As my natural curves disappeared (there weren’t many to begin with), I found my tolerance for furniture and garden design was narrowing. The sight of a Bergere chair or a Louis XV table leg felt like it would drive me mad. I wanted to take a garden edger to those winding beds and fill the gardens of the world with rectangles.
As the body sagged and curved lines of back fat announced themselves to a reverse reflection in the mirror, my mind craved sleek new furniture. Clean lines, a minimalist aesthetic – like the smooth young body I had when I was nine.
The truth is I think I always preferred clean lines. But I fell into the Victorian era design trance at a young age. Modern design was like a secret society – only a few knew the secrets. Like how little time it takes to clean an uncluttered space, versus the army of servants required to maintain Laura Ashley Land.
My career in reverse retail (buying gewgaw at full price and selling it for a pittance in multiple yard sales), could have been averted if only I had known about this.
Most men would probably say that they don’t want a harridan in their life, but they would be wrong wrong wrong. They need us. We are the only thing standing between them and a life sentence for crimes against fashion and grooming.
Dress socks with sandals and shorts. Unfortunate hairstyles. Pants hemmed without the benefit of a measuring tape. Forests of hair in the nose and ears. Belts too high and too tight, creating a dirndl skirt waistline. Riotous eyebrows. These are some of the tragic consequences for men who don’t have women who care enough to pester, annoy, irk, irritate, perturb, agitate, chafe and badger.
We need to save them from themselves. Together we can correct these unnecessary visual disturbances. Like me, you too can enrol the men in your life in treatment programs for stupidity. It’s called nagging.
If I could wave a magic wand and be any type of professional, my first choice would be an architect, followed by a psychologist. The Poetics of Space by philosopher Gaston Bachelard, about our emotional response and lived experience in buildings, is one of the many things that fascinate me.
Years ago, there was a model home (I can’t remember where it was) that we toured out of mild curiosity. The unremarkable front door opened to three unremarkable stairs which led to the main living area. However, at the top of the stairs, directly lined up with the front door, was the powder room, with the toilet proudly announcing itself. It was the first thing you saw upon entering.
I often wonder if the unfortunate buyers of that house, ever figured out why every day they came home from work, they were pissed off and felt like crap.
To my knowledge, this advice has never appeared in any magazine or article about fashion. My youthful, white, Pepsodent smile is no more. And I didn’t even take Tetracycline as a teenager. It’s just aging.
So I had to remove all the white articles of clothing and jewellery from my closet and donate them. The contrast to the teeth was just too much. Try it yourself – hold up a piece of white paper to your mouth and you will see what I mean. I predict a donation deluge of white earrings and t-shirts to the Salvation Army Thrift Shops. And then a mad rush to the stores to purchase new fashion items in the colour of old ivory piano keys.
If you have amazing genetics and pearly whites, feel free to ignore this advice.
I’m not going to waste money whitening my teeth. Now that I’m a writer, I will just wait until I get liver disease and jaundice, so then the whites of my eyes will match the colour of my teeth.
When I started my Less is More purge a few years ago, it cost me a small fortune to rightsize into a more organized life. First, the furniture had to go – out with Laura Ashley, in with Scandinavian modern. Then the streamlined bathroom, the dozens of clear storage bins to hold things in the cupboards and drawers and closets. And on and on it went. The piles of stuff for the Just Junk truck didn’t seem very eco, but Marie Kondo said it had to be done.
And so does Margareta Magnusson, the feisty grandmother who wrote The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning.
A writer at Intellectual Takeout had this trenchant observation:
“…we are among the first generations in human history affluent enough to spend money on consultants who help us get rid of all the stuff we’ve bought.”
Put the stuff in the bin now, and save your relatives the trouble.
Hooroo until next time. TFO
Oh, there are good articles at Intellectual Takeout. Check them out here.
You won’t agree with everything, but neither should you. If everybody is thinking the same, then nobody is thinking at all.
A French acquaintance was commenting on the ugliness of the housing in parts of the Niagara region in the U.S. and Ontario.
Looking at it again through the eyes of a European, I could see what he meant.
It’s as if entire communities were build for the intended future use as concentration camps.