I walked over to a neighbor’s home a few weeks ago carrying a cup measure and an empty Flintstones jelly glass. I’d been in the middle of making scones when I suddenly realized that I was fresh out of both dried currants and vodka. For you epicures out there, the currants are sometimes found in scones, and the vodka in consistently found in me when I’m baking.
I’ll refer to this neighbor as “B”, but her actual name is Bernice Waldbaum. There was no doubt that B would have every ingredient I could ever need, she’s one of “those” people. I’d also resigned myself to the idea that she would take at least partial credit for the scones at the neighborhood potluck brunch later that morning. I just didn’t feel like driving over to the Grab N Bag to buy my own, besides I always seem to run into someone I know when I’ve got vodka in my shopping cart before 8:00 AM.
To be honest, the berries and booze weren’t my sole motive; I had to get a peek at the home’s interior. It was well documented in the neighborhood that for weeks there had been some conspicuous extras next to B’s curb on trash day. Last week, it had been a quaint oil painting of a New England mill pond. The trash day before that I’d spotted some perfectly good throw pillows and an oval mirror with no visible cracks in it. B was obviously redecorating, and I needed to get a look around.
She answered the door with a big surprised smile and immediately invited me in. She was already made up and her hair looked like she just came from a three digit session at Pamper Me Perms out by the mall. B looked sassy and fit in her casual velour yoga pants and off-the-shoulder thingy. As she turned to lead me into the house, I glanced down at the word “Derriere” printed in an arch across the butt of her pants. Thanks B, I’d been pretty sure that was your cute little ass in there, but the clever use of French sealed it for me.
I let my gaze drift away from her tush so that I could check out what would undoubtedly become the staple for home decor in our development. It didn’t take long to spot the trend. Right there in the foyer where the oval mirror used to be were the words “Home” and “Welcome“. The letters were around nine inches tall and made out of metal which had been treated to look antique. I knew they weren’t real antique, because people back in the olden days didn’t need to be reminded that they were in their homes and not the grange hall or the cobbler’s shop.
As we walked through the family room, B made the standard apology for “the condition of the place.” I knew better than to waste time trying to find the few dust molecules she must have been referring to and used the opportunity to check out the furnishings. On the wall opposite the sofa were another couple of words. “Family” and “Together” were spelled out on either side of the flat screen TV. The “Family” letters were smaller than the ones in the foyer and in a more swirly script. “Together” was done in all different typefaces and had a kind of jumbly-on-purpose look, if you know what I mean. We were walking too fast for me to have time to read all of the throw pillows, but I know at least one of them had the word “RELAX” on it.
By now we were in the kitchen and B had wasted no time finding the currants in the cabinet. Who the hell else would know right where her dried currants were located? Above the breakfast nook, the words “Cooked With Love” had been stenciled on the wall. The choice of Times New Roman for the font seemed a little rigid for such a gentle sentiment, but that might just be me being fussy.
By now, B was standing before me with a generously filled cup of currants and a disappointingly shallow amount of vodka. Seriously, the booze was barely deep enough to get Fred and Wilma’s feet wet! I was quick to thank her and make my escape. I’d seen (and read) enough to begin laying the groundwork for some redecorating of my own.
I know better than to simply duplicate the trend-setter. I’ve taken things to a different level in my house. The foyer now has a rugged sign with actual rust on it which lists my home’s capacity as being “no more than 352 people“, by order of the fire marshal himself.
My powder room has the life advice you’d expect – above the toilet paper roll reads a stack of stenciled words “Love, Sit, Poop, Wipe, Warmth“. Above the toilet tank, in more manly block lettering are the words “Seat” and “Down“. I positioned the word “down” on kind of a downward angle for emphasis – so crafty!
In the family room, we’ve got a really nice sign above the mantel. It reads “79 Days Without A Domestic Disturbance Call“. The fun part is that the “79” part is on a dry erase board, so we can change the number. That makes it fun because we need to change the number pretty often.
Next week I’m hosting the neighborhood Bunko, Wine and Cheese Fest. I can’t wait to see the look on B’s face!