19 June 2009

Amanda Talks About Why She is Still Talking About Painting

(no quick takes today, I felt like posting this instead.... such the rule breaker am I)

I've spent an insane amount of time obsessing over paint colors. I've consulted, FB chatted and twittered about it with more people than I can to honestly admit. I skipped nap last Saturday because I purchased one of those decorator magazines from Publix, skimmed through it briefly, salivated on all pages between 12 and 46, and then entered a short panic which caused me to pace my house, pointing out the things I wish I could change.

Then, I called my mom, who is good at this stuff. During our conversation, she managed to find a paint color that I do love (but haven't tried it on my walls, yet), how to make sure I am decorating correctly AND pointed out that some HOW, some WAY I did not, indeed, inherit this Interior Design Gene that every OTHER person in my family seems to possess.

It took all weekend to figure out two things wrong with this whole Amanda Picks A Paint Color Dilemma.

One: I can't determine my order in a Sonic drive-in. I have difficulties with which socks I should wear, even when it is very obvious that no one will see them. I'd rather write you a NOVEL than take a multiple choice test - I am being dead serious. In short - I'm very indecisive.

In school, I'd fail miserably (ok, not FAIL fail, but "not do so hot" fail) at multiple choice tests. There's just so many ..... choices! I could get to the "best two" thing, and in higher level courses "best 3", but when it came to penciling in that lettered bubble, I would choke. What if I chose the wrong one? I'd strike the two non-answers and then freeze.

Completely freeze.

I just couldn't make a decision. What if one looks so right, but the other is MORE right, and I didn't choose it because it's all a big trick? What if BOTH were right, and I could only choose one... so which one was MORE right? Is MORE right even possible?

Unfortunately, my life and my house are not and can not be an essay answer. I can't just churn out a paper about which color I like and how I think I'd love a custom-made toile print headboard for the master bed. I can't write 2,500 words on "what art needs to be purchased or made and hung in the kitchen/dining room/playroom". No novella will make me finally edit my pictures in photoshop, put them in their respective frames and hang them because a novella would not CHOOSE the pictures that NEED to be editing, printed and hung. I will never get those drapes for the dining room.

Then, there's this other problem.

It doesn't bother me, but it hinders me.

Problem number two: I have never lived in any place longer than close to 5 years - my ENTIRE life (and only ONE of those houses, I believe, I actually lived in for 5 years). It's no big deal to me, really, my parents were just moving into bigger houses every few years. The house they had when I was born soon became a house in an area that didn't have a good school system. So, they built a new home in a growing community and soon realized that a community right down the road was better, and we moved, again..... and then we moved once more just to upgrade.

Then, my parents divorced, and we moved twice. It took a couple of years of my mother working her hiney off before we moved (again) into a house behind the high school. It was like being back in a comfortable place with that house, but sadly, I was due for a "life change" and 2 years later, moved out to begin college.

Throughout the last 7 years, I moved an additional 8 times. EIGHT. You read that right. For a grand total of moving somewhere in the 20+ range.

So, I've always lived like a hobo. I have a million packing secrets, and difficulties getting rid of boxes. My brain can't process hanging lots of pictures, or customizing my space because until now, no space has been permanent enough to do so.

In this house, with my young children, I know this is currently home. Painting a house, decorating it to be home, and giving it all the little touches that make 4-sides brick a place for a child to grow up in is simply not a concept I have come to terms with.

Painting this house makes it more solidified - I live here, but also, my children live here. We are not leaving for now (sigh). My house is telling me, screaming for me to put my print on this space and make it a home.

I am not good at decorating and hanging curtains and picking out furniture because until now, it's not something I've ever needed to do - not something I could do.

That's not to say I lack a creative gene, because my passion for editing written (typed) word could fill an ocean (or maybe a large lake...). I can tell you when a spread needs more white space. It's a no brainer for me to dictate how a font is incorrect and the third column needs to be moved 30 picas to the left. Those pictures need to bleed off the page, just so you know. But this other stuff? This stuff you live in - this stuff blows my mind.

Needless to say, that magazine was very overwhelming. Every page said "yummy" and "welcome home". My house, currently, says "HI! We LOVE chaos and Amanda can't match a print to a paint sample, and doesn't have a clue where this picture should really be". I unpacked my last box a few months back. I didn't hang curtains in the living room till I was 8 months pregnant with Chase. As of this Christmas, we will have lived here for 3 years.

And I know .... it's going to take time (and therapy) (and a personal decorator) (and some chocolate) (please send me wine)....

Hi, my name is Amanda (Hi, Amanda) .....and I'm a move-a-holic.


  1. My passion in life is INTERIOR DECORATING! Can I come over to your house and play!?!? ;) (for a small fee of course..haha JK!)

  2. I'm with you, though the first time I moved for real was when I got married at 24 (dorm room before that hence the "really"). I don't have the excuse you do, but I have the decision making disorder too. Took me forever to pick out the color for my bedroom and I knew that I wanted a dark blue...

    Anyhow... I can relate. I do best when I pick out a sample room in a magazine and go that direction - but I always struggle w/ furniture, too.

  3. I, too, have moved umpteen times in my life (just moved 2 weeks ago! for the 4th time in 2 years!), although it seems that I have not picked up on the same decorating problem that you have. I am the same girl that painted my bedroom every few years growing up, maybe to prepare myself for the look of a new place... who knows.

    My point is this: I can help... but you know that already.

  4. Saw you at the blog party over at Rachelle's blog. Had to come check out your blog. My family has moved 6 times in the 10 yrs. my husband and I have been married, so I could relate to this post. Besides, I really just wanted to be listed as a Sexy Beast! :D
    Happy Weekend!
    ~ Wendy

  5. ok, breathe, and repeat after me. I. Can. Re-paint. if. I . Hate. This. Color. lol
    it's not quite a life altering decision, just a costly one! G/L!
    DISCLAIMER: this comment comes from someone who has NEVER decorated without frogs and painted her unborn daughters nursery lime green, which I love! haha

  6. @Rachel - I pay in Dr. Pepper and fruit snacks.

    @A bunch of other people - Yeahhh... so...

    I'm talking about.. counting...
    7 different houses before I turned 13.

    Then, a few more moves...

    THEN college...and all THOSE moves... and THEN marriage, baby, relocating, baby, etc...

    You guys have moved as much as me? I thought I was alone!

    @Wendy - You are now, officially, a sexy beast. Congrats!

  7. You are not alone! I call myself a gypsie, after to long in one place I start to get antsy. This is our 4th place in 6 years. I've lived in California, Arizona, Arkansas, and New York. New York for the past 9 years in 6 different places.

    I can't wait to see what color you choose!

    ALSO!!! YOU HAVE A SONIC??!!! I am BEYOND jealous. We have the stupid commercials but the closest one is in New Jersey!

  8. @Tamara - We have SO MUCH TO DO when you "convince" your husband to move to The South. I will add Sonic to our list.

  9. Amanda! Make that a DIET dr. pepper and I'm ALL yours! ;)


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