What color matches a deer head?

“Marrying a man is like buying something you’ve been admiring for a long time in a shop window. You may love it when you get it home, but it doesn’t always go with everything else in the house.” – Jean Kerr



This is particularly true if the man in question is prone to mounting stuffed heads in your dining room.

Attached as I am to my husband, if not his deer head, I am living, as any one of the designers on Trading Spaces (including the one who once glued straw to a living room wall) would say, “like an animal.”

Different definition. I should be clear. Professional decorators and I have different standards for animalhood. For them, it means that the chartreuse in the throw pillow is a shade off from that in the drapes.

For me, it means – as the old saw goes – that Goodwill really won’t accept my couch.

Still, the situation in my dining room had reached the point where an actual animal would have said: “I can’t live like this, those deep green walls are so 1997.”

Fortunately, we have an actual animal on hand, albeit a stuffed and mounted one. Although, come to think of it, if this particular long-deceased deer ever actually said anything, I would die of fright on the spot and the color of my dining room would fast become the least of my worries.

Reputation to uphold. Although I would still expect my husband to do something about the paint. After all, I don’t want my friends whispering about my poor taste after I’m gone.

Meanwhile, in the midst of my decorating angst, media mavens wonder why no one cares about the presidential race? It’s because the country has come down with a terminal case of home- decorating fever.

Oprah recently reported that many singles have stopped going to singles bars, with their smoke and losers, and started cruising the home warehouse and decorating stores.

Pottery Barn comes through. The Pottery Barn catalog is the new lifestyle guide, and a gaggle of decorating dandies have hit gold (chartreuse?) on TV by offering to remake both your man and manor simultaneously.

They’ll even spring for drinks after the show! Better yet, the fun doesn’t stop at last call. Say it’s 3 a.m. and you’re feeling blue (or terra cotta or buff?). You can call Pottery Barn’s 24-hour customer service number and order up a sofa if the mood strikes.

In fact, having done so, you may just find that two weeks later, per the Pottery Barn credo, the sales rep calls back, just to see how things are going. It’s a bit like online dating, but with optional Scotchguard protection.

Perfect color. I don’t have time for dating, what with being married and all. Instead, I have steered my efforts toward searching for the perfect dining room color to partner with my dear husband’s deer head.

This has become all-consuming. Is “wheatlands gold” the answer? Or does true happiness lie in “creamed caramel” with a rich parchment glaze?

How about a slipcover for the deer that makes it more closely resemble the tasteful lithograph I would have preferred?

And those designer’s on Trading Spaces keep whining about how ceiling fans are hard to work with?

Turning to TV. Obviously, I can’t make a move without consulting one of the seemingly endless decorating programs on television today. Thus my quest for the perfect finish found me cruising the couch potato highway, trusty remote by my side.

There, inexplicably nestled among the paint “reveal” on Trading Spaces and the tearful gushing over fabulous faux finishes on Decorating Cents, my remote landed me on a channel listed as Outdoor Life.

Outdoors? Are they kidding? Why would anyone – with the exception of the deer head – want to go there?

(Kymberly Foster Seabolt is still searching for the perfect paint. She welcomes comments c/o kseabolt@epohi.com or P.O. Box 38, Salem, OH 44460.)

About the Author

Warm, witty and just a wee bit warped, Kymberly Foster Seabolt is a native of Kent, Ohio, who survived childhood exposure to disco and grew up to marry and move to the country. Her column weaves her special brand of humor with poignant, entertaining, and honest portrayals of parenting, marriage, and real life. She currently lives in northeastern Ohio with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats, and numerous dust bunnies who wish to remain nameless. More Stories by Kymberly Foster Seabolt

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