I love this guest-blogging thing. “Oh, enough about me… what do you think about me?” And I didn’t have to write a word. But I’ve tried to. Attempting to write this @#&$*!@* story as a Book, it always begins in April’s Fancy Room. But after reading this piece, and her plan for our re-christening of the joint, my memories of that dark day are a bit brighter. What will make April cringe even more than my frequent references to her dreaded Parlor? Posting a photo of her! But I think everyone deserves to take in her physical beauty after nearly a year of witnessing her abundance of the inner kind.
In Britt’s eyes the worst day of it all begins in my living room, and as the 1st anniversary approaches (does something so dreadful merit that title?), I feel the need to exorcise my living room, both literally and figuratively. It all began in that damn room. I cringe every time I hear Britt talk about “April’s living room.” Lucky me. I get to live here, forever… or at least until the kids are done school and I can have my pied-á-terre in Paris. I cringe every time I hear Britt talk about the living room.
So, let me briefly describe this so-called “Living Room.” This warmly colored space is an unmistakably grownup room: muted Oriental rug, a kidney-shaped olive couch and gorgeous, 10-foot draperies. This room is for adults only; the velvet couches and antique curio cabinets do not lend themselves to knee hockey, which is often played in the adjacent playroom. The only time the children dare to relax in the living room is when they are playing the piano. While beautiful, this room is the farthest thing from a LIVING room.
My husband and his always-proper family often call this room The Parlor. So, in Bryan’s mind, we shouldn’t even have a parlor, until we need The Parlor. We have always joked that the first time we will really use The Parlor is when we gather for a wake or a funeral. How, then, is this a LIVING room? Well, let’s say we’ve had our wake– or rather our awakening– there. This awakening reminded us of what’s important and what’s precious in our lives: family, friendship, love, and hope.
So, let’s get rid of the Parlor and make it a real room for Living. That’s what this anniversary is about, and for me, the exorcism needs to begin now. I’m not sure I can throw out all of the furniture, rug, and curio cabinet, but we can LIVE in the room. Britt is LIVING, and that is a celebration. While that room was the stage for the beginning of a terrible year, I think we should re-enter this space with red wine and bubbles and celebrate. I want to relive the good memories of boat rides, bridge jumping, date night dinners, spontaneous trips to New Orleans, and purple leather jacket splurging. And I want to look forward to making new ones: maybe even Turks this spring? Forever more, my living room will be a reminder of the hard won reward of Living, of the attitude we adopt to focus on the joy of Living. And there’s no room for that kind of optimism in The Parlor.