Lucy and Ethel
On a trip to Hancock Fabrics before Christmas last year, Mom and I saw this fabric and fell instantly in love. She was then remodeling Dad’s office which was once a house, then office, now HOFFICE. House + Office. He and his secretary have two rooms, a hall and a large restroom, for working. French doors separate what they have remodeled back into a house again. This cutsie porch with another set of French doors is just off the kitchen. A few days ago the perfect shade of green paint marked $5.00 and placed in the mistake bin was waiting when she went to buy paint for this room. It was the perfect shade for this room, for this fabric.
The paint was barely dry and the sheers went up, the plan was being formulated in her mind.. was there enough fabric? When we bought it we didn’t really know where it would go.
I set about cleaning the kitchen, clearing work surfaces this morning. We were on a mission. My mother and I will do about anything to avoid math, to avoid planning, to think concretely. As fiercely as we fought it, all of those elements were required.
Where’s the tape measure? I need paper, find a pen, do you have straight pins? Can’t we just… No. We HAVE to plan it out, we have to agree on our terminology. It was like the episode when Lucy and Ethel decorated Ethel’s apartment. We always work this way, the first hour we fight against the rules, we moan and groan, we can’t decide who’s boss. Mostly we laugh and snort and slap our knees at how ridiculous we are. At one point the 103″ rod had to come off the wall and be laid out on the floor in another room. I almost took out a window, poked Mom’s eye out and knocked a hole in the wall.
Fits of fury, hands flying, sewing machine raging, mother gasping, jacket’s flying off hot-flashing and laughing and panties in a wad over these curtains. Because it seems so simple. Straight line stitching, clip rings, a rod and presto. Every time we make curtains we swear we will hire someone next time. I’m pretty sure though that it isn’t about saving money – we just really live in that fantasy world where it should be as easy as it looks. Today was another for the book of things I do with my mom. She knows when to be Ethel and I know when to be Lucy. The curtains need to learn when to be curtains.