My husband and I do not agree on decorating. Shocking, I know, since we agree on so much else. (Sarcasm. That we’ve stayed together all these years is a testament to our stubborn natures—my theory, or true love—his thought. Gotta love him.)
From the start he thought we needed to agree on decorating, so for years we compromised. Meaning we lived with things more his choice than mine, since I was so dang grateful to have anything new and nice I just let him choose. Also I thought he hung the moon.
Eventually I grew a backbone. He says I got bossy, but we don’t agree on that assessment.
“Our house doesn’t reflect my taste at all,” I complained. “It’s what we both could live with.”
Shockingly, he disagreed. “It’s a compromise.”
“It’s your taste,” I said. “The home is supposed to reflect the woman’s taste, not the man’s. And why do you care? None of the other husbands care!”
We argued over new dishes. Dishes! He did not want flowered dishes but I was in a flowered-everything stage. I asked him, “Are you telling me that if I buy dishes decorated with flowers you’re not going to eat what I cook for you?”
Although he loves my cooking, he wouldn’t back down—“I get a vote!”
Instead of giving in, which historically I had done, I dragged him all over to stores carrying dishes we can’t afford, Mikasa and such. When he was sufficiently sticker-shocked I took him to the long-gone and heavily-mourned Linens and Things and pointed out the dishes I wanted. We came home with the dishes.
He has softened over the years. Nowadays he says, “I get veto rights,” so I drag him all over creation until I find what I want and he gives in. It helps that I’m out of my floral stage. The house now reflects more of my taste.
John has a two-color color wheel. Blue and brown, only light shades. He was happy during the 1980s country decorating style when we bought a blue couch and loveseat that both reclined—his choice. He still gravitates toward light blue and light brown. I think he’d wear light blue shirts and medium brown pants daily if he could.
I love burgundy and cobalt blue, hues that gives him hives. I compliment people on the street wearing tops and dresses in those colors. I found that when I limited my decorating to little bits of cobalt and burgundy he didn’t object. He even looks for matching items when we antique shop together. (Yes, together. He has his charms.)
Sometimes I think marriage between people as different as we are is a slow wearing off of each other’s sharper edges.
And that’s when you get to the good stuff.