other day, I took down all the curtains in the dining room to wash them. That room has four big south-facing windows, so there's almost too much light, especially this time of year when there are no leaves to filter the sun. Anyway, yesterday I was stringing lights on the Christmas tree, which I set up next to the piano in there. I happened to look over at the dining room table and was struck blind by the unimpeded sun hitting the billion dust particles everywhere. The whole room looked frumpy and shabby--and God, incredibly dusty--which sent me into a frenzy of floor-mopping and dusting and throwing away piles of junk mail on the secretary in the corner and picking up scattered dog toys, and FUCK.

You know, I look at rooms in decorating magazines or those damn Pottery Barn catalogues that show up faithfully every couple of weeks in my mailbox (even though I haven't ordered anything in three years), and I long for a house that looks as serene and ordered and tidy, with everything looking clean and crisp. My house is a hodgepodge of hand-me-downs, leftover-from-college pieces, some inexpensive antiques I've refurbished (back when I had time to strip paint, sand, and stain), and a few newish things. I hate feeling this dissatisfied, and I suspect much of it has to do with a vague weariness over life in general, not my house specifically.

Also, I'm mad at catalogues and magazines for promoting this myth that EVERYONE BUT ME is neater and more organized and takes better care of his or her home. They set me up for feeling like a failure, damn it. And to be honest, I let them. Why do I think I have to meet some impossible standard a superior marketing snot in San Francisco or NewYork, with way more disposable income than me, decided to create to make me feel bad about myself? I've been in other people's homes (really, I have!), and they don't have impeccably clean, perfectly accessorized houses with actual matching couches and chairs. I've seen puppy chew marks on the corners of their ottomans, shoes and toys scattered on their floors, and juice stains on their carpets. So why do I feel as though I'm alone in my utter shame and disgust over the state of my house? OK, "shame and disgust" might be an exaggeration, but discontent, certainly.

On the other hand, it wouldn't kill me to dust a little more often--AND get my freshly washed curtains up faster before I notice how bad it is!

Edited to add: I had to go out to pick up pita pockets for the tabouli I made and of course wound up getting 17 other things. The bagger kid had a running commentary on almost every item I bought, which annoyed me. After the cashier told me I'd saved $10.08 with my grocery card, the bagger boy said "Hey, don't spend it all in one place," dripping sarcasm all over his Converse high-tops, and then, THEN he . . . uh, how do I say this? He "adjusted" himself. Vigorously. I . . . I'm speechless.