Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Where Have All The Flower Pillows Gone?

Once upon a time in our house, there was an unholy amount of ugly in every corner, thanks to my in-laws and their poor decorating tastes. My husband and I began the process of removing the things that were not our style and replacing them with things that we liked. Even though this apartment was given to us as a gift from them, it is our house and we are allowed to do with it as we wish. And we wished for those old, lumpy, frumpy grandma-style flower pillows to go away.

Do you remember them? Take a look:

My husband and I replaced them with more stylish ones, as you can see below. True that they also have a flower pattern, it is more elegant and modern than the previous couch pillows which looked like they fell out of granny mothball heaven and smelled like it too (despite numerous attempts to remove the stench of fried bait fish, sweat and a lifetime of stench from being too close to people who don't know how to use soap). While I'd have loved to set fire to the hideous flower pillows of yesteryear, Lane gave them back to his mother where they have a happy life living with other crappy home ornaments that is just as old and dusty as the people that live there.

While we're on this photo, check out the lamp, for it is new as well. We have a light on the ceiling which has 6 bulbs in it and they are always burning out. Despite my well-meaning reminders, which probably sound like nagging to my husband, he has yet to replace the ones that have burned out. So now only 2 bulbs light up. Now my husband can afford to ignore my requests to fix our other light because this one lights the room up much more brightly. I came home from work one day to find this waiting for me, which was a pleasant surprise indeed.

This is one of the other sets of pillows we got for the living room. There is an identical one on the opposite matching chair. These were less than 30 yuan. They're leather! I loved the shiny contrast with our other new pillows. Lane had to agree these were a must-have addition to the house. I'd say now we can work on finding cushions for the bottom part of the couch and chairs instead of the not-very-cushioney-70s-style ones you see there but we will be getting REAL couches and chairs soon! My in-laws own another property near this house that they rent out. The current tenants will leave in November and my in-laws will move in there, Lord help me. When they move there, they will take this pretty but uncomfortable wood furniture with them. It will be easier for them to watch Raelynn too, however I hope I do not personally have to see them more often. Lane has expressed that my days off are not to be ruined by having them visit. Of course, he said it much more nicely than that because if it were up to me and I possessed that kind of vocabulary in Chinese, I would have said it that way.

Red rug. Red rug. My husband surprised me with this. Perhaps what is most surprising about it is that it feels just like the textured felt we use to cover the bulletin boards at school, the ones where we hang up all kinds of bright and cheery kindergarten artwork. There is also a lovely black line on one end where the place he'd purchased it from had drawn with permanent marker to help them cut off the right amount (photo below). Sigh. It could be worse, I suppose. Lane isn't so keen on it anymore since he keeps tripping over it. Plus, once we spotted a bunch of really pretty area rugs in the fancy furniture store near us that were actually reasonably priced, he set his sights on those. I just hope he doesn't go pick one out while I'm at work. I'd hate for him to show up with the one that looked like they skinned alive the entire cast of The Muppets and then sewed their carcasses together. Then again, it would be better than anything MIL would ever pick out for us, wouldn't it?

 I love, just loooooove the crappy black line that was drawn on this to measure it. Thanks Einstein. Maybe you could have drawn it on the other side? Sheesh.

By the way, were you wondering what became of that stupid world map my husband refused to part with that he'd hung over the couch in the living room? If you were, don't cry. Here it is in our kitchen. I did not agree to this but I allowed it or else he was about to go put it back in my newly prettied up living room. Above those awesome couch pillows! Noooooo! I think what bothers me most about the map is that it is tacked up with package tape that is on the outside like some dumb kid would do in their dorm room. As we saw from our visit to the country house, my husband likely thinks slapping a world map up on the wall is a fine idea thanks to his parents. As I've always known, you should choose your battles wisely and if this map is the only tacky thing in our home and my husband likes it, so be it.

Besides, if you look to the left of the map in the photo, you will see why no one will really notice that map of the world. Here's a better look:
It's our brand new Western-style refrigerator! Hallelujah! This thing just rocks. Once I got the kindergarten job, we went the very next weekend to buy it. The one that was in here from when my in-laws lived here was on its last leg. It was starting to leak. It was also too small. When MIL would bring a ton of rotting fruits and vegetables to us from her garden, there was no room to shove them in there. Plus, the freezer was full of old chicken feet and heads and pork belly from 7 years ago. It was just nasty. Now there is no excuse for anyone (coughcoughMILcough) to leave perishable food out on the counters, in the cabinets or sitting in the microwave (which is where I found food today...yuck). There is so much room in this thing. As an added bonus, it is so large we couldn't put it where the old one was so now this one blocks the kitchen window. Now the old neighbor lady who likely thought the kitchen gods went crazy can't gawk at me like a slack-jawed yokel at a freak show. I never did get to make funny faces at her. Oh well!

Yes, you are looking at a pipe that is held together by a shoelace. My apologies that I never noticed this before. This was what it looked like underneath the bathroom sink. I suspect this was my FIL's handiwork. It's totally his M.O. to fix things like this instead of just spending the few yuan it would cost to replace the part and have it professionally repaired. Anyway, I didn't notice it until I turned on the sink to brush my teeth one morning and my feet were getting wet. Turns out, either Lane or I bumped the baby tub, which we stash under there, into this hot mess. I was surprised it held out that long.

When I came home from work that day, I was happy to see that the pipe had been fixed properly, sans shoelace. I'm sure my in-laws dug the shoelace out of the garbage to use as a makeshift belt or something. I wouldn't expect anything less.

And finally, no crapshack would be complete without a new crapper. The original toilet that had come with this apartment (which is only 10 years old - quite surprising given the condition here as it looks much older) was shitty (pun totally intended) to begin with. When we first moved in here, I remember my husband instructing me to hold the flusher in for 10 seconds before letting go so the toilet would flush. Of course, if you're like his parents (or any other Chinese people) you don't flush it. You throw a bucket of water down it like someone who grew up under a rock in a cave with wolves as role models. Anyhoodle, it was also an ugly off-brown color (if that is one) and it broke several times in the last year. We had it repaired (the right way and not with shoelaces, thankyouverymuch) each time. I personally was fed up with the damn thing but Lane had been waiting for me to sign the contract at my job to ensure we could easily afford it (we honestly could have even if I did not take the job). Even after I signed, he was still dragging his feet about it. That is, until it overflowed on him after he used it one night. After that, it was to the dump for that toilet. I came home from work, and this new, shiny white toilet was waiting for me.

But before I could get too excited about it, Lane told me I couldn't poop in it until 2 days later. He said I could only pee in it. I thought he was joking. Nope. He said I should walk all the way to the end of our street, cross the insane intersection and walk up to the ugly hotel that I got to know rather well when I was pregnant since it was right next to the bus stop.
"We have a new toilet!" I exclaim. "Why in hell would I walk all the way to that hotel to take a shit?!"
"The sealy needs to set," Lane explains and I give him one of those raised eyebrow looks. Sealy? Suddenly, I realize he means sealant.
"You mean 'sealant," I say. And I'm growing more alarmed now as I ask, "First of all, what the fuck does that have to do with anything? And second of all, how the fuck am I supposed to walk down the street at 10pm, cross that intersection and not shit in my pants?"
"But the toilet could come loose!"
"Wait, let me get this straight. The toilet will come loose if I shit in it, but not if I go pee?"
"What. The. Fuck. Have you lost your mind along with the rest of your country?"
"No, it's because you sit down to take sheet." He says 'shit' with a long e sound.
"But I sit down to pee too. So I shouldn't pee then either?"
"No, you can pee because you won't be sitting as long."
I look at him like he has gone completely insane now.
"So, what if I squat over the toilet to piss and shit. Will that be a problem?"
"Not unless it is for you."
"Well, pooping standing up is a lot better than running down the street trying not to shit myself very late at night or early in the morning."

Yes, this really happened. And fortunately, neither of us disturbed the sealant, assuming that could even happen (I have never heard of such a thing personally) or disturbed our garments in what likely could have been one shitty problem.

No comments:

Post a Comment