Monday, July 28, 2008

Be Careful What You Wish For

Ladies, I'm talking to you.

You know how when you ask your husband how you look, and he kind of half-grunts "Fine," without even looking at you? The nerve.

Or you want to buy a rug or maybe paint a wall, so you ask him his opinion, and he simply replies, "Whatever you want, dear."

And maybe, when you were engaged and happily planning your wedding, you asked him (mostly joking) what color the bridesmaid dresses should be. He, of course, simply laughed and then offered, "Hunter orange" or "camouflage" or something equally hilarious. And you simply went about planning your dream day, all the while nagging him to "be more involved!"

Well, I'm here to tell you - enjoy what you have. Because I am married to that "involved", "observant" and genuinely caring guy. And it's not always bad! Fortunately he has a "good eye", so things usually turn out well.

Aaron did indeed have an opinion on our bridesmaid dresses...I mentioned that my favorite color was red, and he quickly and unhesitatingly showed his disapproval, and thought we should do something more "neutral". This was about 9 years ago, before the breakthrough of brown dresses...we were still into evergreen and purple in those days (No, not together...even the 90's had their limit!)

We ended up with perfectly lovely matte silver dresses, which went great with our snowflake theme (December 18th in North Dakota - kinda seemed obvious).

Then there is the spot-on clothing critique. One Sunday morning early in our marriage, we had an argument before church that went something like this:

Him: Are you really going to wear that skirt to church?
Me: Yeah..why? What's wrong with it?
Him: Don't you think it's a little short? People are going to be distracted by your legs. (Yeah, yeah, I know this is kind of sweet, but I wasn't getting distracted from the potential disagreement!)
Me: Right. Who?
Him: The youth group boys.
Me: Come on! None of them ever sit in our row!

I wore the skirt, and shortly after we were seated in our usual row at church, five youth group boys walked by us to sit in the empty seats next to us. I skipped the above-the-knee-skirts on Sunday mornings for quite a while.

But here is where I draw the line: interior design. Yes, I know his dad owns a commercial painting business, and all the kids can paint like the wind. But does Aaron REALLY know better than an actual trained and working DESIGNER?

Cause folks, we had one of those people at our house Friday for a consultation, and when I relayed her advice to Aaron, he disagreed with about half of it.

Now, I am a rule follower. Which also means that if a professional gives me advice in their field, I want to follow unquestioningly. The closest I've gotten to arguing with a medical professional is telling my dental hygienist that I don't floss. In that tone that clearly says, "So don't try to make me."

This designer lady, Leah from Scheels Home & Hardware, gave me lots of recommendations, most of which I whole-heartedly agree with, like painting the entire "big room" one color, and making it a neutral instead of my beloved green, so as to avoid the look of a swamp. Also, I really like her advice on making a little sitting area on the far end of the big room (it's really big, folks) with chairs instead of a couch: it's more affordable AND easier to move if we want to clear more space.

The point of contention is the built-in bookshelves on either side of the fireplace. Designer Leah said that we should paint them white to lighten up the room and complement the white in the kitchen, directly opposite and open. She also said that white is "fresh and crisp" whereas black is "sophisticated and elegant" - and she and I agreed that those last two words do NOT describe the decorating style at our house.

When I told Aaron about the white, we had THIS conversation:
Me: The designer said that we should paint the built-ins white, and the back of them green.
Him: WHITE?! WHITE with GREEN? What are you trying to do, make this all Martha Stewart?

Me: Martha Stewart? What's wrong with THAT? She has great style!
Him: It's all girly!
Me: Well, why don't I just leave and you can decorate however you want!
Him: I feel like you want ME to leave!
Me: Why don't you just NOT CARE like most men?! That's why you have the garage and the yard!

And we ended in a huff. Aaron wants to paint them black, and I still think white is best. But, since he is the painter in the family, I'm willing to let him have his way. Until I decide it needs to be redone. In white.


Noel said...

Black shows dust and finger prints more.

I like decorating the garage...I mean Man Cave.

mama.nichols4 said...

I think you should sand the built-ins and go with a lighter stain to match the other cabinets in the kitchen (if that's possible). Or, just wait and see how the wall paint changes the appearance of the built-ins. Or, all the above, and paint the backs of the built-ins green. Or, maybe go with a nice red, like hot flames of angst and burning frustration? Or, flames of love? Oh dear.. all these options!

Whatever will you do? (paint is cheap, so don't lose much sleep over the disagreement on colors.)

Gillian said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lyz said...

Apparently mentioning "preparing for wedding" or something triggered a spam comment from "Gillian" - the link included lead to a page of wedding discounts. How thoughtful!

Noel said...

Lyz should get Aaron "Home Dekorator II" for the Wii so he can be "painting like the wind" with his colors and style. The Wii hand unit can be used as a paint brush, hammer, saw, and other popular home project tools. (Note: I made this up, but am probably giving my million dollar video game idea away).

A real option for guys to decorate their way is the virtual world of Second Life.

Noel said...

Not to worry, at least one company has already come out with a home decorating program for the Wii called "Home Sweet Home"...

Aaron said...

Liz, you are missing a very key idea to make your argument superior. Just say that since you will probably be wrong no matter which color you choose (i.e. invoke Murphy), but it's a lot easier to paint black over white than white over black. That way you win (unless you lose).

Lyz said...

Oh, Aaron, beloved brother, I HAD thought of that. But since HE is doing the painting, I kind of thought it would serve him right to have to do white over black if it's too dark.:)

Actually, I think we may leave it for a bit and just change and hardware (currently: hideous) and see what we think.

But black does show every speck of dust, that is a solid fact, Noel. Not one that Aaron cares about, though, as he has dusted ZERO times.

And, now he is even questioning the wall color the designer chose! ARGH!

Blue Castle said...

You know, my hubby used to be un-opinionated, but now he's becoming a little too opinionated when it comes to decorating - so I feel your pain. However, I do think Black could work. It's not always sleek and sophisticated. It also depends on the wall color you choose. And I have to agree that Martha's style is kind of girly. I once went through a passionate fling with the shabby-chic style, a couple years ago. But, I realized that I am the only girl in this family, and I can't make my husband uncomfortable in his own home. I also refuse to decorate in a Super-hero theme, so there has to be compromise on both sides. I still think black might work better than you think. :) Plus, you can always paint over it - or Aaron can, at least. :) Happy decorating!