Well, here it is — the day after payday. Just barely, really, since it’s only 5:45 in the morning. Woke up around 4 a.m. and decided to make a run down to Wal-Mart while everyone else was still in bed. Plenty of parking right up front, no crowds inside — just lots of pallets and pallet jacks and the stocking crew. All I needed was detergent, fabric softener, kitty litter and dog food. That doesn’t sound like 140 bucks’ worth of stuff, does it?
I’ll be hanging the new curtains in the living room window where I’m parked most of the time when I’m here. The old curtains are — are you ready for this? — the same ones my sister-in-law made for me when I bought the house fifteen years ago. They’ve held up remarkably well. I paid for the fabric, and my brother’s very capable wife applied her talents and presented me with custom-fit drapes for every window in the living room (there are two singles looking out on the side yard in addition to the two front windows I just described), the kitchen, and the “third bedroom” through which I pass on my way in and out the back door. Sister-in-law accompanied me on several outings to fabric stores in a number of locations. I’d never been to one, whereas sister-in-law always knew of another store we could try after the previous one had yet again failed to reveal the answer to the simple question, “Who am I?”
Who would have thought that a task as mundane as choosing fabric for curtains would entail such profundity? I meandered aimlessly down row after row of fabric bolts, grappling with the realization that I was a thirty-eight-year-old woman whose personal environment reflected an oddly meager level of expectations. The objects with which an individual is content to be surrounded speak to what that individual believes he or she is worthy of possessing. Introversion is its own punishment, isn’t it? When I finally – finally! – found a fabric that spoke to me, I was overjoyed. But later, as I contemplated my selection, it spoke to me of this perceived defect. The fabric is very similar to unbleached muslin — just a little less coarse. Not transparent, but sheer enough to light up when sunlit. I’ve always been pleased with its appearance, but the insight still applies.
Oh, and the new curtains are a nice neutral beige color. Just a little darker and a little less sheer; I have become somewhat more self-conscious about what is visible from the outside at night and I’m hoping the new curtains will make it a little more difficult to see inside. (New curtains, new metaphor.)