We were roaming the aisles of our local Home Goods. I was making a fruitless attempt at finding an affordable, yet tasteful, soap pump. He had gotten loose and, I assumed, was in his favorite aisle — the one where they keep the, as he mistakenly refers to it, “African-American art”. That’s not what he means, of course. What he really means is “African art” — you know the kind, I’m sure — the huge carved wooden animals, the tribal masks, and the colorful doo-hickeys. He likes that sort of thing. I do not. As a result, we don’t own any. He likes to point out that we do own a fairly large teal rooster and that it occupies a place of honor in our living room. He says this as if it is going to convince me to purchase a wooden elephant replete with fake ivory tusks. Sometimes I think he doesn’t know me at all.
As luck would have it, somewhere on his journey to the African art aisle, my husband got waylaid. And, really, who wouldn’t be waylaid by a knight in shining armor? Somehow he stumbled into an area that I had missed on my many, many trips to Home Goods — the medieval accessories department. There I was, scanning the shelves for something — anything — that would work with my new decor (plain white or plain black would have been fine!) when he tapped me on the shoulder and said, “Have you given any thought to that dead space that we’ll have in the bedroom once we take that shelving down?”
I admitted that I had. I do, in fact, have a little dream for that space — a dream that includes a chair, a small table, and a laptop — none of which I currently own, by the way. My husband, as it turns out, has his own dream, which consists of filling that space with a big, giant, honking, knight in shining armor. I explained to him that I would have no use for TWO knights in shining armor in my bedroom — you know, because I already had HIM! — I thought that outright flattery would deter him from the very serious argument he was making in favor of what he thought was a very reasonable request.
At first I thought he was kidding, you know, having some fun with me — the woman who wants to put a ladder (A LADDER?!?!) on the back of her bathroom door to hang clean towels from — until, that is, I realized he wasn’t putting me on. When did I realize that he was dead serious about procuring AND displaying this monstrosity in my bedroom? Oh, round about when he said, “I’m not joking. I think this thing is cool. It’s a real conversation piece, I’ll tell ya that. And, really, I haven’t gotten a say in anything you’ve been doing with the redecorating thing, and, ya know, I want a knight.”
“Why would anyone in their right mind”, I patiently asked the suddenly petulant 53-year-old grown man, “want a ‘conversation piece’in their bedroom?” I didn’t point out that, clearly, I already had one.
What I also currently have in my bedroom is a newly “possessed” air conditioner. It, of its own volition, happily switches between low, medium, and high. It also enjoys jumping musically between cool, dehumidifier, and energy saver. Suffice it to say, there’s a whole lotta beepin’ goin’ on! It’s either developed a faulty sensor or picked up a poltergeist. Either way, it probably needs to be replaced.
While $99 is undoubtedly a bargain for a knight in shining armor, I’m thinking that the money would be better spent on a new air conditioner. I’m sure my husband would cast his vote for the knight, which is exactly why there won’t be a vote. What does he think I’m running here, anyway? Some sort of democracy?
As far as his “having a say” in anything related to home décor, I think that the fact that he seriously wants to put a six-foot piece of tin in my bedroom is, in and of itself, a very good reason why he is not consulted in these matters. I’m not saying that I’ve never made an error in judgment myself, I once painted a bathroom orange — it looked like something you’d find in South Beach. It was definitely not “me”. Fixing it was relatively easy — I simply painted over it.
Admitting that the orange didn’t work and changing it is something that I was willing to do — even at the risk of the “I told you so!” I harbor no such illusions about my husband. Fang can, and does, dig in about these things. I’m nowhere near as stubborn as he is. I know I’d be stuck with the knight forever — because Fang would NEVER own up to not being as pleased as punch by the thing. Even though I’m certain he’d get sick of it, I’m the one who would be stuck with it for life — because he’d never admit that it had outlasted its usefulness (which, I’m sure, would mainly be to annoy me). Other than hanging scarves from him, dressing him up for the holidays, and traipsing people back to my bedroom for a look at the old guy (the tin one, not the real one) I don’t know what I would do with a knight in my bedroom, particularly one that had lost his luster.
photo credit: knight