I don't know if you've been paying attention to Marie's blog over the past little while (I certainly hope so - I don't see why I should be the only one who has to sit a written exam every month to demonstrate that yes, I have read every episode, and yes I have absorbed and taken to heart every word)!!
I can just feel my feminine side fighting its' way closer to the surface with each passing week!!
Well, just to remind you, she recounted the story of how, many, many years ago she designed a penthouse in the centre of Belfast, for a client. I actually remembered this - and she wasn't lying, it really was many, many years ago!!
I should probably take this opportunity to clear up any misapprehension you may be under concerning the photograph which she uses to introduce my little pieces - it is not very current, I'm afraid. I wouldn't like you all to think that all her genius styling tips (!) and all my literary masterpieces (!) come to you from a couple of 5 year olds!!
Anyway, her little piece reminded me of one of the scariest phrases known to mankind - "I don't know what I want, but I'll know it when I see it"!! Now, we chaps are allowed to use this phrase when we're dragged off on a soft-furnishing expedition, 'cos we're literally moving in uncharted waters there. Fortunately it doesn't happen too often, so we do have an excuse.
It does happen occasionally, though. You know the situation :- you desperately need a new pair of curtains and have decided if he comes along, then he can pay for them!! So you manage to convince him that his vote does count; and that you really value his opinion (yeah, right); and anyway, there's nothing on the telly this afternoon except synchronised swimming. So off you go, and of course he hasn't a clue what he's looking for, or where he's going to find it.
Secretly, of course, he's actually quite chuffed that you've finally realised and recognised his impeccable good taste, and he's really up for this!!
"I don't know what I want, but I'll know it when I see it". Dream on son - the decision was actually made weeks ago. All she's doing now is keeping tabs on your boredom threshold, and judging best when to deliver you into the right shop just before you start to think that maybe synchronised swimming isn't really as bad as people say it is!!
One little suggestion from her at this point happens to coincide exactly with what he was looking for all the time, and please can we go home now, please?? What do you mean, you've forgotten your purse?? Well, if I pay for the damn things, then can we go home??
That is pretty much the situation in which Marie's client found himself. How can he possibly make a logical, informed decision, before he's seen all the options?? Personally, I blame the designer for not being a mind-reader!!
Again, going back to Marie's article, she admits to suggesting a heady mix of taupes, beiges, chocolate browns and other assorted autumnal colours. Well, of course he's going to complain that it's all brown!! As far as we're concerned, that lot is all brown!! Colourwise, we just don't do subtle!!
In the longterm therefore, I think it's probably a lot safer if we let "you lot" do all the design work. If nothing else, when our chums call round, we can deny all responsibility, and just roll our eyes in your direction - "well, she likes it, so that'll keep her quiet for a wee while, at least!!"