My Aunt Vicki is an amazing interior designer. Which, literally translated, means that she constantly redecorates the rooms of her house. I’m talking completely redecorate. Living room becomes computer room. Computer room becomes office. White wall becomes green. You get the idea. Every time I visit her house it is like walking into a new space.
During one of our visits there when I was just a kid she had the main room of her house decorated in a very cozy fashion- warm colors, soft couches, a big TV with an even bigger sound system. My cousins and I LOVED that room. The room is built slightly lower than the rest of the house so there is this little ledge on the front side of the room. In our minds that ledge was more like a diving board- maybe because we were smaller- or maybe because kids see the world like a giant playground. In any case, this was our favorite part of the house playground.
I remember us blasting Vanilla Ice’s “Ice, Ice, Baby,” as loud as we could while running and jumping off the ledge into the pool of carpet. We couldn’t get enough of that room, that song, that ledge…
The next time we came to visit we expected the living room to look different, because it always did, but when we walked in the door and looked at that room we were shocked. Everything was white. WHITE. It looked like no one had ever even sat in the damn room. It was accentuated with delicate furniture and decorations so precious they might break if you so much as looked at them.
We couldn’t believe it. What had happened to our Vanilla Ice room? We obviously would not be jumping off the ledge anymore. What were we supposed to do in this room, have tea and crumpets? I was destroyed. That trip had no exciting memories of Vanilla Ice and living room diving boards.
My aunt eventually redecorated the room- maybe because that’s what she always did, or maybe because she saw the looks on our face when our playground was destroyed. The room is cozy again and we still laugh about the tea room she created for lord knows what reason.
I think about how many Vanilla Ice rooms I have experienced in my life- spaces of sheer joy, play and imagination. I can only think about a handful of them when I compare that to how many tea rooms and fluorescent lights I come across on a daily basis. What I’m trying to say is that maybe we need to redecorate our lives every once in a while. Throw out the china you’ll never use, buy a diving board, and DANCE.