In Which the Furniture Curse is Broken

13 June 2005

Today I am making pie. The birthday Lydy may not thank me, as I have not made pie since the fourth grade. Only one way to find out, I suppose. It seemed like the thing, and I have acquired a totally irrational confidence in the kitchen. I think, "Well, of course I can make that," regardless of what it is, regardless of whether I have any evidence for thinking so.

The house has not yet burned to the ground, nor has anyone died of my cooking, to the best of my knowledge. So I suppose it's been all right so far.


And after that I looked at the time and said, "Ack! Must bake pies! Must clean bathrooms!" etc. And then we went furniture shopping and celebrated Lydy's birthday, and then it was time to go to bed, because I had to get up at 4:50 this morning to take Mark to the airport. I begin to wonder whether I ought to say I update my journal on Mondays instead of Sundays. But then it might end up being Tuesdays, so there you have that. But this way I get to talk about furniture shopping.

So. Furniture shopping! We do not live in an English hunting lodge. We don't want to live with bad knockoffs of English hunting lodge furniture. Also, the word "Americana" should not touch this house. Also, we deliberately did not buy a McMansion and do not need oversized arms and backs on our furniture to make our rooms look full. Do you know what we have to make our rooms look full? Books. Bookshelves filled with books. I don't remember the exact quote from Making Light, but there was some bit ages ago when someone told someone else (I believe Teresa told Patrick, but as I don't remember the quote, I can't be sure) that interior decorating is what other people have instead of books. Not, I think, strictly true, but it resonated anyway. We bought a house that could house our books. Priorities are not even in question here.

Up until yesterday, I kept mumbling "unsafe at any price" to myself. It wasn't that we were seeing furniture that we liked but couldn't afford (or, more accurately, were not willing to change our lives around to afford). I hated everything we saw, with the exception of maybe one chair and a couple of end-tables. "You can't hate everything; you have to have furniture," my mom said. My mom had not been with us on the previous shopping trips, or she'd have been right there with me going, "I hate that, and that and that and that and that." Much of this furniture would have made me feel like I had given up on life and was simply counting down the (anticipatedly many) hours to my death.

(This is the problem with thinking of things symbolically. Sometimes chairs end up looking a lot like futility and despair. Although I know people who are determined enough to be supportive that they would say, "Oh, uh-huh, and what color are you going to paint the walls with that? Oh, that'll be pretty!")

But yesterday we saw furniture that was quite all right. Some of it was good, in fact. We saw furniture I would be happy to have in my home. This was an immense relief, because at a certain point my mom is right and we do have to have furniture. Some of our hand-me-downs are really good pieces: the wooden rocker, for example. Others are well-loved (my couch!) but probably loved beyond their deserts.

Now I'm hopeful about clothing as well, because I really need a dress for Scott's wedding this fall, and those have also been in the "unsafe at any price" category.

I had a good visit to the dentist, except that I need two wisdom teeth out. Otherwise it was fine. Sometimes getting new health care professionals is a lot more intimidating than actually having new health care professionals: now I know Stacy, and while she's no Marilyn (my last dental hygienist), she seemed nice and reads fantasy novels and was in the general area of my college when the tornado hit it, so when they call and say, "It's time for your regular thingy," it'll be, well, regular.

I finished reading Elizabeth Willey's A Sorcerer and a Gentleman in the dentist's office. I enjoyed it enough that I'll read the next one happily, but I wasn't as jazzed as some people have been. I think the "fantasy of manners" label had gotten excessively high standards in my head due to the people I've heard associated with it (Jo Walton, Ellen Kushner and Delia Sherman, Caroline Stevermer and Pat Wrede...), and also I wasn't impressed by Willey's riffs on "The Tempest." I just didn't think it was that interesting a twist on that particular story, so having the same names was more distraction than otherwise. And now I'm reading Patrick O'Brian's The Ionian Mission and trying to keep my head from smacking into the keyboard. 4:50 this morning was not kind to me.

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