Anything Lime

Ultimately, it’s the silence that says all things

Below is a mostly accurate depiction of what went down at my apartment this weekend before and after my last piece of furniture was finally delivered. Also, the in-laws were in town. Buckle up.

When shopping for furniture, I took a lot of things into consideration. By a lot of things, I mean MY own taste combined with MY love for modern furniture and MY passion for interior design. Patrick also had a say, but only when speaking up about the things I liked and that matched MY plans for the apartment. Except for the television. That was a gift for Patrick. This is why I became so utterly defensive when his parents came into town and the three of them ganged up on me, beat me and forced me to rearrange the furniture. (The previous sentence may or may not be a slight exaggeration.)

It started with the television, which didn’t have a reasonable living space, mostly because the ideal location happens to have large sliding glass doors. We placed it next to the sliding glass doors, which put the television, in everyone’s opinion but mine, in an awkward position that was way too close to the love seat.

When we bought the love seat, I pictured myself curled up with a book while snuggled up in a comfy throw. I even bought the throw that day because I was so thrilled about the idea. When Patrick found a bookcase that would not only look perfect in our apartment, but would compliment the love seat and give it a library-esque feel, I had to have it. This love seat and bookshelf combination has since become my favorite part of my apartment. I even got a heart tattoo that says “Klobo + Expedit forever.”

I can’t explain what’s so great about these two things together. Maybe it’s the way the natural-colored love seat pops next to the black/brown wood of the bookshelf. Maybe it’s the sleek, modern design of both pieces accented by the orange throw and the green and purple toss pillows. Maybe it’s the way the two have fallen in love and I became ordained online in order to perform their wedding ceremony during the time I spent waiting for the Kramfors delivery guy.

So how dare anyone, expert or not, tell me how to move my things in order to make them look just right. No one else realizes that separating these two pieces of absolute perfection will leave a lasting detriment on my life.

It started with Patrick one morning saying to me, “My parents think we should move the love seat to the opposite side of the the room, near where the couch will be.”

My eyes assumed the angry squinted position, as they often do when Patrick starts a sentence with “My parents think…”

I replied with “fine. Do whatever you want.” But, deep down what I meant was, “Sweet, angel darling, I’d really prefer if the love seat could stay where it is.” It’s just hard to make a statement if you act like a softy all the damn time. I stormed away, stomping loudly and scaring the dog.

I barely said anything to Patrick for the rest of the evening, and frankly, who could blame me, and I had strange nightmares all night. Ugh. figures.

I awoke the next morning to go through the motions again. “You should move this here and that there and this here and that there,” they all said in unison, chanting like a cult. I dug my heels in, kicking and screaming and gouging out pieces of my own skin in an attempt to get them to listen to me. This went on in between all of the other crap that was going on that day — Kramfors delivery day.

After the couch finally arrived, it got so much worse. “Well, now the love seat DEFINITELY needs to move and the bookshelf needs to slide over and the TV needs to go here and this table needs to be flipped upside down and that lamp needs to be thrown out the window and this rug needs to be hung on the ceiling.”

“Whit, can we just try it?”

…the famous words that ended everything between Patrick and me.

“FINE!” I said, like girls do when they are so mad they won’t even speak words.

Patrick wasted no time in moving my beloved love seat. I helped him LIKE A SUCKER as the bookshelf, heartbroken, wept. This was one of the most painful days of my existence, and I broke out in seven different rashes having to go through this experience. It didn’t help to hear Patrick say to me, “Take some anxiety medication, that will make you feel better.” No, actually, punching you in the ballsnacks is the only thing that will make me feel better! But, instead of saying words and telling him how I felt, I just stormed off again and snapped, “FINE!” (And I never took my anxiety medication, so TAKE THAT!)

Then I sat through a lesson about interior decorating from the king of all things interior design Patrick’s dad. We went through the different types of design styles, creating areas for conversation, yadda yadda. Rather than listening to what he had to say, I just sat there, stubbornly, thinking If I’m going to live there shouldn’t I be able to make the decisions regarding the way the furniture is arranged?!

This whole experience brought me back to a painful childhood memory — no doubt the root of all my anxiety problems. My sisters and I all got sets of miniature dolls for Christmas one year. Ashley and I each got a set of Quints and Kelsey, who surely would have eaten the tiny Quints without giving them a fighting chance, got a set of large, plastic Flat People. Ashley and I got a Quints Dreamhouse to share, and Kelsey got her own Flat People village.

One time while in the toy room, Kelsey, despite the fact that she had an entire damn village to call her own, wanted to play with MY Quints. Of course she did. All she ever did those days was drool and chew on things, what what’s more appetizing than a five-piece delight of bite-sized dolls? I often had nightmares of her drooly mouth ruining the flawless, swirled ponytails of my precious little blonde Quints.

There we were, in the toy room, and I had a massive bladder attack. I’d been holding it for the last 14 hours because I knew that the minute I left I’d return to find not one, but all five of my tiny Quints inside that huge toddler mouth of hers. I finally couldn’t take it anymore and made a mad dash to the bathroom yelling “DON’T TOUCH ANYTHIIIIIIING.” I didn’t close the door OR wash my hands (I know, I’m a totally different person now) because I had to move as fast as possible in hopes of preventing a quintuple homicide.

To my surprise, she hadn’t put them in her mouth. Instead, she moved the Quints to her Flat People village merry-go-round, or whatever it was. I would have stopped, paused and said, “aww, that’s cute” if I weren’t so distracted by the fact that she had REMOVED ALL OF THE QUINTS FURNITURE AND STACKED IT ON THE ROOF! What was happening to my life?! The swing? The five beds that are connected and act as one unit? WHAT WAS GOING ON?!

Then I looked at her, my face saddened, and said, “Kelsey?” And without hesitation and with great force she spun the merry-go-round and sent my Quints flying in five different directions. I still haven’t forgiven her.

That day I realized that no matter how other people think I should arrange my things, even if they think that a dresser with five drawers all equal in size belongs on a roof, or if they think my love seat shouldn’t go against the wall because it seems “old fashioned,” well, they can stick it because the quickest way to get me to ignore you or to storm off shouting “FINE!” is to tell me how to arrange my furniture. Go ahead, do it. I dare you. Come over to my house and tell me how you think it would work better and see how often I talk to you after that. Yeah, try it.

Patrick, who knows me better than anyone else and could tell I was mad, probably because I lit my own hair on fire in protest to this furniture-rearranging scheme, kept saying things like, “If you’re not comfortable, Whit, just let me know.” This, friends, was the exact moment when I reached a point beyond saying “Fine!” and began saying words again. Not just because I didn’t want my furniture rearranged, but also because I wanted Patrick to be able to read my mind that I didn’t want my furniture rearranged. Why can’t you read my mind? Why can’t you hear that I’m yelling “I HATE YOU” in my mind right now?!

So when someone asked, for the zillionth time that night, why I was so opposed to separating the love seat and the bookshelf, I lost all control. I’m not kidding. My eyes started blasting lasers and hot water began shooting out of my ears. I turned completely red and screamed, “I bought THAT love seat to go on THAT wall and I bought THAT bookshelf to go RIGHT NEXT TO IT and THAT’S JUST THE WAY I WANT IT. I bought those things so I could put them RIGHT THERE and THAT’S THE WAY I LIKE IT!”

I’d like to say that outburst won me the battle, but sadly, no such luck. We moved the love seat to a position that Patrick calls a compromise. I agree, a compromise. I guess that’s appropriate, considering it’s put our relationship in a compromising position. You know what compromising is? It’s the act of making no one happy. That’s what it is. It’s a way of saying, we’re putting the love seat here so that you don’t get your way and I don’t get mine! Then we’ll each have a tiny bit of satisfaction knowing neither of us is completely satisfied.

I just smile at him, silently, because after you reach the levels of only saying “FINE” and having screaming outbursts, you land in a place where all you do is smile while all of the gears in your head turn. This is where I am now. He says things like, “I actually really like the love seat there, don’t you? I just put on a pretty face, nod a little and think, I can’t wait to rearrange all of the furniture by myself while you’re traveling all summer.


Trackbacks & Pingbacks


  1. * Ash says:

    YES. Amen, sister.

    | Reply Posted 10 years, 3 months ago
  2. * Aimee says:

    I will fly down and help you move that furniture. Mark my word!

    | Reply Posted 10 years, 3 months ago
  3. * Mom says:

    Do it my way —— change the furniture arrangement every time you vacuum. That way eventually no one but your opinion counts because they give up.

    | Reply Posted 10 years, 3 months ago

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