In addition to my normal duties of eating bon-bons, bossing small children around, and getting caught up on TiVo’d episodes of TopChef and Project Runway, I have become somewhat known in my circle of friends for my design ability. Seriously. I am very very good at picking out paint colors and art and coffee tables and lamps. I’m also good at rearranging furniture, to the point where it’s not at all unusual for me to receive a breathless voicemail saying, “MOV, it’s me. Call me back right away because we are having a Couch Crisis—should the couch be facing the window or centered on that right wall? and if we do that, then where should the TV go?”
When this little mini-phenomenon started occurring about a year ago, The Husband (understandably) was shocked: “You mean Kelsey had you come over and tell her what color to paint her kitchen? and then she actually painted it that color? The color YOU suggested?”
Yes, Dear, that’s right: people invite me into their homes, ask my opinion, and listen to my advice. Amazing.
So it comes as no surprise when I receive this email yesterday from my friend Sandra while I’m at work at the high-end kitchen store:
I wanted to get your opinion on my powder room on the main level. Right now there is a mixture of finishes on the metal. The light fixture is brushed nickel, the faucet is stainless, the tp holder and towel ring are brass. I am replacing the towel ring and tp holder and also getting a new mirror. Should they be brushed or stainless? And if I go brushed should I replace the faucet to match? For the mirror I am also considering one framed in mahogany that matches the sink top (vanity?). Or should the mirror be silver-framed, too?
Thanks a mil, Sandra”
I’m getting stressed out just reading this. It reminds me of one of those unsolvable word problems from junior high algebra class: if the train leaves the station at 2:30 PM and is traveling at 75 mph and must go 800 miles, and the plane leaves the adjacent airport at 10 PM and is flying at 500 mph to the same destination, who will get there first (please remember to show your work)?
Trains. Planes. Faucets. Mahogany mirrors. How should I know? But since Sandra is a good friend, and I don’t want to leave her hanging, I decide to help her. I get out my special little Virgo notebook (read: post-it notes) and draw a quick sketch. Shiny. Matte. Silver. Nickel. Stainless. The words are flying around in my brain, crashing into one another. Whattodowhattodowhattodo.
As if from Divine Intervention, the answer comes to me.
“Dear Sandra,” I type back, “After giving your design dilemma much thought and consideration, I have come up with a recommendation: spray paint it all gold. Love, your pal, MOV.”
("My Other Venture")