Friday, October 5, 2007

The Color Grey and Tasseled Pillows

I have noticed I am wearing a lot of grey lately. Gray, connotatively speaking, is said to evoke stability, professionalism, and boredom. Yuk. Plus, I have been sick.
But--I did buy some amazing pillows for the new (ok- they are hand-me-downs from my mom, but I still consider them new) couches we just got. And the pillows are not grey.
I had so much fun picking them out at Steinmart. I left Ethan with Lillian and had one of the better shopping days of my life since I have been married--partly because I was alone and had NO time-limit, partly because I was not shopping for anything that needed to fit my body, and mostly because Grammie and Papa just gave us some money to play with. I was high with happiness.
Steinmart has one of the best pillow selections in town. I took note of this over a year ago when I just happened to be passing through, and the second I knew I would be inheriting my mom's couch set a little neon flashing sign went up in my mind: Steinmart, Steinmart.
I walked right to the back of the store where they have shelves upon shelves of pillows, all the way up to their twenty-something foot ceiling, all arranged by colors: reds, golds, blacks, browns, blues.
I have been wanting to pull in these beautiful, oceany greens and blues into my decor, which for the past four years had been mostly olive greens, goldy yellows, and deep reds. By getting rid of the pervasive olive green color of my old couch now was the perfect opportunity to start bring in the new lighter blues and greens.
So I went to the blue/green section. At first I tried to be considerate, pulling out just one pillow at a time, then putting it back if I decided I didn't like it. But after I had two pillows that were possibilities, this tactic didn't work so well anymore. I needed free hands to search for more pillows. So I put my potential pillows on the floor, propping them up together.
I noticed this was a great way to see if the pillows looked good together. So, I pretended like I was some interior designer who could do things like this and I began pulling out any pillow that caught my eye and arranging it casually in my now fastly growing pile of pillows.
The more pillows I threw on my pile the more confident I became. I analyzed textures and colors and fringe. I put back pillows that I knew wouldn't work. At one point there was a pillow way at the top of those twenty-foot shelves that I thought would work beautifully. I asked the first salesman I saw, "Could you help me? I'd like to see one of those pillows. Yes, way up there on the top. The blueish one with the ribbing on it." He had to roll out this incredibly tall latter and climb up. He reached down to give me the pillow. "Thank you," I said, but even as I said it I knew holding the pillow it was not going to work. The color was too dark, the fabric shiny and cheap looking. I took it anyways, but after the salesman disappeared I put it back on a lower shelf.
At one point a grandma looking woman walked by and looked at my pillow collection. I felt proud. I know she was probably thinking, "What is that girl doing?" but I imagined her thinking, "My goodness! What a wonderful combination of color and texture! I wish I would have found those pillows myself!"
After I had a good fifteen or so pillows to choose from I realised I needed a cart. I left my work of art and walked to the front of the store. I walked as fast as I could and grabbed the first cart I saw.
It was the cart you never want, the cart the makes horrible squeaking and creaking noises that are magnified on the tile floor. But I couldn't turn back and get a new cart; my pillows were all alone and someone might snatch them up.
Which is exactly what I thought someone did because when I got back to my area my pillows were gone. Not one of them was on the floor.
Huh, I thought. I was upset and at the same time honored that someone would take my selected pillows, because they looked so darn good together.
Then I saw one on the shelf. Oh good, I thought. They didn't take all of them. Then I saw another. And another.
Yep, they were all there. I felt a little silly for thinking someone would be so thrilled with my pillows and at the same time annoyed at the sales person who put away all my hard work.

I bought way too many pillows. Two-hundred and something dollars worth. I also bought a large vase that I can't decided if it is really pretty or really ugly. And, a pair of dragon fly bookends. Both are the blueish color of most of the pillows I bought. I justified buying them because I needed something else in the room to tie the pillows in with.
Joey helped me carry in all the bags; there was a lot. And they were big bags.
"These are all pillows?" Joey has this thing with pillows. He hates them. Every time I have bought pillows in our four years together, (let me see, one, two, three, four...ok, maybe there has been a lot of times...five, six-yikes!) he ends up giving me very disapproving looks. He considers them a colossal waste of money. Also, he sits down on the couch and throws them on the floor, because the couch is more comfortable without them.
I rushed to my rescue. "Yes-they-are-all-pillows-but-I-don't-intend-to-keep-them-all-I-bought-more-than-we-needed-because-pillows-are-tricky-and-I-had-to-try-different-ones." I took a deep breath.
"So you are going to take some back?"
"Yes, of course." I wasn't sure of this when I bought all of them but as we entered the house with the big creamy bags I began to quickly realise that I had indeed bought far too many pillows to ever look good on the couch.
I rearranged the pillows on the couch in all sorts of ways but the way that looked the best was pretty easy to see. The biggest pillows I bought, the ones I was most sure would look the best, looked gody and foo-foo. The two dark brown pillows I thought I wouldn't use but I bought them because I liked them, just in case, looked fabulous together on the love seat. The couch was harder, but eventually I decided to go with two old pillows I already owned and two longer but shorter blue/green pillows with tassels.
Joey doesn't like the tassels.
In fact, I am not sure I do either, but there is a part of me, hiding under that grey, boring part, that wants me to keep them. It's flare and a kind of old lady way.
I took the four pillows I didn't use back and they credited almost eighty dollars to our VISA. Few! I remember the first time I bought pillows for our couch at married student housing. I spent thirty dollars at Wal-mart for three pillows and felt guilty about it until about yesterday.
I am still not sure the blueish pillows look right. But they are growing on me. And besides, I can't take them back, because then I would have to return that vase, and those dragonfly bookends....and I have always wanted bookends. Especially in that bluey color.

1 comment:

Emery Jo said...

I am the EXACT same way with pillows. I love them so so much, and I look at them every time I go to a store. I've only bought a few since we've been married, but I always feel guilty about the money too for some reason. Why is that?