Monday, May 06, 2013

Keeping up Appearances

I was adding a note to a birthday card to a friend in England when I wrote “Must go. I have moved to my upstairs study and it is cold.” I had the grace to finish up with a brief explanation of my grandiose comment.

It is getting warmer now and I am happy sitting at my desk in Lucy’s old bedroom with my computer and my collection of stationery and books. I moved in here when I got my laptop. I realized if I didn’t move fast this room too would be annexed by my space hungry husband. How did Lucy ever sleep here? It is freezing cold in winter and steaming hot in summer. When I realized the problem, I packed up my tents in Fall and took my laptop down to the playroom in the basement where there is an old desk of mine with the requisite drawers and a lovely gas fire to keep me warm. In spring it is back upstairs until the heat drives me down to the basement, where it stays cooler longer, then nomad-like to any space with a window air conditioner.

I was going to include a photo of this room to relieve the monotony of the prose. I have some in the catalogue of photographs I took for the insurance company. You know how people sift through pictures of themselves to select the most flattering to insert on Facebook or, dare I say it, blogger? I couldn’t find an attractive likeness of this room. The main problem is that years ago I put up wallpaper here. I did a super job. The walls are smooth and there is a lovely frieze. Some time later, we had a door blocked off and although it is nicely plastered, I had no way to cover it. The wallpaper is no longer produced and the thought of stripping the existing wallpaper and starting from scratch did not appeal to me. After those pictures were taken we did get a bookcase from IKEA which fills the hole quite nicely, but not perfectly.

I didn’t want to post an imperfect picture. Would you think less of me? I doubt it. This room is immensely practical, but Martha Stewart would raise her eyebrows.

I wonder how many of us are guilty of this, especially as we blog. There are blogs which give details of the writer’s visits to a psychiatrist, problems with obesity, their children’s desertion, losing their job, but how many writers gloss over these conditions, publish photos of smiling children, describe a pleasant incident, which even the most unhappy have, and cover over the parts of their lives they are ashamed of?

And perhaps the bigger question, does it matter?

No comments: