After several horrible months in our teeny-tiny apartment, we have finally purchased a home.
Because I’m not confident of my ability to make any logical decisions right now — for example; I took the inheritance I received from my father and purchased a black hole of problems in a vintage camper — I hired a design company to help me with the remodel.
Even though, I’m pretty confident I could have made this
Not only does the design team supervise the demo and construction, they also help with the decorating.
To assist them with their plan, I had the contents of one of our storage units, (the one that held all our furniture) delivered to the new house. I instructed the moving crew to line my items up in such a way that the design team could view all of my precious possessions — like the coffee table made from an old wooden hardware cabinet or the eight foot tall antique secretary given to me by my mother-in-law — and then they could decide what was worth keeping and what should be relegated to the basement.
Turns out, none of my
junk worldly goods are going to fit into the new hip, modern, design. Really? Not even the rusted head of a broken sledge hammer I kept in our living room? So much for the tiny thread of hope I held that I had good taste.
The one thing the design team loved and said they planned to put over the mantle in the hearth room, is this painting – which they called. Portrait of a Man.
I love Portrait of a Man, because it was painted by our son (my step-son) and because it is a picture of our other son (my birth son). However, I don’t display this picture in a place of prominence because, our two daughters (my step-daughters) might be offended by a large exhibition of “my” son.
So, for years, Portrait of a Man has lived in my basement because of all the agitation it could cause in our blended family.
Being a step-parent is a delicate operation and I work hard to balance our out-of-balance family. Photos around the house are counted and re-counted. A picture of Husband with his son should be balanced out with a picture of Husband with my son. A picture of me with step-daughter’s kids should be balanced out with a picture of me with my son’s child. Christmas is a mathematical nightmare. Do I use the number of presents as an equalizer? Or is it the amount spent on the present?
If I apply my blended family calculations to Portrait of a Man, and with the following givens:
(a) = painted by step-son
(b) = picture of my birth son
(c) = does not include step-daughters
(d) = no good will come from this
Then, (a + b) might equal zero. But, I’m pretty certain (a + b) – (c) = (d)
Explaining these calculations to my friend, Kerry, she posed a question I’d never asked myself. “Do you really think your grown kids give a damn?”
Is that (f) in the equation? Dang. Math is hard.