When I was little and the Sears Christmas Wish Book would arrive, I’d lie down on the floor, legs splayed out, elbows propped up, and turn page after wonderful page for what seemed like hours. It was undoubtedly less. I am almost certain a fight would ensue between me and my sisters. The screams reverberated through the thin walls of the living room to the kitchen where our mother was preparing dinner. “It’s my turn” an indignant Jo-Jo would holler while her little fist took a swing at my head.
Pages would be pulled from the catalog as the battle ensued. I wanted one of the playhouses. Not the log cabin, though I thought that was cool. I wanted the white shingled house with the pink shutters and front door to match. It should come as no surprise to you – my regular reader that I still want that house – only slightly larger, and while I do admire a person with the pluck to paint their front door pink, I would choose some lovely version of blue. It’s my favorite color.
All this catalog reminiscing got me thinking about what my dream catalog would hold today. I’d replace my No. 2 pencil and the yellow lined paper pad that I had taken from next to the telephone table, with a ultra fine tipped black pilot pen and one of my personalized notecards rimmed in pale violet – what? this is an important list. It deserves a little gravitas.
I would put on that list all the beautiful furnishings, wall coverings, accessories and art that I believe would finally, and with absolute assurance, bring me the clarity that I have been sorely lacking, to make a move with this living room of mine. Wishes are just dreams that start with a list, and one’s chances of making it a reality improve exponentially when you write that list down and look at it often.
Are you laughing? Don’t laugh, I’m serious. I’m as stuck as a person can be that’s been living in an unfinished apartment for over a year. Going on 14 months to be exact. If it was a baby it would be walking and talking by now. Sure it wouldn’t be complex sentences, but it would know how to say “NO Mamma”. Not that.
The problem is that I am not a toddler and while I have perfected the “No, not that” development stage, I have yet to advance beyond the “receptive language” milestone phase and launched myself into phase that allows for articulation of my complex wants, needs and desires. I’m pinned to my lack-luster living room like a beautiful butterfly to a display board. Like a statuesque socialite being fitted for a couture gown. Like a run-a-ground boat in the marsh. Are you laughing? Don’t laugh, I’m serious.
It’s the permanence of the decision that has me stalled, afraid to take the next step. Permanent in the way that nothing really is. It’s practically a rule that everything changes, and if I were a Buddhist I would embrace this philosophy, but I am not. I am me, and if I don’t get it right I will have wasted untold amounts of money. Thousands and thousands of dollars that should be going to my retirement, not to things like shoes and built-ins, but I can’t be expected to go barefoot and should my walls have to suffer a similar indignity? Don’t answer that. I’m not looking for confirmation that my bachelor pad could stay exactly as it is and I’d still make money when I sold it. I know it could, and I would, but my soul, my very essence is suffering. Are you laughing? Don’t laugh, I’m serious.
Here’s what I am thinking. What about a Hollywood set. It could be delightfully impermanent while still setting a scene for mostly my own visual entertainment. No one would have to tear it out to create something that more favorably suits their style, and I won’t have spent the little retirement money that I have painstakingly squirreled away. Now where am I going to find a set designer to provide the backdrop for me to star in the role of successful city gal? This is a question I would like you to answer. Please provide thoughts and contact information in the comment section.