Friday, January 27, 2006

Time to put that foot down

Dear Marc, did you ever decorate a house together with someone you love (or at least live together with)? It's not easy. With two people involved, it often happens that one decorator takes an underdog position. The generous martyr.

"No, you go ahead pick the colour of the bathroom tiles. I love white, but yes it's such a predictable choice and yes it's like a hospital and yes, lime and orange are great, happy colours to enjoy while taking a shower."

Meanwhile, the other person, the lucky decorator in command, need not always feel so happy about his task, but rather feels burden by the repsonsibility of making a decision that may be criticized for years.

So instead of one person making an active choice, neither gets his or her way. You get classic white tiles with a lime border. Nobody wins. Everyone's grumpy yet stoic.

I'm talking to my friend Karin. She's telling me she's been taking a humble position as she and her husband are decorating (such a silly word, we're not putting up garlands) their new house.

I talk to her on the phone. She says:
"You know E, I've let him make the choices so many times now. I didn't even understand how much this upset me until the other day, when I suddenly cried out "now it's my turn to decide!", with enough strength behind my words to let him understand how important this was to me. "

Turns out she was fighting for her right to pick out the right kind of toilet paper holder.

time to call it a night, I'm taking a yoga class at 7 am tomorrow. I'm the last person in the western world to try yoga. I'm not doing it for health or strength. I'm doing it cause I can't stand the curiosity any longer. Must find out what everyone is talking about.

ps. That's not my friends in that top picture. That couple is staged. No two people get along that great while picking colours for their new joint home.


~C said...

I find that when I take initiative in those situations that my boyfriend just follows. He might not have liked it to begin with but never imagined the end result. Wouldnt it be nice if decorating was the only thing we had to worry about our other half dictating? :)

Cathy said...

my boyfriend and i were discussing (in a somewhat joking manner) decorating ideas for our future home and we both have such different ideas for how we'd want to decorate. i can just imagine what a nightmare it's going to be when it finally comes to fruition.

schultkl said...

Hi e, hope you and yours are well. I am reading about this and thought I would share: The goal is to increase compassion between people so there are more win-wins.

Citrus Heights, CA

yelena said...

My favorite way to decorate is the "collage" method. When you like something, pick it up and bring it home/stick it up on the wall/paint it, etc. Eventually, your joint personality starts to emerge from the expanses of white. Or your house starts to look cluttered...but at least it is YOUR joint clutter!

Karin said...

jag tycker om din blogg!

smy said...

i can't imagine what the couple in the picture is planning to paint--i hope they don't think that those shades of yellow and magenta could possibly reside happily on their walls!

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