what i can’t have

so it gets to me, every sunday, the house pr0n section of the LA Times Magazine. the airy rooms, the killer retro pieces lovingly arranged so everywhere you look, is like art. yeah. and i look around this jumbled clutter of mismatched furniture and crap – i have so much crap. i have no organizational skills and the nagging feeling if i throw anything away, i’ll regret it at some later date, so i have piles and stacks of vaguely-important looking papers here and there that i mean to go through, eventually.

some of it was (and underneath it all might still be) ‘nice’ furniture, in that gramma style of nice (for that is indeed who bought it in the first place), although the dining table and coffee table have been given over to computers and the kind of crap that gathers around computers if the computer user spends a crazy amount of time on said computer. but aside from the nice but unfashionable tables being used the wrong way, there is a boxy brown chair, a boxy gold chair, and a boxy formerly-white couch being used as a bed. there’s a rickety card table used for eating and homework, within view of the tv, which sits on the floor. there’s an electric piano no one plays, and the vaccuum is always hanging around that area, because it has no home, and the nice dining room chairs are being used as places to stack things.

so i look longingly at the uncluttered rooms with the well-chosen, sleek furnishings and the glossy floors and the tastefully placed objects d’art, and i lust. but then i think, what would one do in such a room? would one perch gently on the furniture, careful to not disturb the chi or the feng shui or whatever, while one sipped a beverage without setting it down on something expensive it might make rings on? i’m sure the places look different on the days the camera crew isn’t there, but there can’t be that much difference. so my question remains, what do these people do in these houses with the perfect retro furniture that has no little cubby-holes to store anything? where is all their stuff? do they have some secret room that no one goes in, that’s just packed to the rafters with potentially important crap?

sigh. guess i like stuff the way it is. besides, as chris often says, i lack the gene that decorating-inclined folks possess, the one that makes them put … things and stuff here and there, like, scattering seasonally-colored leaves artfully around an arrangement of … something, and then … oh i don’t know. i’ve seen it done and i don’t get it.

17 thoughts on “what i can’t have

  1. I do that too sometimes.

    The houses that REALLY kill me are the arts and crafts homes. I love those. And, they remind me of all that I don’t yet have…or all that I can’t maintain.

    Then, I think as you do….are those places you’d really LIVE in?

  2. I don’t think you live in these places. If you do, there has to be a team of maids following you around, vacuuming up the dead skin cells that have falled off of you that second and wiping any residue of human oils that have soiled the appliances and furniture.

    And, I don’t think you lack the genes to do it. I think we lack the ability to do it cause we know it’s impractical. Plus, money. It’s gotta be the money. I’m another one of those “nice, in a grandma sort of way” furniture owners, and I know that half of it is money… Who can afford a decent couch nowadays?

  3. occasionally, they’ll have a feature of the latest craze (right now it’s retro beverage carts or somesuch) and they’ll have the prices. uh, $1200? for a stylish rolling table to keep booze in? ok then.

  4. Oh, I love decorating and doing craftsy things, but the reality is that I positively hate cleaning, and my “office” area is just off the living room and a perpetual wreck. Add in the two totally destructive cats… and I’ve just given up on the idea of pretty surroundings that complement each other.

    But ask me tomorrow, and I’ll pretentiously inform you that I’m influence by Fight Club….

  5. well, maybe neat freaks will be able to keep up with the house keeping, but me, I’m a happy little slob, thankyou very much. I’d rather have a place that looks “lived in”

  6. When I had my first apartment, I discovered the secret to having a living space that looks like house pr0n: if you own very few things, it automatically makes your house look really neat and sleek. They can even be ugly things, and the stark serenity of the arrangement (unavoidable, of course, since you’ve only got the three or four things) will be pleasing to the eye.

    The more shit you acquire, on the other hand, the harder it becomes to achieve this Zenlike purity of line. And by the time you actually have accumulated the detritus of an actual life, let alone the kind of life I have (I’m a writer who lives with a geek and the house is decorated in piles of books, computers, papers, software, folders, network cables, notes, power cords, etc.), it is nigh unto impossible.

    So it goes.

  7. Personally. I think they have lots of stuff. When the camera crew is in room one, they move all the stuff to room 2. When shooting finishes in room 1, the stuff is moved back to room 1, along with the stuff that was originally in room two. Then the camera crew shoots room 2. Room 3’s stuff migrates to room 2 and room 3 is done by the camera crew, and so on, and so on, etc., etc. ad nauseum.

  8. You can do it – you just have to get rid of all your stuff. And you have to be obsessive-compulsive. I have managed it rather well…

  9. We’ve been in our new home exactly 11 months. It looked like the model home when we moved in. It does NOT look like the model home anymore. At all. Nope. Not even close.

    The kids’ rooms in the model homes have one game on a little shelf and a stuffed bear (with both eyes intact!) on the bed. My kids have fourteen blankets each (not coordinating) and a bazillion legos. Puh-leeze.

    They never read the newspaper in these magazines or in these model homes, and they never fix a meal. No matter how often I clean the kitchen, there is always a frickin’ juice cup in the sink and a ring from the tea pitcher on the counter. Oh, well. I’ll try to clean it up and stack all the Kid’s homework somewhere for this weekend, but we do LIVE here. And it’s pretty nice all the same, even if you have to move the coupons and laptop to eat dinner!

  10. I’ve been in House Pr0n homes. People do live in them.

    They just live in tiny parts of them. The fancy rooms that get in magazines? No one ever actually enters those rooms. The benefit of a big fancy house with fancy stuff is that you usually have enough rooms so that your big fancy stuff doesn’t get mussed. But let’s see pictures of the TV room and the Real Kitchen. The one you cook microwave popcorn in and isn’t cleaned all the time by the staff.

  11. you know, i had a friend in grade school whose mom did like, the opposite of that. in the main part of the house it was chaos — they took in strays and had some twenty or thirty cats and dogs at any particular time, and man, it was hairy and smelly as hell. but there was one room that no one ever went in — a big room with white furniture with plastic slipcovers and white shag carpet and — and i’m not making up the ‘nobody ever went in there’ part — i think the furniture movers got to go in there, but that was it.

    kind of an insane concept, if you ask me. but maybe i just can’t comprehend having enough money to buy extra living space that you don’t actually live in, and use it for decorative purposes only.

  12. Hey dudette…………….my former mom and dad’s house in KC had 26 rooms, 11 bathrooms, and an indoor/outdoor pool/recroom/sauna/hot tub. Because they were never home, the only rooms used in this house were three rooms that made up my bedroom area and bathroom. The house was of course magazine perfect in every way having been decorated by somebody who’s sexual orientation one could guess by his speech, and hair style……….and of course very tasteful. But believe me……this was NOT a home at all. Now I live with my cousins, who’s house is always a mess, always the 8yo toys everywhere, beds never made, and generally everything without a home. THAT’s a home! LOL you can fart without actually wondering if the white furniture might be spoiled!!!! hehehehe

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