Maintenance is Culture

Aug 20, 12 • Living TrendsNo Comments


Sitting on your day old expensive all Italian leather loveseat, you look out your window and lying before you, staring back almost proud of its dogged existence is “your area” – an eclectic mix of rubbish dumps, exposed gutters, struggling patches of green and yellowed grass yet oddly enough expensive looking homes with picturesque green lawns and perfectly shaped shrubs. It’s almost comical the way the latter nestles almost daintily amidst this horrifying neglect with a superior don’t-dirty-me air that surely this is what Tracy Chapman must have meant when she crooned the popular words about people living at the mercy of the discards of their fellowmen.

“I’m at the mercy of the world!” Tracy sang passionately in her soulful “Subcity”. and you, sitting quietly, looking out at “your area” may just find your thoughts wondering along the same lines, thinking what fiendishly bad fortune placed you in an environment where you are forced to helplessly look on at the, at best weak attempts at environmental pulchritude.

Well, too bad.

With a shoulder shrug indicative of “na so life be” you turn your attention inwards and indoors to the space you do have control over. Your house, your home. There, your musing ends for your space is OK and completely unconnected to the “unprettiness” outdoors. It’s clean, tastefully furnished and has that certain je ne sais quoi that hints at your high level of exposure. Yep! your brand new, freshly painted, newly built sanctuary; there will be no signs of neglect here.

Well… except for that water stain that has been sitting on the wall of your now 2-year old sanctuary (even though the leak was repaired over a year ago). Yes, somewhere wedged in your subconscious is the thought that it should be attended to but right next to that is comfortingly slotted the thought that well, it’s really no big deal, all it will take is a phone call and quick trip to Dulux paints and poof! the stain is gone. You’ll get to it soon enough. So what if a few tiles are missing from your very expensive looking bathroom wall, you fully blame it on arggh! bad workmanship! Well, the little thought nags, the tiles lie at the furthermost corner, not very noticeable, but sure you’ll get to a-fixin’ it… some day. Ignored is the fact that it use to be just one tile missing.

A few more traces of minor repair work are faithfully inscribed in your slowly growing must-do list as proof of the diligent thought that you have every intention of getting to them… someday. Their, in your opinion, short-lived existence, hardly makes you a likely participant in the chaos outside, why that’s just someone’s share negligence. Why should things be left to get that bad, no, you have every intention of getting to yours… someday.

Patches of repair work does not make your sanctuary any less so, does it? You wonder to yourself a decade later. Not your fault you couldn’t quite match the original wall colour when you tried to cover up that nasty water stain, actually make that three nasty water stains, which wouldn’t have happened in the first place if not for argh! bad workmanship at construction stage. Good thing it’s just a few shades darker than the original wall colour, nothing to break a nail over. At least the bathroom got its wall tiles back, no drama there. Traces of a few hair line cracks, here and there, don’t really amount to much, not like they’ve fallen off or anything… So the grass looks a bit patchy, surely the rains will come in soon enough and that problem will be history but wait… wasn’t that shrub a tad thicker, greener

when you moved it? Naaa… no time to dwell on that now, at least the shrub still provides scenic beauty, somewhat, not that it’s anything major like a leaking roof, oh drat! “I’ve got to do something about those 5 other water stains on my ceiling.. but does that mean I have to change the entire POP on my ceiling, hmn, sounds expensive”, besides you do have that big reunion coming up soon and you simply must have those Jimmy Choo shoes and a bag (and can’t be just any bag, haba!) to match…

Italian furniture does age eventually doesn’t it? You mused to yourself as you sat looking at your house, your home proud of its dogged existence. Patches of repair work done prove your determination that you do eventually get to a-fixin’. As for those yet undone, you will get to them… someday, after all they wouldn’t have happened if not for argggggh! bad workmanship. “Surely Tracy was right, I am at the mercy of the world”, you sighed sinking deeper into your 17year old loveseat, ignoring its creaks.

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"When you want to transform a room into an entirely different animal, change the color"... Billy Baldwin

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