Know your lines
We have one of those pink 40s bathrooms, which I love and hate at the same time. Though the tiles are beautiful, they're a weird shade of salmon pink that, in certain lights, can feel like you're living inside some 70s soft-porn telemovie set. And that, my friends, is not a place where you feel like brushing your teeth of a morning.
So I decided I was going to paint the walls. I don’t care that there are a million other things I could/ should be doing. Change is good.
When I told Mark my idea for the new decor he looked doubtful. Then he asked if I had been Yabba Dabba Dooed.
I should explain.
There are many notable landmarks in our area - by that I mean they're notable to Mark and me and probably nobody else - as they’re on the path of our regular dog walk.
There's “Dog Poo Alley” - an unpaved shortcut between two houses where people - some of them irresponsible - walk their dogs. ( Wandering through there in flipflops is the local equivalent of Russian Roulette. )
Then there's The Important People’s Residence - so called because the inhabitants always seem to be very very busy and heading somewhere to do something very very important. There’s the Breaking Bad house - something dodgy is going on in there. (Honestly who needs to black out all their windows? )
But my absolute favorite of them all is Yabba Dabba Doo corner, so called because the fence round the yard there is more than a little Flintstoney.
Now I don’t know the people who live there. I’ve never met them, yet I feel they are my spirit animals. Because in an area that is increasingly smart wooden picket fences or trimmed hedges or expensive iron work, these guys blatantly do not give a fuck. Not only have they erected a fence that looks like the kind of stonework you’d find round a castle, over Christmas they decided no Christmas light was too much - or too weird. They have freely and resolutely given up sophistication for happiness. And I am their fan.
So when Mark asked if I’d been Yabba Dabba Dooed, he meant had I allowed my fandom to take over.
I explained to him ( patiently, I thought) that the world has felt so bleak of late -I mean, jeez, January has been very Januaryish - and I want to push against it with a bit of cheery.
“There's so much I can't change, and I can dwell on that and allow it to piss me off. Or I can at least decide not to brush my teeth in a 70s porn set.” I said.
Mark remained unconvinced. So then I told him that it was only paint and if it turned out too mental, I could paint over it. He nodded, muttered something and headed off to his office, and I called after him that it really wasn’t that extreme.
And it wasn’t. I just wanted to do stripes. Big ones. Vertical. Black and white. That’s all.
Anyway, it took a bit of work and a couple of dozen rolls of masking tape, but it’s done, and I like it.
Mark says he’s glad I’m happy, though he does feel it’s like peeing in a circus.
“And that’s a marvellous thing, right?” I said.
Again, he muttered something and headed off to his office .
One day maybe I’ll invite all the neighbors round - apart from the Breaking Bad ones - and the Important People who'd be too busy to come anyway. And some of them may worry that I’ve lost my fricking mind. And they may well indeed be right. But the Yabba Dabba Doo neighbors will nod their approval - knowingly - and I will be completely thrilled.
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