My long suffering husband, Mitch, is no wimp. He’s not afraid of too many things in this world. I’ve seen him stand his ground among men a lot bigger and stronger than he is and come out ahead. In his youth his father taught him to box in order to fight back against school bullies, something he’s carried over into his adulthood. But there is one thing he is terrified of, me. I can instill terror and panic in Mitch in less than two minutes flat. I know that’s bold statement but I can prove it.
Last Saturday I had him take me to Nebraska Furniture Mart to buy a couple of accent chairs for the living room. He didn’t really want to go, you know how exciting furniture shopping is to a man, but nevertheless he went. As we were walking into the building he commented, “So we’re going to get a couple of chairs to match the couch?” (Mitch likes everything to match, coffee table and end tables alike, sofa, loveseat and matching chair, you get the picture)
I shook my head and said, “No, I have something else in mind. The room would be very drab all the same color, no I want some punch in the room. You know, I want something with a bold pattern and some contrasting colors.” He turned and looked at me, eyes a little wider, like someone who’d just been told they had cancer.
“Colors, patterns, what colors and how big a pattern?” This while his left eye started to twitch.
I said, “Oh I don’t know, maybe red or orange, something bold. I’ll know it when I see it.” The twitch got more pronounced. Then I said, “I was thinking of buying two different chairs not a matching set. Something to give the room more punch.” His eyes widen and he sucked in his breath trying to picture the unbalanced room in his mind’s eye. It wasn’t a pretty sight.
As we wandered around looking at the variety of chairs, Mitch kept trying to get me to look at brown or beige chairs and I pointed out all of the chairs with wonderful patterns and colors other than brown or beige. He would sit in the ones I would point to and say how uncomfortable they were, like he would ever sit in it anyway. I found one chair that was a sort of barrel shape and had very large red and brown circles covering the chair. Mitch looked at it and I could swear he sort of clutched his chest and looked skyward as if to say, “Look out Martha this is the big one! I’m coming home!”
He said, “Do you really like this?”
I said, “Not especially, I just want to see you flinch.”
About an hour later I finally found a chair that I really liked. It was a cream colored fabric with red and brown and black writing all over the chair, almost like old envelopes and cancelled postage stamps. It had a low back and sloping arm rests, the perfect size. I could see that Mitch wasn’t sold on it, so I decided that I would look around a bit more and found another chair that was also cream colored with dark brown butterflies stamped all over it and proclaimed this was the one. Given the choice of either butterflies or antique writing, he went with the antique writing. Butterflies was just way over the top for him, I think it would have given him nightmares.
When I suggested that we buy both, Mitch was convinced that the room wasn’t large enough for two chairs. Funny, if I was going to buy matching solid color chairs, there was enough for two, but two different chairs were way too big for the room. In order to not send him to the hospital with a coronary I found a round ottoman that I liked and bought it to go in the room with the chair. This way, I have one chair and the ottoman can be used another place to sit. Genius.
Poor Mitch, what he has to put up with.