Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Time to Turn Off HGTV

I'm all in a dither trying to get our condo market-ready. My latest frustration? Stainless steel appliances. I've been watching way too much HGTV, and now I feel like my kitchen is hopelessly outmoded and will never sell unless we splurge $3000 or so replacing perfectly good appliances with that brushed metal that sets buyers' hearts a-flutter.

Learning that another condo for sale in my complex has all-new stainless steel appliances has me practically in panic mode.

Do you know what really ticks me off about it all? It's not the money. It's knowing that my current set-up is the superior design. In a small galley kitchen, it's best to match cabinets and appliances (in our case, all cream) to create the illusion of space. Chopping up the field with silver blocks will break that trick of the eye. Not only will the kitchen seem smaller, but it will be a little more "busy" and a little less streamlined.

Will the average Jane care how small the kitchen seems, or will she just be thrilled to see Stainless Steel Appliances? I'm really not sure what I'll do.

Meanwhile, I wonder how long this modern metallic look will be "in." Thirty years ago, people were covering their hardwood floors with wall-to-wall carpet and tiling their bathrooms in green.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

My First Annual Christmas-Decorations-Gone-Up Rant

I saw it today: the first Christmas decorations going up in the village near my home. Can't we even have Thanksgiving?

It's not the shameless commercialism that bothers me. It's knowing that this is just a small representation of a large problem: our inability to wait.

Once upon a time, before shopping malls dictated our holy day celebrations, Christmas began on... Christmas... and lasted 12 days (you know, like the song). Good Episcopalian that I am, I will wait until Christmas Eve to decorate my tree. And I simply will not bring a tree into my home before the 4th Sunday of Advent.

Yes, Advent, that season of waiting which was lost about fifty years ago. Waiting for the coming of Christ-- retrospectively for his birth, expectantly for his earthly return. That season throughout December in which we don't sing Christmas hymns but rather songs of longing: O Come, O Come Emmanuel.

It's a lost art, this waiting thing. We can't wait for our possessions, so we buy on credit. We can't wait for marriage, so we satisfy our physical and emotional desires with mate of the moment. We can't wait for dinner, so we break into the potato chips.

(These days, I can't wait for my toddler to walk from the front door to the car without feeling like I'm going to blow. Why does he have to stand still every time he sees something, tell me what it is, stand there another full minute, then take three steps and repeat the whole thing with a new object? Why? Tell me, why?)

When I see garland with a red velvet bow in mid-November, all I see is the restlessness of a culture that no longer appreciates the joy of anticipation.

If we cannot wait for Christmas, how are we to wait for Christ?