I’ve been doing some decorating.
I’m not really much of a home decorator; spending money on stuff whose only purpose is to sit around your house and collect dust has never really appealed to me. I’ll buy artwork and carpets, but home décor accents aren’t my thing.
However, last summer a check showed up in the mail. My grandfather, who passed last April, had left some money and my parents generously shared it with my siblings and me. Brandon and I are in the boring but really nice financial situation that no longer needs generous checks to keep us afloat, and so the money that showed up was just an extra deposit in our advisory account.
But before sending it off to our financial advisor, I carved off a little chunk (with Brandon’s permission) to decorate our first floor. It just seemed wrong (or rather not very much fun) to not do anything self-indulgent with the unexpected money, and so I splurged. I hired an interior decorator, spent several months filling out questionnaires, making diagrams, consulting, and finally ended up with a floor plan, wall elevations, and most importantly, a shopping list.
If I lived in America, I could have headed to Target, Pottery Barn, Pier 1, and all of those places that sell things whose only function is to make your home look cluttered (as the girls call it) before passing into obsolescence in a year or two. The forays would have taken place while Brandon was at work and the things would have quietly found their places until, a month or two later, Brandon would notice that something looked different about our house and ask me what had changed.
But I don’t live in America, and the only way anything ever gets here is through personal pouch. This means that anything I buy is delivered to a facility in Virginia, bagged up in large mail bags, and sent on commercial air flights to eventually make their way here in an undetermined amount of time. And then Brandon has to go and sign for them at the mail room, haul them out to our car, and haul them into the house for me. So anything I buy – whether it be dishwasher detergent or formal dresses – is brought home in a box carried by Brandon. Which means that I can’t hide anything. When Brandon’s Christmas present came, a set of Mucha prints, they came in boxes with two-foot high letters spelling out Art.com. So much for surprises. When I ordered a hundred pounds of oats, Brandon got to wrangle two fifty-pound boxes of oats out to the car and then into the house.
It’s very inconvenient.
I have to be in the right frame of mind to spend large sums of money on non-essentials, so when I finally got down the ordering the Chinese vases, ottomans, lamps, console table, centerpiece, candlesticks, bookends, sculptural objects, removable wallpaper, pillows, trays, table runner, fabric, and fifty other things that are evidently essential to making your home look like a magazine picture, I did it in a few credit-card filled days of commercial glee.
Which meant, of course, that everything came in one week-and-a-half span. This is really fun when you’ve been waiting for second Christmas to show up at your door. This is not fun when you’re playing Santa Claus day after day (the pouches piled up and then all came at once, as they often do) and personally hauling each and every box out to the car yourself.
The final straw came last Wednesday. Mid afternoon, Brandon sent me an email, titled “Congratulations!”
“You have won the prize for actually filling the Pilot to capacity with packages. We received 18. There is literally no more room in the car. The good news is that if I am in a wreck I will be cushioned from impact by packages. Either that or crushed by them. “
Then he dropped the hammer.
“Having offered congratulations for your singular achievement, I now hereby invoke a moratorium on purchases via the pouch. This moratorium will officially begin after everything that is currently (meaning as of 14:50 of January 26, 2016) en route arrives. After the arrival of these items, I will no longer authorize purchases to arrive via pouch except under extraordinary circumstances that I vet personally.”
Looks like I’m going to have to be a good girl for the next little while. Blast.