Recent events, like falling in love and getting engaged, have persuaded me to drop Jaded as a middle name. And have made me back away from my "get married in your 20s" directive.
And I am glad I waited this long and found this particular person. That said, I know for a fact that in my 20s it would have been much easier to walk into someone else's life and live there without a struggle.
Because, here you have two adults who have been living full, productive lives. Who, moreover, have been living alone, and have fully stocked their respective places. And have strong senses of who they are. And definite taste.
Who both have what most would probably agree is good taste. This taste, however, doesn't really converge at very many points. As in almost none.
I mean, we both like furniture. And appliances. We both like art.
Saying we have these things in common is like being all, "You like to eat when you're hungry, too?"
I like Nick's stuff. I just would never choose it. And he feels the same way about mine.
My furniture is a mix - old Thai teak furniture, which my mom had made by temple table carvers in Bangkok in the 60s - sat next to a contemporary, clean-lined glass coffee table. My bedroom has unexceptional but simple Scandinavian-designed furniture. The walls, the sheets, and the comforter are periwinkle. It's the softest, happiest color to wake up to.
I have a lot of ethnic art - mirrored tribal textiles from Rajasthan on the walls, statues of Hindu gods and goddesses, indigenous art from Ecuador. . .I lined my fireplace in orange poster paper - the same orange of my kitchen walls. And that's where my black stone Nandi, a statue I was given as a child, lives.
Nothing is designed to go together, but it's all my personality. None of it was planned; most of it was inherited, in one way or another.
Nick, on the other hand, has what one of our friends described as a "very grown up" place. Everything is big, solid, and well constructed of dark wood. He has beautiful antique furniture, carefully collected. He's clearly given some thought to how things will go together.
On his walls he has a lot of vintage maps, and prints of animals - ducks, for example, or hunting scenes. He also has a penchant for prints of old buildings. They're all nicely done and beautifully framed.
Not my taste, but tasteful. And I should mention that I like to think of myself as a supportive character, happy for him to have his taste and me to have mine.
So a few months ago, Nick and I went to an alumni event for his school. It had a silent auction, and one of the things you could bid on was a lithograph of one of the campus buildings - a fine piece of neoclassical American architecture.
Nick looked at it, put down a bid, and asked what I though. I replied in a vague yet supportive way. I thought.
But the next day, we were talking to Maude and Dan about the event. He said he'd won this framed print that he was excited about.
And then he said, "Lisa doesn't like it."
"Sure I like it!"
"I know for a fact you don't."
One of them asked how he knew.
"Because when I asked her what she thought of it she said, very politely, 'It looks like the kind of thing you like.' And then she added, 'You might really enjoy it at your office!'"