Changing rooms

Note: This post was originally shared on my “widowhood” blog, “Frances 3.0: Still in Beta”.

I moved the bed around in my room yesterday. It’s the first “big” change since Paul died more than a year ago. I suppose I did it because I could, not because I wanted to. And I don’t know how long I’ll leave it that way. I had also considered taking over “his” side of the bed as it would be more convenient, but whilst I don’t have a preferred side, he did and I just can’t take over what was his. I know – it’s all mine now.

When I first moved it I did so with the thought that it would give me more space for the jewellery armoire that Paul kept saying I should buy. But I’ll probably never buy one.

Of course, I still don’t have the new bed sheets I’ve been meaning to purchase since March. Or the night stands or CD display or Bose stand or flat screen TV or new couch or anything else that we were planning to purchase together last summer.

At first, I couldn’t bring myself to purchase anything for “our” home because I didn’t want anything to do with the house and I certainly couldn’t think about making it “my” home without Paul. Then, I couldn’t bring myself to purchase anything because I was unsure if I wanted to sell the house or not and couldn’t make a commitment. Now, I can’t buy anything because of Paul.

Paul had very strong opinions of what he liked and what he wanted. I was a lot more flexible and would happily live with most style choices if it made him happy. Not because I didn’t have a mind of my own but because I didn’t hate the things he loved and he seemed to hate the things I kind of liked. And since I didn’t have strong opinions, I way easily swayed.

I’m still uncertain if I want to buy new night stands or anything for the CDs and Bose, though I’m certain that I’m not in the market for a new TV or couch. But I am in the market for new bed sheets. I just can’t seem to buy any! It started back in March when a friend mentioned the possibility of a visit this summer. I decided that I needed to get new sheets for the guest beds – or at least new sheets for use on any of the three queen-sized beds in the house that could be used by me or a guest.

I’ve been to several department stores and bedding stores and have still not purchased sheets. I look at bedding every time I’m out and see something I like – or rather, that I think I like – and I pick it up and start to consider it. Then I wonder “What would Paul think of this?” Sometimes I know right away and can almost see the sour look on his face. Other times I am at a loss and don’t know what he would think. But I’m so afraid of getting something that he wouldn’t like that I end up not getting anything.

Now, I’m certain that if I saw something that I absolutely loved, this problem would go away. But because this decision is one that Paul would have, ultimately, made I find it difficult. When I have found something that I think Paul would like aesthetically, it’s priced too high for my frugal ways or it’s so cheaply made that I would be embarrassed to allow a guest to use it.

Thankfully or luckily (?) having summer guests is looking less likely because I was very near the point of taking my guest straight to the mall from the airport so that they could chose their own bedding.

I guess the point is this: I feel that I’m ready to make changes, but I am so unsure of my own tastes these days that I don’t know what changes to make. I don’t know if I like something because I really like it or because it’s what Paul and I agreed on. And, in all honesty, so many of these household aesthetics are things I’ve just never cared about in the past and I can’t get my head around it now. After all, before getting married I never purchased any household goods because I always lived in my parents’ house when in the states or in furnished accommodations when in Scotland.  This is the first time in my life where I have to be a grownup without Paul.

Eventually, I’ll get there. In the mean time, I wonder if it’s rude to ask house guests to bring their own sheets?

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