You’ve heard me complain about the uncleanable microfibre furniture we bought some years ago. I’d throw it onto the trash heap if it was up to me, but my pal here thinks we need to get our money’s worth out of it, so it remains a blight upon our living room. I hope we don’t still have it when we die. It’s garbage and should’ve gone to the dump long ago.
Meanwhile we’ve kept the three pieces of crap covered with blankets and quilts, which are difficult to clean because the standard washing machine with an agitator isn’t meant to handle such large items. It has taken me a long time to figure out that smaller quilts would be easier to launder, but finally the thought occurred to me. I often miss the obvious solutions. So the queen-size blankets were removed, washed and put away.
In circulation were two lap-quilts that Mom made, and an afghan that Grandma B crocheted and gave me many years ago. We needed one more smaller blanket — for there are usually two of us in the living room, and we each like one beneath (of course; who wants to sit or lie on a couch or chair covered with dog hair? blechh) and one on top for warmth. I remembered a quilted tablecloth that Mom had made and given me and that I rarely use. It was just the right size, would be warm, and … but … what would Mom think? And would I one day regret the tablecloth wearing out from being used for something other than what it was intended for?
I could almost hear Mom saying, “You should put it on your kitchen table.” Maybe I should, but I just don’t use tablecloths except on very rare occasions, and it has been folded up and tucked away for months and years at a time. Why not use it for another purpose? It isn’t going to last forever, this is true … but then, what is?
You have to do what works for you. Not what others find desirable or acceptable or proper or fair, but what you think is. Your perspective is as worthy as anyone else’s, after all. You have to make up your own damn mind. It’s not someone else’s job, much as there are those who like to tell you how you should be.
Perhaps you will regret your actions at some later date, and wish you’d done as others advised. But then, hindsight isn’t always so reliable as it gets credit for, is it? Things may look very different now than they did then, and it’s all too easy (and foolish) to berate yourself over your “imperfect” past. I find myself doing that lately: looking back over my life and thinking that if I had it to do over again, it would be wiser to do things differently. Which is silly in a way, because had I made other choices, everything would have been affected. It’s not as if a life is a painting where we can just cover over some things and leave others as they are.
What would I really want to change? I like where I am, the children I have, my memories of the past. I need to value and respect the paths I chose, the paths that led me here, the lessons learned along the way.
So, Mom, the tablecloth is now a lap-quilt in my living room. I hope you’d understand, even if you might not approve.