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Whittling Away: Designer ‘genes’


By Dick Brooks

For Capital Region Independent Media

Headshot of a man named Dick Brooks.

There’s a basic difference between men and women and it’s not what you might think. 

Men tend to be content with things as they are and where they are; women were born to remodel and renew. It’s probably linked to nature’s commands to the female of the species to create and nurture, but it never ends!

Men have favorite things that they appreciate and love, things like pants, shoes, shirts and recliners. Over the years, these objects take on our unique body shapes and fit like a glove; so what if they have a few holes or look a little scruffy, they’re comfortable. Like old friends, we accept them and love them for what they are.

Women seem to be more concerned with looks than with comfort. This sometimes leads to mysterious disappearances of beloved objects, like the sneakers that you got a great buy on in 1982, the ones you always wear to mow the lawn, or the tie-dyed T-shirt that you wore to every one of your fraternity parties. They suddenly come up missing, never to be seen again. 

I remember, with a sinking feeling in my soul, the day my life’s partner started gazing at my recliner with a disapproving eye. Furniture sales brochures started to appear, opened to the recliner pages, and I knew my old friend was doomed. 

Sure, it was a little tilted and had a few holes, but the pizza stains didn’t show much if you kept the lights down low. I loved it, we had been through a lot together and if you threw the afghan over it, it looked fine. Gone!

I don’t know what creates this desire for change in women, but I do know what fuels it — television and magazines! I have considered putting a block on the Home and Garden Network.

I am a brave enough individual. I’ve faced dangers and hardships with my head held high but I hereby confess those designers, especially the ones on television, scare me to death! They don’t seem to realize that God has a master plan for most rooms that shouldn’t be trifled with. That divine master plan is easy to understand; some walls just cry out for a couch or bed — the big ones with no windows. Once that plan is carried out and all the room’s furniture is in its logical place, then there it should stay until the Day of Reckoning.

The designers I fear the most on television and in those magazines are the ones who preach redecorating just for the fun of it. They move furniture around willy-nilly, tossing paint and fabric in all directions with no regard for either God’s master plan or for those of us who are used to things being where they are supposed to be and don’t enjoy crashing into unexpected objects while trying to make it to the bathroom in the dark. Their programs and articles are designed to do one thing — whip the women of the world into a frenzy of redecoration!

The danger signs start when a normally loving and rational woman starts wandering through the house with a fist full of paint charts, holding them up against walls, furniture, cats and small children. They can’t hear and won’t listen to you, their heads are too full of their favorite designer  crooning words like — color, change, create, imagine, and the ever popular “express yourself.”  There is no known cure.

Having lived through this on several occasions, I hereby offer my fellow males the following advice. At the first sign of this malady, collect all your favorite things and move them to a safe location. I’ve found the garage works for some things, the darkest regions of the cellar works for others. The very best solution is to find other men in the same situation and form a protective society. You hide their stuff and they hide yours until one of the designers decides that the stuff is back in style. I’ve found it to be of great assistance, saving many of my treasures from the trash heap.

Thought for the week — Mahatma Ghandi walked barefooted most of his life, which produced an impressive set of callouses on his feet. He also ate very little, which made him rather frail, and with his odd diet, he suffered from bad breath. All this made him a super calloused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis.

Until next week, may you and yours be happy and well.

Reach columnist Dick Brooks at Whittle12124@yahoo.com.

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