Amazing Adventure #2: Curtains and Metaphors

There is a set of sliding glass doors in my living room that leads onto the balcony.  It faces west and gets full afternoon sun in a blinding, disorienting sort of way.  There’s a set of eclipse curtains folded up in a closet somewhere for the purpose of protecting our eyes and my computer from that afternoon assault.  They have been there for 9 months. The curtains fell about a week after my husband left.  It wasn’t a metaphor - he had just originally hung them very poorly and eventually they fell.  Wait…guys…that is TOTALLY a metaphor.  Whatever.  I’m on a different track right now.

What I’m telling you right now is this:  I will hang those bad boys up.  I will.  I will.

I have a handful of wonderful, kind and devastatingly handsome men in my life (all of whom are married to equally wonderful, kind, and devastatingly handsome women so, you know, no luck there) who would gladly hang these curtains if I were to ask.  Men who, in the past 9 months, have retiled the shower in the master bath and provided free child care and had my kids over for dinner and moved extremely heavy objects and cooked and packaged comical amounts of lasagna (which we have now almost totally devoured because MTD can COOK, ya’ll!) and listened to me while I cried.  Repeatedly.  They’d do it. They’d be happy to.  But I am going to hang them.

Likewise the curtains in the master bedroom which I took down because their position had always bugged me and because I wanted to decorate my room to reflect me since I am the only one who sleeps there now.  (Technically, B and P also sleep there now but that’s a whole post for a different day when I am ready to reflect upon my lousy parenting.)  The curtains and rod are in a pile on the antique cedar chest and there is a bed sheet stapled over the window to stifle the sun that comes barreling in BRIGHT and EARLY every morning because we bought a condo in which the only windows in the bedroom face east.  In fact, the only rooms with east-facing windows in the entire condo are the bedrooms.  There’s some poor planning in there.  I have battled 6am sunshine - “Yes it IS morning, mommy!  It’s BRIGHT.  Get UP!” - for 3 years.

I don’t know how to hang these curtains.  The walls tend to crumble when you try to put anything into them so I know that they will need anchors and I have the anchors sitting out on the bookshelf in my bedroom.  They mock me when I walk by – but not as loudly as the pile of curtains does.  Bastards!  I’ll show them!  But the drill and the anchors…it’s a little daunting.  I’m scared of making a series of big holes in the wall of this condo that we are about to put on the market, I think.  Brand new decision there.  There’s certain to be a whole blog post on that one as well.

I will conquer those curtains because there is most certainly a metaphor in there.  And the reason I know for sure this morning that I can do it is that, once again, I parallel parked like a boss at the preschool dropoff.  What does that have to do with curtains?  Hush and I’ll tell you.  Why are you so impatient?  I’m crafting a metaphor.   I was just telling a friend of mine that I am such a good parallel parker that even though I know I’m a good parallel parker, I will still execute a perfect parallel park and then marvel at myself for a moment.  I will say, out loud, something like “Oh my GOD that was sexy!”  Or “I hope somebody was watching that madness!” or something like that.  Sometimes I will purposely choose the spot that looks the most challenging – just cause I can.

This was not always the case.

Back in 1987, I took the test to get my driver’s license.  I was 17…possibly even 18…but had never gotten a license because it all seemed a little scary.  It was summer in Florida and my dad had just purchased me a very used orange Datsun 210 with no air-conditioning.  I don’t remember how much that thing cost but whatever it was,  he paid too much.  No air-conditioning.  FLORIDA.  Anyway, I went to take the driving portion of the test and the DMV woman who had to ride along was a heavy-set woman and was wearing long sleeves and long pants all made of polyester.  She got into my un-air-conditioned 210 and immediately began to perspire.  I did well until we got to the parallel parking – the last portion of the test.  The woman next to me was drenched and beginning to turn red.  I made my first attempt sssllllllloooooooooooowwwwwlllllllyyyyyyyyyyy.
I failed.  I set up to go again because you get 3 tries.  I crept and inched and paused and she panted and wheezed and dripped.  I failed a second time.  I set up to try again and she gasped, “Look, can you promise me that you will practice this on your own until you get it right?”  I assured her I would.  “Great.  You pass. Let’s get back to the building.”  SCORE!

I didn’t practice, of course, because this was Florida.  The whole place is one big strip mall parking lot.  I never parallel parked again til I moved to Chicago.  I wanted to live in Chicago and there is precious little parking here and if I wanted to conquer this whole living-in-the-city thing, I would have to parallel park.  And it was scary and I sucked at first and I bumped more than a few bumpers.  But I am now a boss.  And it feels great every time.  Seriously.  Every. Single. Time.

I will conquer those fucking curtains and, when I do, I will gain a whole lot more than protection from all this relentless sunshine.  And then, once they're hung,  I’ll push them back and make the choice to let the sunshine in.  Cause it’s my damn condo.  Just mine.  And I can do what I please.

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  • fb_avatar

    Amazingly witty column. Embrace the wall anchors and hang those curtains.

  • fb_avatar

    LOVE IT! That made me smile. I know you're badass at parallel parking. That is one feat I must conquer, but I am pretty awesome with the drill :-)

  • In reply to Jennifer Martin:

    Together we're perfect.

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