My mom was the Queen of Change. Seriously. I can’t tell you how many times we moved to a new, “better” house or apartment. And I mean that literally – I can’t tell you because there is no way I could remember them all! I swear the woman was a gypsy in another life. It didn’t stop there, however. She was never content with how the house was decorated or arranged. Every place we moved to had to be repainted, wallpapered, and new furniture purchased. If we stayed there for very long it would be redone at some point, I can assure you! And “long” to my mom was 5 months tops. When I was very young and we spent many years in our family home it became a sort of game. Would today be the day we came home from school to discover a new paint job or new curtains or the living room furniture switched to the den?
My dad hated it. Probably one of the main reasons they divorced! I sort of liked it. My mom was a fabulous artist who made a living painting signs for the small town we lived in. It is a fact that by the time we moved away after I finished college, at least 80% of the business signs in town was a Marge Shelly original. When she painted the house, or a sign, it was a work of art. Murals on the wall, unusual colors and paint techniques, multiple designs. And she somehow found the money in our tight budget to coordinate the bed coverings and curtains. It always looked beautiful and I think she instinctively comprehended feng shui before the Chinese did!
When I finally had a house of my own I knew I did not want to physically move as often as I did when a child. But I did like the idea of creatively painting, wallpapering, and redecorating. You know what I quickly discovered? Doing all that stuff is really hard work! Painting is backbreaking labor, wallpaper never hangs right, and moving heavy sofas alone will sprain several muscles!
How did my mom do it? I have no idea, but I now respect her strength more than I did before. Then I just thought she was a bit daft. Dad thought she was purposely trying to drive him insane, which maybe she was, come to think of it! Or perhaps there was a strain of gypsy blood in her. Who knows? At least life was never boring living with my mom.
My kids have to live with the same furniture, the same bedroom motif, and the same house. I will buy new curtains from time to time and their comforters have been updated, but that is as far as it goes. I have decided I do NOT like change after all. I guess the gypsy blood dwindled out. Recently I got a wild hair – to quote my aghast husband – and semi-rearranged the living room. I got rid of an old stereo that took up too much space, moved the DVD pantry about three feet over (with the help of my 6’3” son), and redistributed the knick-knacks. It took me two whole days. I wanted to move the sofa and chairs, but my OCD husband nearly suffered a stroke at the idea and the kids protested, so they remain as is. Fine by me since those suckers are heavy! And I can guarantee you that unless we win the lottery and buy a mansion on the coast, they will stay this way for another 10 years.
So, as you can see, when it comes to my household at least: Me + change = as little as possible!
How about you? Like me or do you have a wee spot of gypsy in your soul?