You know how on TV and in movies, the default compliment to any wife/mother character is always “You have such a beautiful home”?
I can pretty safely assert that nobody is ever going to say that to me.
I have very little patience for things that serve no practical purpose.
Example: flowers. (Unfortunately, they are the default gift for female acquaintances, it seems; I got two lots at my engagement party/housewarming. That or wine, which I also detest.) There will be no flowers at my wedding. They also harbour pollen and require disposal before long.
Example: food garnishes. Why oh why would I ever want to augment a perfectly good dish with a full chili just for decoration, which nobody is going to eat? With a sprig of parsley, which I would immediately ditch? If I’m going to have to pick it off straight away, it has no place there in the first place.
Look, I’m all about form over function. While I admire beautiful shoes (which, for women, are almost always perched on killer heels) and Young House Love-worthy interiors, it’s always from a perspective of “that’s AMAZING – but not for me”. It’s genuine admiration without the desire to imitate, without jealousy, without inspiration. I get that having beautiful surroundings matter to most people, but I actually get kind of antsy looking at lovely spreads of homes decked out with all manner of ornaments, prints and other accessories. I ooh and ahh over friends’ crafty projects (or friends’ magazines that are full of crafty projects), but I’d never think of doing them myself (shudder).
It’s hypocritical on my part, since my house is filled with crap. We’re not tidy. We sprawl. Our stuff spreads out of control over the week. When things come in, they never leave – so I try to not let things in in the first place.
I’m working on it. Trying not to bring home freebies that I won’t use, for example. Lemon boat juicer, in. Umbrella, in. Junky PR trinkets, out. Makeup and skincare – pared back, and extras that I’ll never use given away.
But I’m ashamed to admit the pile of stuff that I meant to give away when we first moved into this house has been sitting in a corner of our bedroom ever since. It’s been well over a year.