Austin Antler: A Room of His Own

Wandering around the mall tonight, I stopped at Austin Antler. I was immediately amused; the furniture was Dallas chic to its keratoid hilt. Anyway, I was looking for a specific type of table--heavy wood with a stone or tile top (on my wish list for house stuff)--when the manager came up to me and asked whether I'd been greeted. Nope; the staff had just been allowing me to wander around unsupervised. We started talking about the furniture, and I told him I had to laugh, because it really did remind me of Texas.

He told me that men were starting to take more interest in decorating their homes, that a lot of men had told him that they were decorating their home offices, since it was the one room in their house that was truly theirs. Except, he said, for one woman who had come in, looked around, sighed, and said that her husband was in charge of decorating and insisted on Queen Anne bedsteads (or something like that, I forget), so she'd never be able to own anything out of the store. She shot things with big guns; he went to bingo.

The manager had just divorced his wife. She'd taken all the furniture, and he was finally deciding how he wanted to decorate his house for the first time. He'd picked out a very "guy" bedstead; his friends had all told him to pick out a curvier piece, in case he ever brought a woman home with him. He said he'd refused, that he finally had a chance to pick out his own damned bed, and he was going to take it. Women, apparently, come along all the time, but picking out your own stuff is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

I had to laugh, because the two beds he'd shown me, the "guy" one and the "girl" one, had caught my eye as I had come in, and I'd decided that I liked the "guy" one better, because the "girl" one looked too froofy. I'm lucky. I live with someone who at least somewhat agrees with my tastes.

I can't help thinking that the manager should have said something about what he wanted while he was married...you can't expect to have a decent marriage when you don't get what you want, because you can't keep giving of yourself if you don't get anything back somehow. You have to be a little selfish, or you run out of kindness and charity and all that kind of good stuff...

Yup. I'm very lucky.