House Keeping

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“Will you walk into my parlour?” said the Spider to the Fly,”
“Tis the prettiest little parlour that ever you did spy”Mary Howitt


If you happen to bump into someone laden with armfuls of curtains, sheers, rods, finials, wire baskets, hooks, scrub pads, pillowcases, and all manner of incense and aromatic candles, then chances are you’ve bumped into me. Yes, that’s me, the lady half-engulfed by fabrics, laden with issues of Real Living, kitchen implements, padded toilet seats, and what not. Oh, yes, most likely, that’s me standing in line at the counter, shifting impatiently from one foot to another, clutching a credit card, a strange gleam in my eye.

I’ve been bitten by the home improvement bug, bitten real bad.

A few weeks before this, I made a mad dash to the mall to get new curtains. While there, I figured, “Might as well get new rods.” And some storage containers. I mean who doesn’t need extra storage, right?

That was the beginning of a feverish rush to make my home look, feel, even smell, better. A few days down the road I suddenly get the uncontrollable urge to sniff honey-vanilla air. So that’s how the scented candles wound up in my bedroom, their flickering light licking the terracotta holder, lulling me to sleep.

While out to lunch, I spy issues of this home improvement magazine, and I am sent into paroxysms of excitement. Inside I see that colorful pillows are all the rage, and so of course I had to get me some.

Doing the groceries, I got to thinking about how my knives are lying forlorn, unhappily horizontal on the wire shelf. This realization leads my hand to pick up a wooden knife block (ooh, on sale and quite the space saver!) and drop it among the scrub pads, Lysol, nuts, bolts, screws, and electrical tape that somehow found their way into my cart.

Ah yes, the bug that bit me was a bad, bad bug.

Lately I’ve been waking up from a fuzzy funk to find myself wandering in the furniture department, dreamily running my hand over sofas, bed headboards, chaise longues, wooden chests of drawers. There is an overstuffed red ottoman that I can’t quite get out of my mind. And there is an oblong glued-string lamp that seems to actually turn me on.

Oh I’ve got it bad, have I got it bad.

Home improvement is consuming me, I am a slave to its whims. And you should know, I live in a rented apartment, where everything is set to the tune of the temporary.

Why just last weekend, I was cleaning the downstairs windows when I saw that the mentally challenged builders actually placed all the jalousies wrong side down. Well, for fun I took them all out, washed each one in soapy water in the sink, and then put them all back in. One by one. That’s six windows, people. Took me just half a day.

Somebody please save me.


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