Rules and Compromises.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

I've been thinking about those two things quite often lately.  Clearly rules, yes, as I keep mentioning them in one format or another, or another, or yet another.  But compromises, I have yet to cover ground on.

Last Saturday night Mike and I were hanging out on our spiffy patio with our rusting, on its last legs fire pit, relaxing and chatting.  One of my favorite things to do.  Usually Hailey would lay nearby in the grass, er, weeds sniffing the air, reveling in the extended outdoor time.  On occasion she would walk between us and the fire, attempting to burn her tail fur or her butt by getting too close.  I think she just liked to have us "save" her from the fire.  Sigh.  I sure do miss her.

I had ordered this funny little toilet paper/magazine holder thingamagig for the first floor bathroom, which I thought was hilarious and weird, quirky and unusual.  Personality-riddled.  Mike was not in the right frame of mind when he came home on Saturday and saw it so he didn't find it as fun, weird, and silly as I do.  And in actuality, he still really doesn't.  But, I think he's trying to give me the benefit of the doubt on this one.

wire basket toilet paper holder installed
InterDesign Classico Wall Mount Magazine & Tissue Holder* from Amazon.  Please don't yell at me about Amazon.
Yeah, it's odd and it may not make a lot of sense right now but once all the bad tile is gone, the walls repainted, some quirky reading material gets in the basket, we get that room all figured out, it'll make more sense to him.  That's my hope anyway.

another view of the wire basket toilet paper holder

I dig it.  Like I said, I think it's weird and fun, and I had never seen something like it before.  Plus it holds two rolls of toilet paper!  And!  It's easy to replace the toilet paper roll!  Right?  Right?  Ahem.  Wink wink, nudge nudge.

So we were sitting and talking around the fire when we get to talking about the house.  As I mentioned last time here, I've been stockpiling goodies for future projects, a couple a' which, well, yeah, cough, ya know, I had not mentioned to Mike yet.  Ya know, heh.  Whooooop's.

It's not that I'm afraid to.  Not it at all.  We're a lucky pair, in all honesty.  He's willing to let me take chances (within [his {which is fair}] reason), try stuff out.  He has lots of patience for my weirdness, like say, my choice in strange toilet paper holders. When I ask his opinion on things he likes to say, "well babe, you are the designer here, go ahead."  Of course I want to include him as this is his house too.  Plus he does have a great sense of design.  But, simply?   We have an excellent collaboration going on.  We're very fortunate.

Compromise is a tough thing, whether you're making decisions with your spouse, your partner, a roommate, a friend, a client, anybody really.  By definition, both parties aren't going to get all they want which is why people don't like compromising.  You have to figure out what you can and cannot do without, but be flexible, not absolute, and see the bigger picture.

I certainly do not have all the mystical magical answers on how to compromise with people on design.  Here's what we do:

I'll present an option to Mike, he'll hate it or love it, or if I catch him in the right moment, he'll offer a counter option.  We discuss the benefits of each, the detriments of each, why we like our presented options, what we like or don't like about the others' ideas, how the options do or do not work toward our common goal, we listen, we weigh, we furrow brows.

If we haven't come to an agreement by this point and henceforth are at a stand off, there's a pause, another pause, shifting in seats:  pick your battles turning point.  We concede to who has the more impassioned plea.  Sometimes I prevail, sometimes Mike does, sometimes neither snags victory but we then agree to keep searching.  There are never any hard feelings.  If his choice not to my taste, I find a way to work with it because ultimately, someone I love loves whatever that thing is.  And it's just things, really.  Mike is far more important to me than any thing.

But, see, by its very nature, design is fluid so one day you may be wildly bonkers about that who's-a-what's-it and by next week?  Who knows?  You may decide meh, toss it.  Getting upset or finite about design elements is to be impractically spinning one's wheels.  Besides, the best design ultimately comes from working together.

So I show him something I purchased, feeling brave but nervous as I knew he would not be convinced by whatever reasonable nor wackadoo explanation I came up with that it's The Greatest Idea for a particular room.  I'm paddling up sh*t's creek to explain my logic behind the idea, why it will work within the context of design "rules"......

He went through our whole compromise process on his own in a millisecond, picked his battle and conceded.  But, not without mild protestation.

Quietly and subtly, almost unnoticeably, the eyes roll a bit, a sigh, a "whatever babe, it's your house," and a head shake with a "I don't get it" later he comes up with the quote of the year:  "designers, man," he says, "they make up 'the rules' just to justify their crazy decisions."  Heh, he's really not all that far off, and I mean that in the most respectful way.  Us designers, we are crazy, but it's all for good, all for betterment, positive change, to keep design moving forward.  "Crap," he says to me next, "that's totally going to end up in the blog now, isn't it?"  Yep, I said.

Hailey laying on the ground outside
Patiently awaiting a fire to be lit on an evening back in May.

*The Amazon link is an affiliate link.  mwah, thanks!

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