Wednesday, April 6, 2011

In-Law Interior Designs

In Chinese tradition, a man’s parents give him and his new bride a home to make as their own. It is quite nice having a home that, all in all, isn’t too bad and that we can live in rent free. My in-laws are indeed very generous people. One thing I wished they had been stingy about though was their decorations. How I wish they’d taken some of these items with them the day I moved here! Some aren’t too horrible though they are not my style, like the giant red Chinese wall hangings, but those I will tolerate since I’ve married into a Chinese family. However, in regards to the other stuff, my husband and I have been replacing it with things that are more our taste, but it’s a slow process. From my earlier posts, you may recall atrocities like the hideous 70’s style curtain and the ridiculous open wall to our bedroom. Well, here are some more of the awful items we’re working on giving the old heave ho:

Ahoy there, mateys! Time to swab the deck! Why oh why do they have a cheap framed portrait of a ship at sea? It seems better suited to grace the walls of a seafood restaurant, not our home. But either my MIL or FIL (likely my FIL) thought this was a fitting picture to hang right above the bed. Thar it blows…it totally blows having something this lame in our bedroom!

Oooh! And what have we here? A tea party with flowers and a side of strawberries? Oh God, this reeks of my MIL. She loves flowers and she loves tea. And she loves picking the ugliest of things. Did they go to a store together and each choose a tacky picture to hang in the bedroom? I can only imagine: “Fine, you can have that boring boat picture if I can have this tea party with flowers.” This one is on the opposite wall from the head of our bed so every night when we go to sleep and every morning when we wake, we have to see this shiteous masterpiece.

And of course, MORE fucking flowers! This is in our living room/dining room area. I’m not sure what the Chinese stands for, but if I had to guess it would likely say, “Please kill me. I am being forced to look at more stupid fucking flowers.” I’d tolerate this entry in the MIL museum if the frame wasn’t cheap plastic and they actually had glass covering it. But no. What you see is a plastic frame holding plastic wrap atop this damned thing. Barf!

I should point out that when my in-laws bought and designed this place, my husband was starting college. So he was basically using the small room we now have prepared for the baby as his room when he’d come visit. He was, essentially, a grown up. That is why this foam switch plate covering in the living room confuses the hell out of me. For one thing, it is just dreadful. An orange and yellow dog? It seems to be a terribly tacky decoration for a CHILD’S room! And for another, when they repainted the house, they obviously didn’t bother to cover this stupid thing up. Why, then, is it still here? Because I am truly afraid that, with the way things are put together here, if I just casually rip it off the wall, I will rip off a chunk of wall underneath it or, worse, pull out a wire. I would not be surprised in the slightest if there were a gaping hole underneath that dog and perhaps this is the reason why it is there. No, better to let my husband do this so I can’t be blamed for breaking it.

We have a ton of plates in this house. It is something my husband and I have discussed changing because we want a new pattern that is of our style. My husband had told me that another Chinese tradition is to get a new set of plates each year. This surely explains why we have so many different plates in so many different patterns. Most of them, as you would be correct to assume, have flower patterns on them. What a surprise, no? They aren’t too awful, certainly not revolting enough to make my gallery here. But this one with the bear totally wins. I mean, What. The. Fuck. There, I’ve said it. This has to be the absolute worst dish pattern in the history of the world. A bear eating honey and holding a mug with a bear on it in the center of the bowl and (the same bear?) fishing on the sides. This dish bothers me more than any of the other patterns present in our cabinet of dishes. And when MIL comes over and cooks, she loves to dig out this cursed thing to serve whatever she’s cooked in it, thus thrusting me into the ultimate state of annoyance.

Here is a close-up of the flower patterned throw pillows on the couch that were featured in previous posts. Nothing says, “to Grandma’s house we go” quite like this pattern. Fortunately, the good news is that my husband is completely on board with buying some new pillow covers. A small victory!

“Death by Flowers” is what this sheet pattern should be called. Or I’d settle for “Flower Overdose” as well.  Every extra sheet in this fucking house has flowers on it. My poor FIL probably just chose to pick his battles and endure my MIL’s flower fixation. Or perhaps this is payback for that stupid ship painting in our bedroom. Either way, my MIL suggested that if we didn’t like the grandma flower-vomit pattern on our bed (see previous photos…we have since removed that comforter and replaced it with a much more suitable one) we should use this one. IT STILL HAS FUCKING FLOWERS ALL OVER IT! I like REAL flowers. You know, in a vase on my table. Not flower patterns. My husband and I are in our 30’s not our 90’s. Ugh!

If this were anyone else’s home, I’d be laughing right now. But because it’s my house and this flower shit seems to multiply like something out of Stephen King’s novels, it’s not as funny to me as I bet it is to you. This one is perhaps the most troubling of all the decorations. Why? Well, because my MIL’s younger sister made it for my husband and me as a wedding present. Before I could think of something clever to distract them, they were already nailing it to the wall in the living room. I absolutely loathe this needle point flower disaster. She doesn’t come over often so we could technically sneak it down and replace it with something, anything really, as long as it doesn’t have a single flower on it. But if we do, MIL will inquire as to its whereabouts and it’s not exactly like the ugly clothes she got us that we’ve shoved into the depths of our closet and dresser. It is much harder to squish into a corner somewhere.

I actually have no problem with this red Chinese thing. It’s called a “fu” and it’s supposed to give good blessings to those who dwell in its presence. We have a few of them in our house and I accept that. I married a Chinese man and I am all for incorporating some Chinese things into our home. My problem is with whoever nailed it into our lovely liquor cabinet. Yes, someone (I’m guessing my FIL) stuck a large nail in the top of this quite charming piece of furniture to hang yet another giant red Chinese “fu.” Did it HAVE TO go right there?

This is our coffee table. It is a beautiful dark wood, my guess mahogany. Here, it is quite common for people to cover up perfectly exquisite woods with this tacky plastic crap. And OF COURSE, it has flowers on it. Damn her! It did actually look worse before because my in-laws had a piece of glass on top of it that was too large for the table. It stuck out awkwardly and after much complaining, my husband removed it one day. It’s the simple things that brighten my life, you know. I did try to remove this flowery table protector but he wouldn’t allow it. It is actually somewhat helpful as I have spilled numerous cups of tea on it which would have surely messed up the wood underneath. So I guess it can stay…until I find one that is less repulsive at the store.

We also have one on our dining room table. This one actually has glass that fits it properly. I have no earthly idea why you’d put a plastic tarp-like item underneath the glass of a table like this. This one reminds me of a doily which makes me think of old ladies. And when I think of old ladies, I think that my MIL has aspired her whole life to dress and decorate like one. I wonder if she has some old lady catalog of this kind of crap and sits there pointing it all out to her poor husband who smiles and nods and wishes she’d just go get him a beer instead of showing him lame things in a catalog. Who knows? What I do know is this: that fucking doily MUST go!

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