My husband has a tendency to wax sarcastic when he talks about what he calls my “pillow and wreath fetish.”
See, every season I get the urge to spruce the place up. Not for March the sober browns and reds of winter décor; spring is coming, and the house needs robin's-egg blue, pale green and a little bit of sparkle to reflect the sunlight that's peeking in through the windows. Conversely, summer calls for whites (with red and blue accents in July) and fall, of course needs orange and gold.
This means that four times a year it's time to change out the throw pillows and knick-knacks, and put a different wreath on the front door. Makes sense, right?
Well, apparently not to a husband. To a husband – at least to my husband – once you get your home set up the way you like it you're done, and you should never move anything or change anything again. “But I was just getting used to this room,” is his plaintive cry when I sweep in with an armful of overstuffed brocade or fleece and start collecting afghans and oil lamps.
Last Sunday turned out to be Re-Pillow for Spring Day. You can't plan for these things - I think it's something about the tides or the pollen count – but the way Lance carried on, you'd have thought I sprung it on him at the last minute expressly to annoy him. Because I am a prudent, frugal housewife we already have all the pillows and throws that are necessary, but still you need something fresh so we went out to scour the thrift shops.
We have hundreds of sand dollars – collected during a delightfully frenzied low tide on the midnight of our fifth anniversary – and I had the bright idea of buying 3 glass cylinders of graduated sizes and filling each with a stack of sand dollars. (I know, right??) We also found a gigantic green-glass lidded jar (one of those that looks kind of like a pumpkin) to hold the rest of the sand dollars, plus a really pretty green-and-blue glass mosaic candle holder. It was just the shot of color and sparkle that room needed, and with a coupon I had it was all less than 10 bucks.
Lord, you'd've thought I was dragging that man around to vasectomy clinics for free samples. He's not cranky by nature but he thinks this constant need of mine to be re-feathering a perfectly good nest is evidence that I'm perilously close to needing one of those coats that are all arms and a nice long rest cure. He was polite and gallant because it's impossible for him to be any other way, but he wasn't really getting what I'd call “with the program.”
We came home and moved a few ornaments around, swapped the ornaments and the pillows and wreaths on the front and back doors and then went about our business. There didn't happen to be any kids at home while all this was going on, but they gradually filtered in.
And every single one of them not only noticed the changes immediately, they applauded them.
Today Lance confessed to me, “Okay, I admit it. Sunday I was thinking, 'All right, go ahead and do this, if it pleases you, but don't think anyone else will notice, and don't pretend the kids will care.' Then they all come through and say, 'Yayyy! It's the Spring Stuff!' Maybe you're right about it being important how things look. Maybe down deep someplace even I care about stuff like that.”
As you know, I am a loving and a dutiful wife, so I hastened to assure him that I know a rare and ethereal soul such as his is far above such worldly concerns as comfort and beauty. He wandered off, mollified (or maybe I mean “millie-fied”). I watched him smile at the “rainbows” thrown on the wall by the sunlight reflecting off the glass mosaic, and run his hand absent-mindedly along the velour throw on the back of the couch. He settled into the cushioned chair in front of his laptop (placed in a non-glare location, with the aquarium on one side and the heater on the other) just as the teapot began to whistle. I heard him sigh contentedly.
Sometimes keeping house is as much about subterfuge as it is about art.
Hey, what's the deal with pillows???? John and I had our share of pillow fights . . . we still do!
I LOVE having lush pillows all over the house - I'd put 'em in the bathroom and shop if I thought I'd get away with it (oh, yeah, I have a water-proof pillow in my tub . . .).
My husband, spartan fellow he is, hates pillows. He sees it as the ultimate waste in money . . .
So sorry, honey!