Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Meltdown in aisle three

So last night we went and bought the TV and the media cabinet for the TV room project. The TV's were totally on sale this week so I'm really glad we waited. We ended up getting a nicer one than we thought we could afford on our budget because the prices dropped so much. Then we went to the clearance section of the furniture store that we love and found a media cabinet that is very slightly damaged, you'd never noticed it and I'm pretty sure we can fix it anyway and it was marked hundreds of dollars down. It was way out of our budget at the regular price, but quite affordable at the discount price. All in all a successful night. The only problem is that they have to deliver the media cabinet tomorrow because they won't hold clearance items, so we're going to have to store it until we're ready for it. At that price, I can deal with that.

So that meant that everything was purchased and picked out except the paint. The stupid, stupid paint.

In the past two weeks I have bought almost 15 sample colors at Lowes. The paint people all know me there now. It's embarrassing to go back it and have them say "you STILL haven't picked out a color?!". No, I have not.

Here's the thing. Here is my deep dark insecurity. I am not girly in any sort of way. (Well, fingernails. There's that.) I hate home decorating, I hate picking out fabrics and colors, I hate fabric stores, I hate talking about throw pillows and curtains and I would rather stick a hot poker in my eye than go shoe shopping or look at jewelry. I fake it. I attempt to find common interests with other women. I deal with it when it's required. I'm just not girly. When I was a kid and other girls were playing with dolls I was catching snakes and frogs in the canals by my house. For three hours every Sunday I'm forced to wear a dress to church and that thing comes off practically before I get in the house.

I am not girly. I like to hang out at Best Buy and talk about computers and surround sound speakers. I like to go to the Apple Store and play with the new iPads. I get along with men really well. Almost all my friends growing up were male. When I got married my bridal shower was all my moms friends because I literally only had one female friend. That has always been hard for me. I feel very isolated at times because I don't relate to other women. I try. I've joined scrapbook groups and recipe exchanges and play groups. I go to chick flicks for girls nights and I'll tolerate shoe shopping and trips to the fabric store if  have to. But it's an insecurity I have, that I'm not like the other women around me. I live in the suburbs, in the land of the stay at home moms with their pretty houses and and Pampered Chef parties. I have my own pretty house and I'll go to a Pampered Chef party if I have to, but it's not what I truly enjoy.

So having said all of that, decorating the basement has not been easy for me. I was not born with the gene that knows how to match pillows with paint and curtains with wall decor. I can't do it. Women talk about that kind of stuff and I zone out. I'm missing the decorating portion of my brain. To me it's like high school math. I still don't know how to solve for X and I don't understand how to put two paint colors together and know if they match. My brain doesn't compute that way.

So I tried blues because I have seen some pretty blue rooms in magazines and it's pretty. But trying to recreate that myself just didn't work. I can't look at a color and know if it's the "right" color. I don't know what it's supposed to look like. I literally don't get it. So I gave up on blues and tried greens. I can pick greens. Half the rooms in my house are green. They're all basically the same sagey light green because that's a color I understand. I could go with another sagey green in the basement. Yesterday I went to Lowes and picked out three greens. I brought them home and realized that they were all basically the same colors I already have in my house. Sagey green is apparently the ONLY color I understand because I just keep picking the same thing over and over.

But I don't want sagey green in the basement. It's pretty but I'm bored of it and it's too pretty to be in a teenage boy room. Because this is a basement room meant for boys, I want something fun and different. It's not a room that anyone will see unless they specifically go down there, so I want to not be afraid to do something more bold. My house is very conservative. Taupes and beiges and soft greens everywhere. I'm afraid to go crazy and get creative because I don't know how to do it right. There is only one room in my house that even has curtains because I don't know how to pick them out. My house is pretty but it's boring. It just is.

So how does someone who has no clue how to decorate or pick colors put together a super awesome TV room?  It's not easy, I can tell you that!

I was supposed to get the paint colors to the painters like a week ago. I'm running out of time. I've tried fifteen different colors and hated all of them. This morning I was basically in panic mode.

So I broke down and went to the fabric store. I tried a new tactic. I thought maybe I would pick out fabric for pillows or curtains and then pull a paint color from that. Why I thought that was a good idea, I'm not sure. I hate the fabric store. Picking out fabric is worse than picking out paint.

So I wandered around. Last night I was rewatching an episode of Heirs and I saw a guy wearing and olive green and dark blue coat. And I though to myself that I've always loved olive green and navy together. I thought maybe I could find some fabric with those colors in it and somehow tie that together. But again, fabric is like paint to me. I don't know what looks good and all my insecurities about not being good at this sort of thing came out. I looked at every fabric 50 times. I wandered up and down the isles. I literally had no idea what I was even looking for. An employee tried to help me. It didn't help. I saw lots of pretty blue greys and thought maybe I should reconsider blue. I'm so not going that route again.

I stood there so long and looked at so many fabrics and felt so...inadequate and clueless that I literally almost had a meltdown in the store. I hate that I'm not good at this. I hate feeling like the only woman in the world who this sort of thing doesn't come naturally for. I watched other women walk in, pick out fabulous fabric for their fabulous projects and walk out and I was still standing there looking for something I wasn't seeing. Why can't this be easy for me??

So I finally picked a fabric that I like. I showed it to the employee who was helping me and she was kind of "meh" on it. She didn't seem to love it. That made me rethink it so I put it back. Then I went and got it again because I like it. So I bought a sample of it. I had no idea what I was going to do with it or how it was going to help me but I liked it and I bought it.

Then I went out to the car and cried. It's Thanksgiving week and I miss my family and we're having a stupid ham for Thanksgiving because my kids don't like turkey and I don't know how to pick out paint and I felt stupid at the fabric store and I felt even more stupid for crying in the fabric store parking lot and I had a sample of fabric in my lap that I had no idea what to do with and now I had to go to Lowes and somehow pick out paint again.

I called Shawn and went on for 10 minutes about how inadequate I am as a human being and he went on break from work just to listen to me because he's awesome like that and that made me feel brave enough to go back to the paint store.

So there I was again, looking at paint. I stood in the paint department of Lowes with my stupid sample of fabric and tried not to cry. There are just so many freaking colors! How does anybody ever pick one?!

So the paint lady, who remembered me from my previous trips to the paint department, came over to help. She could tell I was at the end of my rope and she was super awesome. She didn't care that I looked like I was going to cry at Lowes, she just started pulling paint colors and trying to help. I wanted to hug her. Finally I grabbed two colors impulsively. An olive green and a navy blue. The same colors I saw on the coat from Heirs last night. I said "What about these?", thinking they were probably terrible. She held up the sample of fabric I had, and it. was. beautiful. The paint colors totally pulled out the same colors in the fabric I picked. I didn't even realize it until I saw the two of them together. It's actually really pretty.

The colors are very bold. Not what I would normally pick for any other room in my house. But isn't that what I set out to do in the first place? I realized that my problem this whole time was that I was trying to think like a woman and what I really should have been doing is trying to think like a teenage boy, because that's who this room is for. A teenage boy doesn't appreciate the subtle blues and greys of a perfect Pottery Barn paint. They like olive green and navy blue. They like bold, fun colors, and I wanted a room with bold fun colors.

I went home and painted them on my walls, and you know what? We're going for it. The room will be olive green and the small recessed wall where the TV will go will be navy blue. I'm going to have pillows made out of the fabric I chose that pulls it all together.

It may not be a perfect Pottery Barn room. It may not be a color that any other woman would choose. But my boys are going to love it and I'm going to love it and I'm not like every other woman. And maybe that's OK.


Wendy said...

We could definitely be long lost sisters! :) I'm happy to hear I'm not the only woman on the planet who struggles with this!

Jeanne said...

Wendy, I've been following your blog forever, and I love it!!

Good for you for being bold! It sounds like your basement will be awesome. :)

Wendy said...

Thank you Jeanne!!! You made my day! :)