Window Treatments


A few months before he moves out they take some measurements and go to look at window treatments. After a few years of living with the decrepit blinds that came with the house, the wife has begun to imagine how much better the room would look with the simplest of window treatments. Drapes here, linen shades there, pretty much anything. She has in the past made curtains for this apartment or that, but her sewing skills are modest and for the first house she owns, she wants an upgrade. So they go down to one of those shade stores on Route 17 in Jersey and they start looking at shades and the more she looks at the shades the more they all look exactly the same, and she wants him to decide and he seems to be vaguely irritated by her not wanting to decide, although he doesn’t say that, but now she’s also remembering what happened with the kitchen design, how disappointed he was with the amount of input she had provided in the design, which in turn hurt her feelings, because she had told him the things she wanted and he included most of them in the design, what they had room for anyway, and she was perfectly pleased with the design, had he not wanted her to be pleased? He said he guessed he wanted her to be more involved somehow, and she told him she didn’t know how she could be more involved than she had been, and then his feelings seemed to be hurt. There are some shades in the shade store she really doesn’t like, and she thinks the overall quality of most of them is not so great, the fabric scratchy, and they’re all off-white or light-beigey, a pale leaf green is a wacky color in this store, not that she’s looking for a bright color, we mention it only to emphasize that the lack of color in the shade store begins to take a toll on her, and it seems like they’re there for an hour at the shade store on Route 17, which, if you haven’t ever been, is a grim little stretch of the world on which to spend an hour, neither of them excited about window treatments, maybe even starting to resent the very existence of window treatments and bland choices and each other for reasons that are nebulous, given that this is an ordinary enough task. Maybe they’re both just hungry and tired. They don’t fight about it, what would that fight even be, but it feels like a fight without a fight, and the wife is finally like I think I need to go home, so they go home and share a Trader Joe’s pizza and maybe watch an episode of something on Netflix and she goes upstairs at nine and he stays downstairs for a while and that’s their Saturday night.

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