Wednesday, April 3, 2013

You've either got it or you don't...and you probably don't

Does anyone ever really feel like they've "got it"? Or are we all just wandering around, feeling like other people are "there", and we're still sitting on the frat-house sofa?

Let me explain.

Despite being in RSV isolation with Baby M, we have a lot of visitors. We see a nurse and two therapists weekly in our home, and a number of other support people have been by - even one of her doctors makes house calls. This is in addition to the friends and family members who got multiple vaccinations to come hang out with us, and who always bring food.

This means that I feel maybe a little more pressure than most new moms to keep my house clean. For the most part I'm able to let it go. (Dusting? What's that?) I keep things picked up and try to keep the cat hair under control and pretty much ignore any cleaning that requires more than five minutes of my time before I go to bed.

But I'm self-conscious about something else: my furniture.

I have never felt like I had any kind of really great design aesthetic. I am lucky that the previous owners of our house had some nice taste so the rooms are all tastefully painted and ceiling fixtures and window coverings are nice. And it's not like we're sitting on milk crates with a blanket thrown over it, but...well, I have never, ever upgraded any of our furniture. Quite a lot of pieces were found on the street in NYC (pre-bed bug epidemic). Our couch came from Peanut's apartment in New York, where he bought it off the previous tenants who didn't want to move it (It's huge. And comfy. But huge.). I feel like it should be a basement couch, but it's hanging out in my living room for every guest to sit on. 

I look at some of my friends whose homes I've been in, and I feel like they've got things together. They have matching furniture sets, or stuff hung on the walls that seems like it was put there intentionally instead of trying to cover up nail holes left by the previous residents. I know that their financial situations aren't much different from ours but somehow they manage to make things look like a home, and not just a bunch of jumbled stuff in a room.

I can go on in that vein for a while, but then I realize that probably someone, somewhere, is looking at my living room and thinking that I look like *I* have it together. Maybe they feel like their Ikea couch has no resale value and isn't that comfortable to sit on. Maybe they are still paying off furniture purchased on credit. Maybe their couch has cat scratches and pen marks that I've just never noticed, because who really looks all that closely? And maybe no one actually gives a second thought about anyone else, because they're all so worried about how their lives look from the outside.

Which sort of makes me feel better about the whole thing. I mean, long term, I have a plan for how my living room will look and it will include furniture that I picked out, rather than that fell into my lap. It will include things that match and coordinate. In the meantime, I guess I can just be glad that I won't be irritated if Baby M pukes or draws on it. And I can keep reminding myself that, probably, no one ever feels like they've "got it".


  1. We all feel this way. All of us.

    That said, I'm quite sure that no one is paying any attention to your furniture when there is a cute little baby M to visit, and you and Peanut to see. I think your "design aesthetic" that you find lacking is really just you keeping your priorities where they should be. People don't come to visit your home to look at your couch; they visit your home to visit your family. Which, if I may say so, is a pretty darn awesome family from what I can tell. :)

    If you find yourself interested in design someday and it makes you feel nice to have an upgraded couch, then you should do so. If you feel like that is what you are *supposed* to care about, then don't give it a lick of thought. As Tolkien says, "All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us," and if you don't feel lit up inside by spending time picking out wall decorations, then seriously, please don't worry about it. :)

  2. Oh yeah, I'm totally with you (wrote about this a little while ago: I just don't give a fig about decoration and design. And like Deena, I get the feeling your friends don't notice your decor when they visit :)

  3. I don't usually drop links, but I couldn't help but think about an old post I wrote mirroring your thoughts. It just goes to show that many of us feel the same way you do.


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