2010.03.03 Cozy Casual meets Cantankerous Camper

Written by David Green.

By COLLEEN LEDDY

I knew I would be strapped for time this week since I’m scheduled to attend two conferences in New York City Thursday through Saturday, so last week when I should have been writing a story about the Paul Keller Trio coming to the library March 14, I cruised the Observer website where many of our old columns can be found. I figured I would have to mine one of my old ones for use this week.

I was pretty tickled with myself when I found one I could re-use...even though I didn’t need to write a column last week, I felt prepared and relieved that the pressure would be off for this week.

Although...I was I bit concerned when I realized that the column I was going to use reminded me of two more favorite columns—all three of which involved underwear...

But then, I was reading “Real Simple” magazine and found an article called “A B C D: What’s your Decorating Style?” The article started with a visual quiz depicting about 35 objects each labeled A, B, C, or D.

All you have to do is look at the images and pick the ones you’re drawn to. “No thinking—just go with your gut and move quickly.” Based on your responses, the quiz key will name your style. Mostly A’s? You’re Sophisticated Classic. B’s? Modern Graphic. Mostly C’s pins you as a Cozy Casual and D’s means you’ll probably like Vintage Eclectic.

The next four pages show photographs of rooms in the different styles and it’s uncanny how accurately the quiz deciphers which style you’ll like. Cozy Casual is what my “mostly C” responses indicate. And of all four photographs, that’s the style I like the best.

I thought it was such a quick and fun exercise; I couldn’t wait to have David take the quiz! I presented it to him with stifled excitement...I didn’t want to color his responses and I didn’t want to deter him from participating. David can be finicky about things like “dumb” magazine quizzes.

I showed him the page with the 35 items in full color and asked him to just tell me the letters of all the items he was drawn to. I poised my pencil, ready to write down the stream of letters he would quickly utter.

“C,” he said.

A pause.

“D,” he continued.

Another pause.

The pause gets longer. And longer. My pencil is at the ready and he’s not saying anything.

“One ‘C’ and one ‘D’?” I asked. “You’re supposed to tell me the letter for each of the items you’re attracted to.”

“That’s it,” he said. “I don’t like anything else.”

And then he started pointing at items.

“I don’t like that thing, I don’t like that. Look at that pillow. Why would I want that ugly pillow in my house? High-heeled shoe? I wouldn’t wear that,” he spit all this out, just getting started.

He pointed to the lovely wicker picnic basket. “You know I’m sick of baskets.”

“Look at that ridiculous chair,” he said pointing at a velvet covered Victorian style chair. “And there’s another ugly chair,” he said pointing at another, more modern style, maybe from the 50s.

“That’s a ridiculous clock,” he said pointing at one of those kinds of clocks, also from the 50s, I think, with 12 spikes sticking out making it look like a star.

He went on and on and I finally stopped recording his responses with my pencil. I was eager to know which of the items he did like.

“Let me guess which two you picked,” I said.

“The maple leaf,” I said, and scanning the page again, I knew instantly. “The bird!”

“The bird,” he said. “That was stylish, I like birds.”

The bird was actually a quirky object...it looked like a common crow, its claws clinging to a spoked wheel and a crazy little plume attached to its head.

David looked the page over once more and concluded, “I might as well live outdoors, aye?”

Hmm, might not be a bad idea. He could tent it in the back yard while I hang out on the couch in my underwear—Cozy Casual style.

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