“Yes dear. Whatever you say, dear.” He does get suspicious when I respond in that manner, but I'm no fool. It’s taken me a long time but I've finally learned to choose my battles. When we had to move to Maryland for his job, I was surprised when he didn’t put up too much of a fuss when I suggested donating his old worn out “Frazier’s Dad” recliner to Goodwill. After arriving in Maryland I got to choose our new house. Or, I should say, he let me choose the house. We’re sitting on my sofa. The ugly one that is so comfortable I couldn’t part with. Yes, I’ve gotten my way more than a few times. So when he wanted to build a home theater, after a few lame protests suggesting a guest room would be more practical, I gave in.
Once I got onboard with the idea, I jumped in with both feet, helping to plan the room. The room that would set our house apart from all other homes in the neighborhood giving it that WOW factor, if and when we decide to sell. Since beginning this project two years ago, we have been totally obsessed about the design, the look, and the feel. Should it be classically elegant like the renovated Palace Theater in Cleveland or sleek and modern like the Kennedy Center in D.C.? Would we prefer cold and bold shades of blue and black or soft warm shades of red and dove gray? Should we accent with gold leaf or go bold choosing art deco? We had no other topics of conversation. This became our life. Our dream.
Obsessively, we scoured the internet for pictures of home theater designs. Narrowing it down to three that were doable, the construction process started. My handy husband was doing all the work. How could I complain? He wasn’t out in a bar, drinking with buddies. He wasn’t sleeping on the couch or watching a ballgame. He was in the basement, night after night, banging away with his hammer. Using the complex miter saw he requested for his birthday. He had a project. He was happy. I was happy. Sometimes lonely at night, but happy.
I watched in awe as the room developed. From a blank slate to a designer’s dream, I cheered him on every step of the way. Proud of his woodworking skills, I kept quiet when our MasterCard bill arrived, listing $700 worth of plywood, realizing it would have cost much more had we paid a contractor. We were saving money. Feeling left out of the building process, I volunteered for decorating duty. Indulging my inner designer, I gleefully hopped from store to store collecting swatches and samples. Carpeting, wallpaper, sconces, paint chips, oh my…. I was in heaven. I enjoyed participating. And he liked my ideas.
I ignored the bill for the carpeting knowing that this is an investment. Our house will be in demand some day. Home theaters are in. This will pay off. I even got into selecting the chairs. The special ones with the cup holders and tray tables. Wow! What will they think of next? I couldn’t help myself. We chose the motorized reclining chairs with the secret compartment for my stash of goodies. I can fill each arm with my M&Ms and healthy Fiber One bars. That reminds me, we still need to buy a refrigerator for our beverages. You can’t expect us to walk all the way upstairs for a drink.
As the room progressed, the TV was the last purchase we would make, after the chairs arrived. We needed a big one. This was the tough part. Staring at 50 screens, they all looked alike. How do we pick? The entertainment unit he built could hold a 65” TV, maximum. We know movies will be in 3D and who wouldn’t want to check their facebook on a big screen? Yes, we bit the bullet and went all out, saving and additional 5% by opening a store credit card. At least this won’t be on my MasterCard. What the hell, this is no time to be cheap. And besides, we’re helping the economy. We’re putting people to work.
The call came at 6:30 this morning. Our 65” Samsung was on its way. My husband stayed home for this big event. He had to help install it. He would make sure this last piece of the puzzle was in place. Where it was meant to be.
As I watched the grin grow on my husband's face, it slowly dawned on me he's not just pleased with how his home theater turned out. This grin is more. His face declared I won! I got what I wanted. What did he want? He wanted the one piece of furniture Candice Olsen never places under a chandelier in her Divine Designs. I realized, with this home theater, my husband got not one La-Z-Boy, but an entire room full of recliners. We are the proud owners of six, motorized, cup holding, relaxing, can’t get your butt out of, recliners. “Yes dear, you won! When you get your beer, please get me a Diet Coke. I can’t pull myself away from my chair!”
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