Because all experiences are valuable.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

All The World Is Staged

Well, I've had a tough couple of days. The still nagging dizziness doesn't help, but I soldier on.

I had no idea, none at all, how starting this simple blog would affect my life. I wasn't prepared for people's comments that were unhelpful and unfriendly. I wasn't ready for the public, I guess. That is totally my mistake. All my friends from facebook and my google followers have been awesome and so supportive. But I get comments via email from other sources, some of which were just mean.

It doesn't really matter. I know that. It's just yet another example of how naive I often am. I know you have to have thick skin. I just don't want to lose the wide-eyed things that make me...me.

Many years ago, a homebuilder hired me to decorate a townhouse he wanted to sell. He loved the way I had decorated my own home. He gave me a small budget and a short deadline. There was to be an open house in two weeks. By today's usage, I should say he hired me to "stage" the place. That word wasn't very well known back then. I worked very hard, and finished on time. The few friends I took by to see it thought it was attractive and well done. Sure, that isn't exactly a real sample.But I was young, and most importantly, I never claimed to be a decorator, or a professional designer. He came into my home and asked for my services.

The night I finished I had a nightmare that I went over and the whole townhouse, everything I had done, had been trashed, torn up, mismatched. I couldn't wake up. I was in shock in the dream. It was awful. The next day I went over to turn in the key and be paid for my work and reimbursed for my receipts. I went to change out one small rug in the kitchen, and my nightmare became truth. A realtor had come in and told the builder that she didn't like the decor. He was in a panic to sell the place. Instead of calling me and asking me possibly to meet with the realtor and maybe make some adaptations to her suggestions...discuss with her why I made the choices I did, he just let the realtor "have at it." It was godawful. It was hideous. Really. I took same friends to see changes, when I could see straight. They were all shocked. Even Jason, my ex, was shocked. It made no sense. Complete garble with no design aesthetics.

I guess if there is a slight tinge of Schadenfreude here, it is that the row of townhomes which I had decorated the model for, never sold. He actually defaulted on the loans on those properties. That isn't good for anyone, but I admit it did give me a smile. All I wanted was to do a good job. The most disappointing thing was that not a single potential buyer ever saw the townhome as I had staged it. Maybe it would have sold the others. Maybe not. But we will never know. I can guarantee he would have had a better chance with my design than what was shown to the public.

After that, I swore never to decorate for money again. Or really to sell my vision like that again. I just have no defense; I get too personally involved. I made five hundred dollars. I should have just walked away saying, "It's his money, whatever." But it hurt anyway. So, I learned something.

This is my blog. This is my vision; this is me. If I don't quote something just right, if someone doesn't agree with me, they are welcome to differ. But I'm not going to make any vows again not to put myself out there. Someone even suggested to me that I should stop blogging. And I understood their reasoning- personal diaries on the web invite trouble, it was said.

I wasn't ready for the trouble. But this time I'm not working for anyone else. It's my house, and I have the only key. Thank you for being my guests.


  1. I will never agree with a person who asks an another person not to share their own views and make their vision clear to others. I think it's a shame that you have been approached in such an unpleasant manner, but then, I also think you're handling it well.

    I can say, from the experience of having my art picked apart and insulted (which is different from having it critiqued), the sting disappears after awhile. Just keep writing, and those of us who really do appreciate it will keep reading, I promise.

  2. I have a good friend that often says, "your opinion of me is none of my business," and really, I couldn't agree more. Everyone can say what they will, but in the end, no one's opinion matters but your own. You have to feel good about what you write and if you spent time considering how others would feel about it then you aren't really expressing yourself at all. I may not always agree with you, but I do always respect and enjoy your point of view.

  3. I just found your blog today and had to say good for you in staying true to yourself. I also struggle with what others think and say about me - to my face or behind my back. If you know your path is right for you, then how dare anyone else tell you otherwise! Best Wishes!