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Paper Shades

February 11, 2016

I hate blinds. You know those white blinds every landlord installs in every rental place? They encourage tension. They grow impossible to remove dust and they’re always going up more on one side then the other. And that noise they make as they go up…..ugh…so annoying.

My new place, #3 has 15 windows, all with those white blinds installed. I can’t afford to install curtains on all those windows. The apartment is upstairs, one of four sections of a big, old house, so I only need to cover the bottom half of the windows to achieve privacy. After shopping around I realized I can’t even afford short, café curtains.

So, I bought 15 packs of paper shades for about $4 each. They’re just paper, a little heavier than standard copy paper, folded accordion-style with a strip of adhesive at one end. It took a while to get the right rhythm of measuring, trimming and hanging with thumbtacks. By the third window, I had it down. I found tee-tiny, little clothespins to weight them down or hold them up.

The day after I hung them all up, I walked into #3 and noticed that the folds were beginning to flatten at the tops of the shades. So, I crimped up the top portion of one of them and clipped it closed, so it might remember its shape.

I walked around randomly pinning sections of the 15 pieces of paper.

“My paper shades are alive and they require discipline,” I texted Liz.

As I stood at one of the windows, carefully raising the accordion folds up, careful not to crumple the paper, pinning one side, then folding up the other side and pinning it, I laughed at myself.

It’s a ridiculous way to cover windows. Completely impractical. Annoying to manage. But I couldn’t have been happier.

As I have so many times before in the past four years, I thought about Mr. K, my ex. There is no way he would’ve supported my silly little paper solution. He would have hated it. He would have thought it was stupid and been embarrassed to have someone see paper shades on the windows. He would have been so annoyed with the idea of slowly, carefully folding up pieces of paper. He would have looked down on me for coming up with such a tacky solution. I could imagine the furrowed brow on his face and the sigh from his breath as he condescended to me just subtly enough that I could not accuse him of being mean or controlling.

I looked over at the wall of windows in the little closed-in porch area, the sun obnoxiously invading the space, glowing white behind the row of unruly, unevenly folded, cheap paper shades and I smiled with easy contentment.

I was alone.

And I was free.

And I was home.



From → Rantings

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