Everything in my house has the distressed look,
It's the beginning of summer, which is always distressing when you have kids. But, that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about my husband making new friends. And getting an invitation to go over to the new friend's house for the first time. As a socially anxious introvert, meeting new people stresses me out. Especially, when it's a large party filled with people I don't know. And the hosts don't have a dog that I can hide in the corner with. Of course, I didn't know that last part until I went to the party. Which left me even more distressed.
We pull up to the house and there are tons of cars parked out front on the street. Dammit, this is an even bigger get together than I thought. Luckily, the house is huge so it can accommodate such a gathering. And then we step inside.
The thing about being a socially anxious is, you tend to notice everything around you. All the small details there are so many of that it becomes overwhelming for me to process everything. And I get so lost in the minuscule that I miss social cues. Plus, small talk is like speaking a foreign language to me anyway.
The house is immaculate and sparse like a museum. There's no clutter to be seen anywhere. The furniture is elegant and there's not one piece from Ikea. The white walls are filled with art. (And again, it's not Ikea art.) The baseboards are dusted. The windows in the living room are 20 feet tall and free of streaks, bird poop and cob webs. The kitchen is no less perfect with granite counter tops and cupboards that are upgraded from your standard oak without any signs of wear and tear. I've walked around enough to scope out the joint and pretend to be social without actually talking to anyone. But, walking around and smiling at strangers still counts as social in my humble antisocial opinion. So, I check out the catered food and get a drink and find a place to sit. I don't see any coasters anywhere, so I decide it's best not to set my drink down on anything because everything is simply too nice and I have a penchant for ruining things.
This is when I start comparing their house to my house. My house where everything in it has the distressed look. And I didn't buy it with that look. We earned it the old fashioned way with 4 kids, 2 dogs and a laid back lifestyle. Sure, I have a nice house if you see it in a photo. But, if you come over to my house, you'll see it's extremely lived in. There are dog fur tumbleweeds floating through the hallway. There are dings and nicks on everything. And I mean EVERYTHING. If it's not dinged, scratched, marred or maimed, it's broken. Like the ice maker in the freezer. It stopped working a few months after we got it. No, I didn't bother to get it fixed. And I don't have coasters in my house either, but just because you can't ruin anything in my house, because everything's already ruined.
This is when I decide I can't be friends with my husband's new friends. I mean, sure, they seem nice and all that. But, I'd be way too embarrassed to have them over to my house. Or I'd have to hire a cleaning crew to do a deep clean, buy all new furniture, kennel the dogs and rob an art gallery to decorate the walls (which are really going to need a fresh coat of paint too while I'm thinking about it). And I'm way the hell to lazy to do all that, which is why I live the way I do. It's enough for me to try to keep these kids and dogs alive. And I think the dust and germs in my house actually help to strengthen our immune systems. Or so I tell myself anyway.
I've resigned myself that
being distressed isn't just a look, it's a lifestyle.