19 April, 2011

"herbert, the purple chesterfield would look simply LOVELY in this space, dontcha think?"

yes, we've been shopping for a new monkey home and we are demoralised, overwhelmed, tired, and rather disappointed with ourselves.

having looked at countless (ok, 6) new condos, we have noticed a disturbing trend or two: first of all, the dining area is gone. no longer are you allowed to sit with your friends and family* at a table to partake of the lord's bounty in the form of kraft dinner doctored with some louisiana hot sauce. nay, from hencewith (forthwith? henceforth? what?) you shall dine, north american style, perched half-assed atop a bar stool at your breakfast bar. if you should crave the company of someone other than your spouse, you shall have your dinners on your laps, on the couch, eyes dully staring at the large screen tv, precluding any kind of conversation. your kitchen will be shiny, new and will remain virginal. damn it, that's why god invented mcdonald's. (or so it seems).

second of all, no matter how large (or, more likely, small) a place is, it is made that much smaller by the inadvertent mosaic of floorings. look! in the living room! wood! or a (more or less) reasonable facsimile thereof! look! in the foyer and kitchen! tile! and look! in the bedrooms! carpet! oh yes! sometimes even shag! because north americans are apparently morally opposed to the cold hard reality of a hardwood floor first thing in the morning and are more than happy to alleviate this with dust mites, allergens and filth! because area rugs are of the devil! (or so it seems).

last night, we saw two condos in a building that boggles the mind. unlike some, where a vegas style theme is created with little concern for taste or quality (i'm looking at you, venetian), this place was shiny and cool and tasteful (bits of it were covered in the kind of wallpaper i imagine adorns god's lounge - i could not stop fondling it fondly). there was marble where there ought to be marble**, there was subtle play of light and dark, there was a shiny glass elevator, there were gleaming expanses of things that gleam. in a word: wow.

our reaction to it, although initially one of awe and desire, soon gave way to a strange mix of guilt and unworthiness: imagine the heady mix of catholic guilt, middle class guilt*** and minimal-footprint guilt, layered with a pervasive sense of fiscal responsibility that makes us think and rethink and re-rethink every single solitary purchase until it becomes easier to just walk away (blame the immigrant experience for that, methinks). yes, perhaps it's a tad too much, perhaps the courtyard with the (very tasteful) fake palm-trees and the gentle murmur of the (very real) indoor fountain aren't really us. i'm fine with that. but why in the hell do we feel like we need to live in a hole? is it our hard assed reaction to the overwhelming consumerist message of "you deserve it!"? or are we really just closet hair-shirt self-flagellating types?

*perhaps it is assumed that condo dwellers are either the forgotten elderly (looming death!) or the carefree gay (eternal damnation!) and thus have no friends or family, and subsist on packets of crisps and bourbon.

**tastefully done, i assure you.

***upon coming home, mr. monkey even made a weak reference to "the children in africa" at which point i kicked him and told him that even this, our humble temporary lodgings, rotting floors and all, would be like balm to the sun scorched "children in africa" and not to be stupid.


crusty juggler said...

That Venetian "luxury" condo is a revolting mess of styles. It's a monster. There's nothing right about it. As to the place with the sexy wallpaper and well-placed marble, do it do it do it! Unless the money you could use on a nice home was initially intended to go to the "children in Africa," fuck guilt.

Alison Cross said...

ah babes - the right place will come up for you. What you want is somewhere that feels like yours that you can transform into YOUR version of God's Lounge.

We have a dining room. But sonshine and I keep moving a wee cheap IKEA table into the kitchen to eat together when Tartarus is away. When he comes home, he moves the table out and we have to sit in the dining room *snobby bastard face*

Ali x

the polish chick said...

but see, ali, we aren't looking for a formal dining room. all i'm looking for is room to put in a dining room table. merely a spot to sit and eat, which, apart from the bar stools at the counter, is something that only millionaires can afford these days. a kitchen with room enough for a wee ikea table doesn't even enter into the conversation - waaaay too small!

Lucy said...

I think that reaction comes a bit from looking at a lot of crap. Something in you inures itself to the idea that this is all there is and/or all you deserve, so when something better shimmers into view like an oasis to a weary Bedouin, there's a reaction which says, you shouldn't really have this.

Generally, and I've done enough of it, living in a hole means living in a poverty trap, you end up spending more fruitlessly.

French people don't really feel comfortable unless they have a table to sit at; comfy sitting areas here are as neglected and redundant as dining rooms elsewhere in the world.

Joan said...

If you don't think you deserve the nice condo now, then when?? Get your head out of the poverty hole and believe you deserve it if you can afford it!

the polish chick said...

joanie-dude, you are right! it's this immigrant mentality, methinks, always worried about the moola.

still, i think all of that opulence wasn't us. we've made a different decision and i'll tell you all about it when the time is right.