Today I was transported back in time to the days when the first bloom of marriage has just worn off and the
protagonists partners, are just trying to assert themselves a bit to show they haven’t lost themselves totally. I remember going through it with Julia so well and in fairness I would have warned my son-in-law if I’d remembered that it’s a waste of time because men never win, but I forgot. Or at least I forgot for a while and then thought I might as well just shut up and enjoy the match.
Yvonne and Ugo have just moved to a new house. It’s larger than the last one and in need of a lot of decoration. Knowing how Yvonne decorated the last one before she and Ugo became a couple reminded me that she’s very good, except maybe when it”s not her property. I add that only to remind her that when she moved in with Julia and myself ‘for a few weeks’ some years ago, the visit ended up being for two years and meant the bedroom needed redecoration. OK, I admit she was a lot younger, but even so, you needed sunglasses to walk in there and she’s only done the parts she could reach. When she vacated we were left with a room that had day-glo crimson walls coupled with dark brown skirting boards and an off white border at the top which she hadn’t reached. It was a case of fait accomplis one day when I returned from work and my gaping mouth was quickly covered by Ju.
Notwithstanding that, her last house was elegant and very tasteful. I expect the same of this one though the signs were worrying. Not for me obviously as I don’t have to live with it. Bear in mind also that this new place has lounge, dining room, kitchen and 3 bedrooms, one of which ( the smallest) is to become Ugo’s study. It seems there were discussions last week about wallpaper for the lounge , Ugo listed the choices he liked and Yvonne bought the one she wanted which was not on his list. The soft furnishing will now be bought to match. Today was the turn of their bedroom. A new bed arrived last week, I’m afraid that choice may have been somewhat limited by budget as I was buying it as a housewarming gift. Yvonne made the final decision as to style and colour though. Today was shopping for a new quilt since Ugo is allergic to duck and down and needed a hypoallergenic one. Easy-peasy since no colour is involved. But with a new quilt comes pillows and bedding.
Walking round the shop looking at bedding was a treat. Ugo’s eyes and hands alighted on some which he raised with great hope asking ” How about this one”. Yvonne without actually shaking her head and tutting managed to convey that feeling nonetheless. Each one was put back until she found the ideal one is a shade of turquoise though she named it Teal. Ugo was ready to appeal to me and to L’il Mike who was at my side grinning. We both shrugged our shoulders in a ‘Don’t involve us’ kind of way and we watched him physically deflate. A momentary attempt at ” I’m not too sure about it” got him nowhere as she explained that it would match the proposed colour scheme exactly. He considered his next words carefully before swallowing them again. Sensible lad. We left the shop with the bedding and with a throw in a lime green shade also.
There’s work to be done on the room Ugo wanted as a study which it turned out wasn’t going to happen since that is the nursery. Since the baby to come is a boy Ugo was I’m sure contemplating a blue room with football wallpaper. It’s amazing how good he’s getting at hiding his disappointment. We also paid a visit to an old factory that houses a furniture warehouse. I knew what would happen there and tried to distract Ugo with talk of the man who used to play professional football for Poland who works there. ( Zbigniew you’re a gentleman and I appreciate your help in the past with putting things together). It didn’t last for long as he watched Yvonne check out the wardrobes and chests of drawers for the bedrooms, along with tables and chairs for the dining-room and a display cabinet for the lounge. For all the help we actually were, Mike and I might have well gone for coffee. Ugo could have joined us. Yvonne had perfectly valid reasons for rejecting his choices and for wanting wood rather than a laminate but he was starting to look despondent. Having been through a similar day or two with Ju I could have advised him, Mike also could have put in a word to the wise but we were both having too much fun to do so. We both saw the moment when he lost his tether and ask in a desperate voice if he was to have any say in how the house was done. We had to bite our tongues when she answered ” But of course dear, you can do your study.” The dear was said with such resignation that it spoke volumes, As if I’d trust a man to do this, and/or why don’t you go and look at a football magazine or something.”
I dare say Ugo will learn eventually that a man’s opinion as to decor is only sought as a sop to their pride since women know our limitations. Julia knew mine and I was a quick study in those days. A fair division of labour, she chose, I applied.