Which is my name, and when it’s called from downstairs when I am upstairs there is an issue that needs to be addressed and my wife would like it to be addressed thank you. She is preparing for a wedding shower, which involves flowers, vegetables, fruits, gifts, games, balloons, tea, and a wide variety of glassware. Guys get married, their friends take them to a bar or club and drinks are bought and toasts are made. Women get married, and someone has to put together a quiz on the romantic relationships in A Midsummer’s Night Dream.

And that someone is me! But I already did the quiz so I can’t be called downstairs for that.

“What happened to the vases?”

She’s pointing at an empty space where there used to be a vase. I have to take her word for it, because while I have a memory of those vases, it is swamped at the moment by the growing fear that the absence of the vases is my fault.

“I don’t know,” I said. “They were red, right?”

“They were green.” It’s all coming back now. Mind you, I am not unaware of the decor of this place. I have been quite involved in every since decision about things and many of them were mine, and unilateral. I have good taste. I have a good sense of a design gestalt, and this was brought to the fore the other day when Mother-in-Law spurred my wife to finally do something about the sofa in the family room. Problem with said sofa: it’s scarred. Me: if this was at Restoration Hardware it would be distressed and it would be four thousand dollars. Wife: we need a seating group for company. Me: company can sit on chairs from the dining room, or folding chairs. You don’t design a room for unusual situations; you design it for how you use it every day.

This is said in a casual, non-confrontational fashion, by the way.

Wife: agrees, but still. It tasks her. It is in her craw.

Hour later: picture messaged of a new loveseat. It’s nice! I say.

Second picture: ottoman. Me, on the phone: this will replace a table - and of course that table has to go, it’s old and the laminate is falling off. But remember when you sit there and put a beverage on the table? And then put your feet up? You can’t do that with a poofy ottoman.

Later: Wife and Mother-in-Law come home, having bought the loveseat, and a tray that you can put on top of the ottoman for drinks.

Me: A tray on top of the ottoman, at all times? Seems we’re complicating matters. And the tray looks like it responds poorly to moisture. It’s laminated wicker.

I am right but since I say these things without a confrontational tone, there’s no fight, just a “let’s see how it works.”

A few days later some people are going to deliver the new loveseat and some other people are going to take away the old one. We get the old one outside. The delivery guys show up and wow, that’s a nice piece. Unfortunately it’s a SOFA. It’s HUGE. They sent the wrong piece.

So now the party the next day has to deal with the WRONG PIECE. Not the delivery guy’s fault; he gets a tip anyway. The other people show up and I help them take away my nice beloved comfy sofa. Goodbye, my friend. Goodbye.

Anyway: hours later. Where are the vases? Think. Well, they were used as the pots for poinsettias at Christmas. Did I put them away in the Christmas bins when I struck the set? No. I did not. But the only way to prove that is to get out the bins and go through them, which I do. We look at every closet in every room. No vases. I note in the spare room how the shelving system couldn’t handle the weight of the vases anyway; I fixed that last year but it still bears a lot of extra clothes. Not mine. I have 24 dress shirts and seven pairs of pants, but that’s another story.

Could they be in the shed? Did I put them in the shed? I know I didn’t but I go out there anyway, and the dog follows, up for an adventure. Sorry, Scout. No fun here. So: either I just decided “I shall throw out the pots my wife bought, and pay no heed to the consequences, fiddle-dee-dee” or daughter broke one while dusting and threw them out and lied, or the fortnightly housecleaner broke one and threw them out and said nothing. Not one of these scenarios is remotely plausible.

Wife is finishing up preparations for the party, and goes up to the spare closet to get some ribbon. A crash. Calamity. The shelves have collapsed.

Later that night - around 2:07 AM, actually - I am watching a new COPS where the obligatory shirtless dude screams “IS THAT ALL YOU GOT” at the cops before they drive a stun gun into his spine, whereupon he shrieks and flails, and bro, I know that feel.





If we're lucky, we have . . .



Elsie and her family. As usual, Elmer is acting -well, bull-headedly, and Elsie is finding a way to blend milk and patriotism together. Here she's fighting inflation.

"Since when I do I have to need things before I can buy them?"

Bless you, Elmer. But still.


You'll note that while Elsie prattles on about shortages and milk rations, Elmer is storming right ahead with the suit purchase.

It's only a $31.98, for heaven's sake.

But that's over five hundred dollars in current money. The average annual income the year this ad ran was $2400.

The cows were doing okay.


Tots wonderful.

He punned.

With a self-satisfied smirk.

  In the end, Elmer comes around, as he always does, and the cows walk home, naked as usual.


A wonderful new knob to be manipulated by your pink articulated flesh segments:

A "weather eye" was something you kept out, right? Not literally. That would be unnerving and unsanitary. But you kept out a weather eye to see if there were any inclement developments above. No one need do this anymore; there are other means to inform us besides observation. But why would a heater / AC unit be called a Weather Eye? It didn't watch. It only reacted, and only then with your input.

Hey, here are two things we can jam together for the first time and sell some until sales drop off and we do something else:

Think "iPod" plus purse.

What did the cans look like, once upon a time? Like they were photographed, printed, removed with an Exacto-knife and placed into another picture.


"So what color is testing well to go with our unnaturally red sauce?"

"Mint green, for some reason."

"Make it so."

Arlene Francis was a woman of few words, so people heeded her commands when she issued a pronouncement:


She appears to be about ten feet tall, judging by the store display. Speaking of which: you can hear it squeak, can't you?


DRAMATONE. This may or may not come as a surprise, but I collect old paint chips, and I'm here to tell you something that may rock you back on your heels.

The colors never changed. Only the names.


Yum, mom! Yay for Fish Custard!

I love the drawers; they look like radios. And the hue of the inside was typical, connoting both Cold and popular hues. Never quite imagined light turquoise and rust-brown could go together, but there they are.


Another store display. Maybe.

Utica + Mohawk = Viking Monocular Vessel: sure, that works.

Let's see the sheets in action. Frozen pink slab for milady's nighttime reveries . . .

. . . and a design touch that seems to have disappeared: drapes that match the chairs exactly.

Another close-up that looks like his-and-hers funeral biers.

There's hardly an inch of this room that bears repeating.

That's it for today! See you tomorrow.



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