For the last three months we’ve had a long black computer cable running down our hall from the freshly painted candy corn cave. (The room got its nickname from a very bold color palette.)
Our intention when we ripped up the carpet was to fix up the cave, move our computer back in and call it an office once more. Toward that end, we painted and installed a bamboo floor.
In the meantime, we secured the extra cable to the hallway tile with bright blue painters tape. It made sense when we did it. We needed to prevent the ankle-twisting, profanity-laden accidents which surely would come with a bare cord temporarily crossing a high traffic area.
The tape was an instant eyesore against the beige floor, but we knew we would be peeling it up in a matter of days. The computer would go back down the hall as soon as the paint dried.
The funny thing about improving efficiency and aesthetics in your home is that progress is often derailed by the unexpected side effects of your plan. A few days after we moved the computer from the office into the front room, it became clear that we wouldn’t be moving it back. We liked the new location. Thus, three months later, the cable still runs down the hall.
Today a friend is dropping by. And though I am absolutely certain our clutter and chaos are of no meaningful consequence to this friend, they do horrify me in the face of having company.
I have quickly surveyed the house this morning and, despite counting a long list of other offenses, I have fixated on that blue tape as the one totally unacceptable element in our home.
I have swept the floor and cleared the table, picked up the cat food and carried out the trash. I have put away the books and gathered up the toys and still my eye is twitching. The house looks halfway decent, except for that blasted blue tape.
Even as I type this, I am torn between crying and laughing at how ridiculous I am to care how the house looks. It’s just a place where we raise our son and feed our cats. We arrange our books and rest our heads, but we’re not decorators and none of our friends would care about that tape, so why should I? The problem is that I do.
In a few minutes, I will drop my son at school and then dash to Walgreens to purchase plain beige masking tape. That’s right, my decorating sense has deteriorated to tape choice. I will rip up the blue and put down the beige. My eye will stop twitching and I will feel more relaxed when my friend drops by. Call me crazy, but I have to do it. This is what it has come to.