Thursday, February 11, 2010

Starry Nights

When I bought my house a few years back, I was envisioning how I'd decorate it even before I put in an offer. I even bought fireplace accessories, because they were on clearance and they'd look good in that house. It was then that I decided that I'd put in an offer on the place: if you are already mentally decorating it, why isn't it yours?

The entire house had ivory Berber carpeting, except for the master bedroom. That room had royal blue carpeting, for no real apparent reason. I guess the owner just favored royal blue in the bedroom, or it was the cheapest remnant available when he bought carpeting. Because the carpet was newly-installed and flawless, I could not justify replacing it before we moved in (read: I was too broke). So I decided I'd have to decorate the room to match the carpet.

Sometimes, I get these really wacky ideas that I can be all artsy and talented. I have no talents in the creative arts, apart from writing. In high school art class, the teacher would draw my picture for me, and then I'd just have to color it in. Just like a toddler, I'd be careful to stay within the lines, so I could get an A.

But since this was my first house, I was eager to decorate. I chose a retro black-and-white cherry theme for the bathroom, to match the deep green ceramic tiles. I chose a nautical theme for the living room, and painted it a slate blue to accent my lighthouse collection. For the master bedroom, I chose a Van Gogh 'Starry Night' theme.

It sounded good at the time. I had to paint the white walls to a deep royal blue, and I planned to sponge gold paint on top of that, in swirly starry night shapes, just like the painting itself. And I'd decided that I loved painting; I couldn't wait!

Four coats of royal blue into the project, I decided that painting sucked. I hated painting. All I ever did for two whole weeks was go to work, then drive to the house to paint on yet another coat of royal blue. Finally, the day came when I got to sponge on the gold paint. The first wall didn't look right. At that point, I didn't care. Like a maniac, I kept sponging on the gold paint, because I wanted to get the job done.

The room looked hideous. I added a celestial border near the ceiling, hoping it would deflect from the garish walls, but it only made my room look like it should belong to a teenager. I detested waking up and looking at this room every morning, the bright sunrise deflecting off the gold walls and offending my poor eyes. One of the good things about sleeping in the living room for the last six months of my marriage was that I didn't have to look at that room the moment I opened my eyes each morning.

After I got my husband out of my bedroom and out of my house, I vowed that the first thing I would do was re-decorate that bedroom, before the opportunity to have a boy over presented itself. I couldn't let a boy into my ugly, garish bedroom! Sure, the bed itself is grand and beautiful. But it's surrounded by ugly, garish walls! What would he think? My ugly, garish bedroom would totally overtake his exuberance at seeing me naked!

So far, I haven't managed to get up the ambition to even start this project of re-decoration. First, the bed easily weighs 1,000 pounds, and will have to be disassembled to even get it out of the room. So I am going to have to work on the walls one-by-one, and then promptly freak out when I reach the point behind the bed, as I will have to try to figure out how to paint around it, and I guarantee it won't be pretty, and I doubt it'll be well-thought-out. And the walls are so...garish. It will take endless coats of paint to cover up all that royal blue and gold. for now, I suck it up, since it's not like I'm sucking any boys right now, anyway. It is nowhere near as lovely as the real Van Gogh, nor is it anywhere near as beautiful as a starry northern Minnesota night.

The other night, I got together with some friends, and we decided to meet at J's house, because we are all broke. Too broke to even go to the bar. I am broker than broke right now. Beyond negative balance broke. So this worked fine for me.

J has an outdoor hot tub. I'd never been in an outdoor hot the winter. I protested loudly, until a bottle of wine and two pitchers of Amaretto Coke got me to join them.

Once I was in the steaming water, it was fabulous. It's a crazy experience, because all around you, the world is icy and snowy and freezing, but yet you are right in the middle, all warm and toasty and relaxed, even though your hair is iced to your head. We talked and laughed and talked some more, for hours. It was a great night.

In a lull in the conversation, I leaned my head back to look up at the stars. The sky was incredible: cloudless and bright, with each and every star in that starry sky shining twinkling. I stared for longer than one should, silently praying for a sign. A sign of something--of anything--that would assure me that things are going to be okay, that perhaps a soul mate does really exist out there somewhere in that starry night.

What was I expecting, really? A shooting star? Planetary movement? A meteor shower? A military fly-over? Any or all of these would've sufficed. But none happened.

At the end of the night, we begrudgingly hauled ourselves out of the blissful hot tub and into the single-degree night, but for the rest of that night, until I went to bed, I was happy and warm and downright...blissful and content. For those moments, I didn't care that I was single. In fact, I knew that the night could not have possibly been any better, even if I did have someone. It was the perfect starry night.

I thought I'd sleep like an angel that night because I was so relaxed, but of course, all good things must come to an end. I tossed and turned, and I blamed the dog. Turns out, my friends slept equally as poorly, and we later blamed this on the slight hangover and severe dehydration that comes from spending two hours in a hot tub in the dead of winter.

After a few hours of fitful sleep, I finally did fall asleep and slept until the alarm went off in the morning. When I awoke, I'd been dreaming about a boy, a boy who didn't even like me enough to call after he said he would. Suck. Sometimes, I think it should be mandated by law that if a boy doesn't call, he has to tell you the reason...but would you really want to know? I probably wouldn't. But his unspoken presence in the dream was still an agonizing reminder--or sign--that I'd wanted something I hadn't been able to get. Double suck. I hate that feeling.

But the true disappointment in that whole thing is that it's like that blissful starry night: secretly, deep down, you are hoping to recapture that feeling and that excitement that comes with first finding someone you are interested in romantically. I hope I get to feel that way again soon, but lately, experience has taught me not to count on it. But maybe--just maybe--the next time the boy will actually call, and I'll be counting the stars with him, whoever and where ever he is.

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