Thursday, March 10, 2011

Valancing my life

There's something you all don't know about me. I'm a survivor.

No, not like a cancer or rape survivor - nothing that serious. But what I went through was definitely traumatic and life-changing.

Much of my childhood was spent in the drapery department of J.C. Penneys.

I'm still looking for the support group.

You see, my mom went back to college when my brother and I went to school. She got her Associate's Degree in interior design in the 80s and is artsy and creative and wonderful to have around whenever there's a question of color or fabric or furniture placement.

But there are scars from all of this. Scars that involve words like tie-backs, valances, and sheers. And what time we didn't spend in the drapery department was spent at the catalog department while we picked-up or dropped-off whatever was needed or not working, respectively.

I remember trying to amuse myself by playing in the fake windows with 18 different kinds of drapes on them, all to show you what you could do if you spent enough money if you cared about the way your windows looked. I remember Mom half-heartedly telling me to knock it off as she discussed something like special ordering off-white waffle blinds. And of course, there's the fake bedroom scene, always near the drapery department, always with a dressed up fake window, that I would ultimately try to wait for sweet death try and lay on. And then it all started over again the next day.

(Oh, but don't think her loyalty was just to Penneys. The words "Calico Corners" sends a chill up my spine, too.)

When I bought my house almost 6 years ago, one of Mom's main concerns were about my window treatments. Specifically, how they did not provide enough privacy. And not a year later, with Mom working as a manager of a custom blinds place, I was given blinds and roman shades as a birthday present. I know they were expensive and probably needed. I thanked her (and still thank her..Thanks Mom!), but also tried to explain my special problem with window treatments when she asked why I wasn't more excited about it.

Back! Back I say! I do not want to re-live the pain!

She didn't get it.

Fast forward to last weekend. I've been painting our living room to freshen it up a bit, and with that, decided that I might want some curtains to frame my windows. I bought two $10 Wal-Mart curtains in the appropriate length and width, and even had to special order a rod from Kohl's.

The rod arrived today, and I got the curtains out. Besides being in-the-package wrinkled, there was something else that stood out to me.

You see, what I bought was a window set. A valance and two panels for a single window. I figured I'd buy two and not use the two middle panels. But I didn't read the fine print until today.

They were attached. The panels were sewn into the valance. Times two. ::sigh::

I had to cut one panel each from it's valance jailer and hope I remembered which panel to cut. (I did.)

I put them up, and then tried to attach the ties that came with it. But the ties have no buttons or other ways to fasten. So I improvised.

Yeah, that's a bare screw. In a hole that was already in my wall. From something that held back drapes. And I may have just put it in the hole and turned it with my fingers.

And there's one on the other side of the window, too.

Here's the finished product:

No, it doesn't look like I've taken drapes that's supposed to go on two windows and shoved it onto one. Not at all. Coming in for just under $20, I'd say I definitely got what I paid for. The rod cost more and that's covered up.

And there's a little flap at the top that's supposed to stand up. But mine needs some Viagra or something.

I took a deep breath, because I know what's coming.

"Mom, my windows are 104" total. I'm ready to start healing. Help."

1 comment:

  1. Oh my gosh! My mom dragged me to the JC Penney drapery department the last time I was in the U.S., and (after I choked back the flood of terrible childhood memories) I realized it really hasn't changed AT ALL since the last time I was there, circa 1990. There is a LOT of fugly crap there masquerading as good design.

    At least in Illinois now they have Ikea so that modern kids of the Chi-burbs don't necessarily have to be dragged to Penny's. Though they probably will be.