April 17, 2024

Decorating Differences Between the Sexes

If ever there was an area in which guys and girls are different, it’s decorating! Women were born to decorate room after room after room in their houses and to talk about it incessantly with their girlfriends. Guys were born to pay for all the decorating the women want to do and to keep their mouths shut about it or at most murmur an occasional, “Yes, dear.”

This tradition has been in place since the creation of men and women. Way back in the days of the cave men, the wife would go out and find just the right shade of green moss to decorate the walls of the cave. When she brought it home and showed it to her husband, he was expected to heartily approve and agree to pay the moss grower’s bill.

If he offered any input or critique of her choice, he would soon realize that he had sentenced himself to weeks of mental torture. Thus it has evolved that when men and women live together, it’s the woman who does the decorating and it’s the man who has to either like it or put up with it.

Recently, I was in a house that had been decorated by a wife who was clearly out of control. Every square inch of space on the walls was covered with pictures of flowers or cherubs holding flowers or angels spreading flowers or kids sleeping in patches of flowers or gardeners planting flowers.

Bouquets of fake flowers overloaded every table and even the seats of some of the chairs. The dining room table was festooned with flowers. The kitchen table featured a huge centerpiece of flowers. There were flowers hiding in corners, flowers dripping from the stairway, even flowers trying to crawl out from under the basement door.

Then came the porcelain figurines. There were dancing ladies and gentlemen; cute little kids fishing and playing tag; horses, ducks, chickens, birds, fuzzy kittens, little puppies, butterflies, ladybugs, fairy godmothers, wide-eyed street urchins, allegorical figures, unicorns, clowns, butlers, piglets and even a caricature of W.C. Fields. It was enough to make you toss your cookies.

The best way to compare decorating styles of men and women is to study the habits of people who live alone. Only in this situation can a person’s true creative juices flow freely, as there is nobody else to interfere with the person’s tastes. We all know what homes decorated by women look like – we see them all the time. What’s especially revealing is to visit the home of a bachelor.

I have a friend who lives alone and tries his best to not live up to anybody else’s expectations. His decorating scheme can best be described as “ultra casual.” Another way to describe this is to say his style “evolved,” which is a euphemism for “it just happened that way.”

One of his proudest decorating achievements is the pyramid of empty pizza boxes in the living room right next to the recliner. On the other side of this well-worn chair is a tribute to the aluminum producers of America in the form of a giant pile of empty beer cans.

Every available horizontal surface in my friend’s house is devoted to his dust collection. It’s now several years old and rivals anything I’ve ever seen. In the bedroom is the remarkable “dirty laundry free-form sculpture” that he’s been working on all year. The spare room is decorated with old engine parts and empty potato chip bags. His bathroom contains one of the finest specimens of dried toothpaste art this side of the Mississippi. His kitchen has recently received an official “hazardous waste site” designation.

Don’t think this stuff happens by itself! Results like this take years of time and neglect. The result is a place where a guy can feel at home. A place where he can relax and not always be afraid of breaking or soiling some dumb little thing. A place a guy can hide from too many FLOWERS!

See ya around,


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