Every morning of life it’s the same thing. I come downstairs, see this, and call 911:
Me: Help!! My home has been ransacked!
911 operator: Is that you again, Colleen? (Sighs) Do we have to go through this every morning of life? There’s nothing we can do! It’s your effing family!
Ahhh, crap! Then I remember and hang myself up the phone. I scoop the violated cushions and punch the wall them to restore their fullness. I prop them on the leather couch and pull out my trusty ruler to ensure they are symmetrical. Next, I locate the wrinkled, sunken cushions that belong on the matching chair; I gingerly replace them side by side with the beachy-themed one covering exactly half of the less colourful one; and finally, I take a muscle relaxant deep breath knowing everyone is asleep and not wrecking my stuff. It’s like Groundhog Day but there’s no happy ending.
All I ever wanted was a pretty home that made people super jealous. Instead I got a loving family and the ‘trashed lived in’ look. Just my friggin’ luck. My aforementioned loving family consists of two sons and a husband, none of whom has a lick of decorating sense. Get this: They think throw blankets are for cocooning on a cold winter’s night; that the hand-carved birch chess board on the refurbished coffee table is for recreational purposes; and worse- (Deep breath) that decorative cushions are to be touched. Oookaaaaaayyyy…
I have tried to be nice about it:
Hey guys, would you mind not using that white cushion as a place mat for your blood-red spaghetti slash disaster waiting to happen?
Honey, I’d rather you didn’t lay your sweaty body on all eight throw cushions directly after your work-out.
Those cushions are not stupid. You’re stupid.
I’ve even tried signs:
I wasn’t getting through. They just didn’t understand that cushions tie everything together, add ‘punch’ and make the furniture ‘pop’. My God, it’s like we were speaking different languages!! After years of useless harping, I decided to meet them halfway. Two words: Man cave. You heard me. They would beg for my decorating advice. My plan was foolproof obviously.
The man cave needed furniture before we could choose accents. Duh. We picked up a second-hand leather couch and I donated the autumn-toned paisley arm chair that used to be in our family room. The men folks’ feedback was specific and positive: Swwweeeeet!
Time to move in for the kill: Soooo, what color cushions/blankets would tie it all together, guys? You want your friends to drool -but not on the cushions. Haha- with envy, so let’s get started. I’m thinking paisley might be overkill because of the chair. Know what I mean? How about some stripes with a few solids? Um…where are you going? Come back here!
I was so insulted I hit below the belt: Go ahead and play deaf! Languish down here in monochrome hell! See if I care! #OMG #worst #parenting #moment #ever
I think I hit a nerve though. I could see it in the shaky fingers clacking out an Instagram post: Check out my sick man cave, dudes:
Note the lone drum stick and TV remote control in lieu of throw cushions. Yea, that totally works… if you’re a Neanderthal.
I’d had it ‘up to here’. It was time for another Family Meeting, my bi-hourly weekly attempt to “change things around here.” We gathered in the family room and I asked them to pay close attention this time.
I pointed to the strewn and squished pillows and told them how I felt. I kept my speech neutral and chose my words carefully to avoid defensiveness. I used terms like ‘cosy vibe’; ‘feng shui’; and ‘cry for help’.I asked them to please put the cushions back on the couch after they desecrate discard them. I demonstrated the proper way to position a throw cushion and how to preserve it by not sitting or drooling on it.
They responded with some hard-hitting questions:
What’s a throw cushion?
Why do you care?
After the question/answer period, I invited them to show me how they might arrange the cushions, hoping they would take ownership of the room. Here’s what they came up with: (Clearly they hate me for whatever reason)
I could tell it was time to wrap up the meeting when my husband gave me the finger universal ‘Cut’ sign. Plus, the boys had left ten minutes earlier to languish in their accessory-free, monochrome hell. Whatever. My work here was done. Once again, the Family Meeting reminded me of the importance of wine airing concerns. As I gathered the cushions that littered the floor, I tried hard to fight the image of them placed snugly over my family’s snoring yaps in the dead of night. I opened the door to the basement/man cave and hollered, “G’night home-wreckers guys! Sleep well. Please turn off the lights when you come upstairs and don’t so much as look at my throw cushions forget to put your dishes in the dishwasher. Tomorrow’s Family Meeting topic is how to navigate Pinterest. Be there.