16 March 2006

Got Color?

I was looking at a stack of my knitting projects this morning and I think I may need to inject a little color. Perhaps the bleak days of Buffalo winter have gotten to me.

On my off-white couch which sits against an off-white wall and under a light tan piece of tin ceiling, I have two sweaters to be repaired, one beige and one cream. I also have the beginning of the Lara sweater (in ivory) that made it around the blogworld a few years ago and the winter sock pattern (in natural) at the beginning of the Magic Loop book.

And yes, my favorite ice cream is vanilla.

When I moved into this apartment, my landlord was planning to paint most of the rooms. (She really wanted me as a tenant, even called me after I looked at the place to offer to redo the ceilings in one room and strip ugly wallpaper in another. Sometimes living in a renters' market is pretty sweet.) She asked me if I wanted to choose any colors. "Off-white is nice. It's simple. I like simple."

I was as shocked as anyone to hear that line. My last apartment was all about color. I had a bright red dining room, a navy blue office, olive entryway. Every square inch was decorated and planned out. It was gorgeous, if I can brag a little, but time consuming. Things had to be dusted and I had a different look for each season. Displays had to be changed, pottery re-arranged, chandeliers washed once a month (yes, in Buffalo every apartment has chandeliers). Friends would tell me that it was like visiting a real home, for grown-ups. The problem is that life for grown-ups is complicated and hard. When I moved here a year ago I wanted life to be simple, focused, maybe even a little easy. So rather than sewing new slipcovers for my mismatched sofas (I'm not that much of a grown-up that I can buy real furniture), I ordered some cheap-o off-white puppies and called it a day. Granted, I still have TMS* syndrome and I'm slowly re-decorating as I unpack boxes of goodies (yes, I'm still unpacking after a year), but I still retreat to clean neutral colors when I get a little overwhelmed.

Don't worry, Buffalonians, I won't get into The Woman in White territory or anything.

For all our outside readers, there's this slightly crazy lady about town who dresses from head to toe in white. White clothes, white trash bags covering her shoes, some large white hat which resembles a meringue. The thing is, she looks spotless. No off-white about this chic, she's the real deal. And she walks the streets of Buffalo. It really must be magic. But some days she has this white bundle which she carries like a baby. That's when she's more sad than scary.

So don't be alarmed. I'll be sure to dig in the stash for some bright pink yarn just to make sure I'm not heading completely off the deep end. (Did you notice that I said I'd look in the stash for yarn rather than heading to the store to buy some?)

*Too Much Shit Syndrome. It's both genetic and contagious. Consider yourself warned. Spend any time with me or my family and you'll end up hoarding craft supplies, sweaters from ten years ago, and furniture of all shapes and sizes. I could invite every single friend over and offer every person his or her own end table for cocktail storage. Come to Leslie's and you not only get your own coaster, but your own table to sit it on. You can't walk through her apartment, but you can rest your glass in style. TMS... it's not a good thing.

On a happy note, I've made peace with my new espresso machine and we're frothing like crazy now. I can stay in my off-white apartment and drink from my brown coffee mug. Maybe tonight I'll bust out those pink cocktails again, just to be festive.

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