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April 10, 2013
We are re-building our house in the aftermath of Sandy. We hired a decorator, trying hard to reprise one of those reality TV shows on cable out-channels where the pros come in and do a “makeover.”
What I have learned: apparently all decorators own small, obnoxiously cute, barking dogs. Ours asked to be referred to as an “interior dramatist,” which I took to be a bad sign, particularly when she kept referring to an event known as “teardown month.” After taking one look at my office she told me my taste was “brave.”
It went downhill from there.
She charged $300 for a piece of driftwood, and when I asked where she found it she refused to tell me, calling it “provenance.” I got tired of her speaking style, which was really nothing more than bulletins: “Attention, everyone! The voile has arrived!” My one suggestion was met with this comment: “I’m not in the indulgence business.”
She billed us daily, charging travel in an odd way – not door-to-door or gasoline fill-up to gasoline fill-up, but pajama-to-pajama. My wife had installed some window shades, which she pulled down in an over-the-top, histrionic display of emotion and activity that any soap opera actress would admire, screaming, “Less! Less! Less!”
Yesterday we were to meet to pick out everything for the kitchen. She didn’t show up, and when I called she said, “I can’t do a thing today! I’m sconcing!” I asked here what that meant, and she wailed and then hung up. I pictured her sobbing and using the dog as a hankie to wipe away the tears, which is probably the definition of “sconcing.”
I’m in Brainerd, Minnesota, this Saturday night (there will be one other activity in town this April 13: snow!) and I’m in St. Charles, Illinois, Sunday night at the Arcada Theater. COME ON OUT TO THE SHOW!