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Sizzling or Safe?

pinky This is a recurrent dilemma in life. In my life at least. And in yours too. You just might not know it yet.

Friday again. Time is zooming by and our future home is taking shape. But to be perfectly honest (and I am all about perfect honesty even though I believe perfection and pure honesty are both myths), I feel as if I am running out of things to talk about vis-a-vis the Happy Headache (i.e. the untimely-given-this-recession-gut-reno of our new place). Yes, things are happening, but nothing earth-shattering or super interesting. Yesterday, we spent a good ten minutes debating whether to install a circle or square drain in the master shower and whether to center the chandelier in the room or across from the fireplace. These are important decisions on some level, but not very interesting to talk about. And here I am talking about them. Go me.

So the pressure was on, is on, to dig deeper and excavate those symbolic and philosophic layers of our home renovation. Because I know they are there. I know that this transformation is not all about sheetrock and lighting. I know that this transformation is as much about me and who I am and what I want and what I don't. And, for better or worse, because I am an infinitely complicated creature I knew something would come to me. Something a pinch more interesting than square versus circle and debates about chandelier locale. Something would come.

And it did! I was getting a manicure. Yes, indulgent. (Something I should not talk about on a blog like, say, slipping a stranger a twenty for air.) Yes. But in case you missed the memo, I have a party tonight. A very important party with very important and very cool kids. And I am more than happy to shop in my own closet for this party (not really, but I'm being a good sport about it), but I figured, hey, I should at least have some good nails. Because if I remember anything about college kids, it's that they are obsessed with cuticles. Right. So I walked into Pinky and instead of grabbing for my old standby #162 Ballet Slippers, I took a moment and surveyed my options. And then I chuckled a rebellious chuckle and went for a different pink. Fluorescent pink. I think it was called Short Shorts or something equally alarming. I held the little bright bottle up and I said "this is it!"

The nice lady humored me. Together, we sat. She went to work on my ragged mommy nails. And I studied that little bottle awaiting its fate, that bold and bodacious Barbie pink. And as time passed and my nails grew more beautiful, I had a minor change of heart. In a soft, apologetic voice, I said to the nice lady, "I changed my mind. Ballet Slippers, please." And she looked at me and nodded and then laughed. At me. Or with me, I don't know. "It's fun, but I'm not fourteen." She laughed some more. Because I'm very funny. Very.

Fast forward twenty minutes. My nails were beautiful. And boring. Yay. As I left the Pinky, I looked back at that ferocious fuschia and wondered if I had chosen the wrong pinky? Who knows. Who cares? Honestly, this is an embarrassingly indulgent quandary I probably shouldn't publish. That would be the safe thing to do. BUT.

But I am sick of safe. I want color and boldness and risk. So, yes, there is a point. That point? Hmmm. In life, there will invariably be at least two choices - bold or bland. Sizzling or safe. And sometimes safe is the way to go. We shouldn't pick the most fun looking car seat or the man who thinks jobs are for losers or the home with poor structure. There are times when the safe choice is the right choice. BUT.

When the safe choice is not the obvious right choice, I think we should go sizzling. Live a little. In our new home, we are going to blanket one wall in jungle wallpaper and another in enormous pineapples. We are going to paint our living room marigold and hang a feather ball fixture. We are in the process of picking a dining table. Will it be the more prudent black lacquer or an oval slab of glass balanced on two vintage horse heads? I'm thinking horse heads (as long as they are safe for the kiddos!)

Oh and because I know you would lose sleep over the aforementioned dilemma, we opted for a square drain. At first we floated around in our Yuppie pool of banal indecision. But then the contractor said in a whisper, "Round is predictable. Square is cooler." A no-brainer indeed!

We each have one life. So let's live it. Let's make it sizzle.

(Coming from the daredevil chick who lives one block from her childhood home, went to law school because it seemed prudent, and is scared of flying and skiing and taking the subway.)


Is your life more sizzling or safe? Would you add more sizzle if you could?

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