We Like Shiny Things

Bossy asked for a 10-word description of a household project that has been avoided for a considerable time. Like, 10 years.

Ten words. Ha.

If a run-of-the-mill picture is worth a thousand words, then a picture of this is worth at least twice that. So, 10 words? No can-do.

Hunter green and deep red come together to deliver a decade of restless nights, all wrapped up in a shiny brass finish.

This piece of craftsmanship and engineering wonder has hung over my bed for the nearly 10 years we have lived in this house and has, since Day One, fostered a sense of dread and hopelessness that I can’t even explain.

When we first looked at this house and walked through the master bedroom, my husband mumbled, “I feel like I’ve crashed a party at the Playboy Mansion and wandered into Hugh Hefner’s bedroom.” And it is in Hefner’s bedroom that I have been held captive for 10 years.

No wonder I can’t sleep at night.

I go to bed under a mammoth mothership that has come to take me home–if “home” is a Home Interior party rich with a faux marble ceiling fan and brass accents.

In 1990, months before I married, I somehow ended up at a Home Interior party. (Wow! That’s a good memory you have, Amy! You remembered a Home Interior party from 1990? My response: How could I forget?) This was back in the day before candles were big, chunky, scented things, and everything revolved around the taper. Taper candle holders for your table. For your mantle. For your bathroom. For your wall. They came in every shape and form you could imagine.

The party host was gracious and, at times, apologetic, refilling snack bowls and pouring drinks, while the consultant in her denim jumper stood before an elaborate display of brass sconces, figurines and doo-dads. Her large arms flailed about, her grin was as big as Texas, and her brass was burning our retinas. “Ladies!” she announced. “I am here to tell you . . . that Brass. Does. For. Your. Wall,” (inject wide sweeping of the arms here) “What. A. Smile. Does. For. Your. Face.” I spewed a cashew from my mouth.

Not a day goes by that I don’t think of that consultant and her brass collection displayed on black velvet. How could I? I’m living in her showcase.

I don’t mean to sound ungrateful to the person who built this house and the interior decorator who may or may not have been present come decorating time because heaven knows, this ceiling fan has saved me many a night when the unreliable and coughing a/c wasn’t cranking and I was stuck to the sheets like a fly on flypaper. But green marble blades? And brass accents? I don’t recall the ’90s being so . . . shiny.

“Well, Amy, why don’t you replace this monstrosity?”

That, dear reader, is a very good question. And one for which I do not have an answer. Except that it matches the green marble-ish tile flooring in the master bathroom. (Don’t ask.)

It’s not like we haven’t talked about kicking the brass to the curb. It’s just that replacing it will set off a chain of events that, frankly, our marriage can’t handle. Deciding on a new fan. Painting the red ceiling around it. Painting the walls to match whatever color we paint the ceiling. Installing the new fan. Replacing the carpet that matches the current red trey ceiling. (I told you, don’t ask.)

So, in a way, keeping this fan has simplified our lives and kept our marriage airtight. Shiny and airtight.

A brief tour through a few rooms in my house reveals a common and unfortunate decorating trend that has gone unremedied. Let’s take a look, shall we?

A simple glass dome is enhanced by a thick brass ring, illuminating our upstairs landing with the force of a 60-watt flashlight.

The brass fixture in our entryway says "welcome to the '90s."

The dining room "chandelier" stylishly blends fake porcelain and brass accents. When the moon is full, we don't even have to turn on the light. The moon's reflection off the brass does the trick, illuminating the entire main level.

If I sound ungrateful for light fixtures and ceiling fans, know that I am grateful for electricity, my outdated light fixtures and my abundance of brass accents. I apologize.

With. A. Smile. On. My. Face.


Don’t forget to toss your name into the hat to win the Emerilware grilling pan. Check out the details from Monday’s post. Comments will remain open until Thursday night.