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Curtains

August 5, 2016

Like most arguments, it began with the curtains. She had bought some god-awful paisley inspired curtains in gray and beige. I, on the other hand, bought some modern looking sheer curtains in gray and white- which were clearly the better option. So we decided to put the decision to an informal family poll.

Family members weighed in and voted for my choice, tactfully and hedging their votes with familial kindness. Usually this would have been the end to the debate. Usually, but she was stubborn.

“Come on Mattiye, they are pretty. Are you sure that you wouldn’t rather have my curtains?”

I balked. Her curtain choice was ugly. I couldn’t in good conscious, let this one go.
“They’re too busy” I said. “I don’t like the pattern at the top. And besides, we are going for a modern look and these are definitely not modern.”

“But Mattiye,” she said, “we have a mix of modern and traditional. These perfectly blend our style. Are you sure that you don’t like them?”

“Yes, I’m certain.” I thought. I would rather have no curtains at all than the ones she had bought. I tried to be sensitive to her feelings. “Those curtains are the ugliest curtains I have ever seen.” Okay, so maybe I wasn’t as compassionate as I could have been. But the curtains were ugly.

“You shouldn’t always get your way. I like them. Besides, Mommiye likes them.”
This was a strategic move. Bringing in her mother like this. What was I to do? Tell both my wife and mother-in-law that their taste in curtains was awful? I was about to acquiesce, but then a strike of perverseness prevailed. I doubled-down.

“Well then,” I said, “both you and your mother’s taste is terrible.”

I am certain this is where the conversation turned south. In retrospect, I probably should have been more tactful, but then again, maybe the truth had a greater impact without sugar-coating it. Needless to say, I spent that night in the guest bedroom.

Early the next morning, as I drank my cup of coffee, my wife came into the kitchen.
“So I’ve been thinking, and while my curtains are beautiful, maybe your curtains work better in the room.”

“Oh really?” I replied in between sips of coffee.

“Yeah, don’t get me wrong. My curtains match the color scheme better but I guess you have a point about your curtains being more light and airy.”

“So it’s decided then? My curtains are the better choice?”

“Well for now at least. Maybe we can switch them every couple of months so that we both get our way.” She explained.

This was a win, maybe a win by sheer attrition, but I knew then I had her beat. It’s been 6 months now and my curtains are still hanging in the family room. If there’s something to be learned here, it’s that as much as my wife hates something, she hates rehanging curtains more.

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