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Orange you glad I didn’t say banana?

August 23, 2011

I wish you could feel through your monitors to experience the delicious fuzzy velvet of this flocked wallpaper from my parents' old house.

Do not adjust your monitors.  What you are seeing here is actually and intentionally orange

By now, you probably know all about how I believe I’m subconsciously recreating my childhood in present day (click here for more on my theory).  Well, that eerie truth just came smashing through my family room this weekend.  Yep, knocked me right onto the floor where I drooled on the carpet for ten minutes in a nostalgia-induced coma.   

I had just returned from a home interiors purchasing mission with this mass-manufactured large circular metal coppery-colored hotel art wall hanging thing-a-ma-jig.  (If you’re judging me by my apparent decorating lapse, you haven’t seen the enormous 8-year-old empty space on my wall.  It’d make even the likes of Martha Stewart slap up an old neon Budweiser sign from a college dormitory just for the sake of filling it.) 

So I immediately hung the copper monstrosity in our family room and sat back to relax in the beautiful sense of completion.  And in that instant something Poltergeist-surreal occurred.  The family room wall color TRANSFORMED – poof! – from what I thought was a burnt sienna brown to, clearly, an autumn orange.  (Okay, not “clearly” to those like my husband who only see the world in the primary hues of a remedial color wheel.  But “clearly” to most of the female population.)  Orange!  My walls are orange! 

You’re not going to grasp my shock and disgust if you don’t get some history on this.  Six years ago these walls were straight-out orange.  Pumpkin orange.  My choice.  This color grew off me over time, which led me to brown.  But apparently it didn’t.  Because here I am back at orange.  I cannot escape it.

Oh no, it’s not just paint color.  I’d be lucky if that’s where it ended.  I also have an orange couch in my living room.  A very large, very orange sectional couch.  With various patterned throw pillows, all containing orange.  The color orange spreads throughout our house like black mold.  But when we bought this house eight years ago, oh, I was so all about red!  Red with teeny tiny smatterings of yellow and a teeny tiny dash of orange.  Now I recognize that slowly orange has crept in like the Blob and taken over my house…and my life.

This is where it turns Poltergeist.  As I looked at the orange transformation occurring in my family room, it dawned on me – of course it’s orange.  The beloved home where I lived out the early half of my childhood happened to be the site of a melon-colored meteorite explosion. 

In 1979 when my parents bought that house, orange was the new avocado green.   All the rage, that color.  The carpet throughout most of the house was orange.  The wall paper in the living room and all the way to the top of the vaulted entryway was orange.  Orange linoleum in the kitchen.  Orange flecked entryway tile.  Orange, orange and more orange.  My mom was ready to scratch out her own eyes with a melon baller toward the end of our time in that house.  With no Martha Stewart or HGTV to guide her out of the tangerine abyss, she finally had to surrender to it.  Yes, she eventually bought an orange armchair to match.

And that brings us to today.  And to my own orange house.  So, no, I didn’t come to encase my family in orange because I saw it in a Pottery Barn catalog and wanted to jump aboard the Everyone Train.  It goes much, much deeper than brainwashed consumerism.  I am simply a crazy Single White Female stalker of my former life.  Don’t worry though!  I’m not going to go drastic and cut my hair in a pixie style like Jennifer Jason Leigh did.  No, instead I’m just going to buy a few more orange throw pillows to toss onto my couch.  And maybe a new orange LeCreuset pot for making orange marmalade.  See, much less crazy. 

And definitely not this crazy:

You’ll be glad to know I have not erected wooden saloon doors to lead into my kitchen.  As in, Belly up to the bar for a sasparilla, little partners!  My mom never actually said that.  But I always wished she had.

I also don’t have these wooden birds on the wall.  Although, maybe I should now that I’ve managed to locate their current whereabouts.  (Thank you, Mr. Google.) 

And I have no immediate plans to deck out my bathroom in Victorian-era newspaper print.  You know, like the tables in the old Wendy’s restaurants?  Oh, please tell me you remember those tables!  I spilled many a ketchup packet on those tables, undoubtedly onto an advertisement for men’s miracle hair tonic.  Although, as far as bathroom wallpaper goes, I have to say my mom was onto something there.  Who needs bathroom reading material when the nearby walls boast a hands-free newspaper?  Let me reconsider this now.  Does it come in orange?


Readers, thank you for your recent comments.  I have not forgotten about my pledge to you (here).  Right now I’m in the process of attaining photos from the Marcia Archives and will soon be diligently sorting through the file marked Angie, you were so cute with that asymmetrical perm.  I can assure you, I have many a photo of me in my orange house with my asymmetrical perm (though, mysteriously, none in my Wonder Woman Underoos).  Please check back for updates.

11 Comments leave one →
  1. Timoree permalink
    August 23, 2011 3:00 pm

    Maybe that is why I love green so much…hmm. I think you are on to something!

    • August 23, 2011 8:29 pm

      That and maybe because it reminds you of money? Nothing wrong with that. I love money too.

  2. AnonyCuse permalink
    August 23, 2011 7:12 pm

    Deep down, we’re all Syracuse fans.

  3. August 23, 2011 9:48 pm

    Weird. I like green a lot lot lot and it was the color de rigeur in my mom’s house. Hmmm. Oh, and you look exactly like Margo in that pic.

  4. September 19, 2011 9:50 am

    Sis, how on earth did you find our wallpaper AND the wooden seagulls? Amazing!!

    • October 1, 2011 9:52 pm

      Because I think this is the job I was born to do: hunt down random pictures that were never intended to see the light of day beyond 1988.

  5. Cara permalink
    October 1, 2011 8:22 pm

    Although I already knew we shared a lot in common, who knew we were staring at the same wallpaper while using the potty as children? My mom’s bathroom with the vintage newspaper wallpaper was compete with red swirl carpet and a hanging stained glass Husker bar light.

    • October 1, 2011 10:03 pm

      Wow! Our moms were so forward-thinking in their decorative selections. They certainly weren’t afraid to take risks.

      I can’t wait to someday hear what my kids think of my affection for “bowl of fruit” still life paintings.

  6. Rex permalink
    June 14, 2014 9:07 am

    Oh, how many long minutes I spent staring at those Victorian-era newspaper ads while dipping those not-McDonalds-quality-but-definitely-servicable fries into a styrofoam bowl of chili. There was one particular ad (which I don’t see in your picture, and probably for the best) that had an illustration of some crazy-looking Victorian character and creeped the heck out of me. So much so, that I had developed a major neurotic conflict between wanting to once again experience those Hot ‘N Juicy burgers and that so-novel salad bar and having to endure those tables where that leering little man would be waiting for my eyesight to uncontrollably wander over to him.

    And while I’m at it, my aunt had that wallpaper in her bedroom in the ’70s, but the background was scarlet red and the flocked pattern part was black.

    • July 7, 2014 7:38 pm

      Wow, what a little gem of a comment this was to find after checking in on my long abandoned blog! Thank you, Rex! Your memory is fantastic!

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