I need to buy new lamps. Anyone that knows me knows I am REALLY insanely bad at making choices, especially when given a lot of options. My standard line at the McDonald’s drive thru is “what do they have?” Cause you never know, maybe they came up with a new McGreenBean sandwich, and I don’t want to miss it. So with the internet and a flexible budget, I am completely overwhelmed with the amount of choices in lamps.
I do have some “husband guidelines” to keep in mind. He hates a dark room, and although we have a fan light and he is planning on installing recessed lighting, I need white shades and a lamp that takes up to a 600 watt bulb. None of this energy saving crap where you get 2 watts that lights up a 3 inch space around your left ear, but you save $.40 over the 10 year span of the lightbulb. Other than that, he usually stifles his opinion on whatever style I choose. He dislikes most of, well, everything, so it’s hard not to buy something that he doesn’t loathe. 21 years ago, I made a promise to him: I will never buy us flower bedding. And I haven’t. All other home decor is open season though.
And then I have my own personal guidelines to consider and reconsider. I’d love a glass base lamp. But I don’t live in a museum. I live in a house where everything is used, no show rooms, no fancy rooms where we only sit 2 times a year. I live in a house with 2 rambunctious cats, 4 permanent male residents and anywhere from 2-5 extra male drifters of the high school variety on weekends that all play soccer, enjoy wrestling and breaking shit. I need a glass lamp like a I need a white cashmere sweater. (As long as I have kids in my house, no white clothing will stay white while on my body for longer than 4 seconds. It’s just a fact.) Not to mention that the fact that the reason I need new lamps is because the floor lamp finally took it’s last spill onto my wood floor and was unrepairable, and the matching table lamp has fallen more times than I can remember. So buying a glass lamp would fall under the “what the fuck was I thinking” category. And that makes me sad. But I will overcome.
Secondly, do I HAVE to buy matching lamps? Am I bold enough to buy a floor lamp that does not come in a set with the table lamp? Have I watched the prerequisite number of HGTV hours to make such a decision? I’m very nervous that it will look bad and my friends will lie to me and say “oh it’s very pretty!” when behind my back they are saying, “who does she think she is, Kitty Bartholomew?” I can’t take that kind of rejection. I get very tense thinking about whether colors, styles, fabrics, etc. match enough. It looks so good on TV, but then I try and replicate it and it looks like I just raided the garbage bin at the Goodwill store. I have some confidence in myself, but buying mismatched lamps would push me to the edge of that confidence. I’m sweating just thinking about it.
Lastly, I’ve bought stuff online before and been so pleased with the item. But then I’ve also purchased things sight unseen and been horrifically disappointed and shamed that I fell for such an obvious case of consumer fraud. I’ve only learned that it doesn’t matter the cost of the item, very cheap things can be great and very expensive things can be awful. So do I buy a lamp online? Or drive my ass all over metro Detroit, being indecisive at $2.00 a gallon? AND potentially wasting my precious time without actually finding a lamp I love, then ending up buying one online ANYWAY?? Oh the agony.
Will I throw caution to the wind and buy a glass lamp? Buy mismatched lamps? Buy online? Or just give up and go buy one at Meijer next grocery shopping day, that I will instantly regret the second I set the lamp up and throw the box out. Only time will tell. In the meantime, we will sit very unhappily in our poorly lit living room, waiting for me to make a decision that will likely never come. Although in the epic words of Canadian rock band Rush, in their classic anthem Freewill, “if you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.” Didn’t think I could make this meaningful, did ya?