Decorating Debacle
by Carey & Dena Dyer
April 07th, 2016

“The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down.”
Proverbs 14:1, ESV

He Says

It’s hard to describe Dena’s eccentric “flair” for decorating. I don’t mind that she likes to change our furniture and accoutrements around more often than others. I’ve come to expect as much from a creative person like her. 

My problem comes with the changes that are, shall we say, more sweeping–such as, I come home from work and think I’ve entered the wrong house. 

When most people pick out a new color, wall décor or piece of furniture, they tend to take a while to make the final decision: “Let’s sleep on it and see if we still like it in the morning.” Well, if you’ll pardon my Tennessee vernacular, my wife ain’t most people. When she has a flash of decorating inspiration, it skips right past the “Is this at all practical or do-able?” filter in her brain. Her ideas even blow right past the “What will it cost to fix it if I mess up?” zone; and don’t even get me started on the “Will Carey like it?” filter. That one’s been broken for a while.  After all, I only live there. Why would I be concerned about how my house looks?

No, no – those brain filters are for the short-sighted, evidently. For as soon as Dena thinks of an idea, in her mind that gives her the green light to do it. . .right NOW! “I’ll figure it out as I go.  How hard can it be?” One day, I came home to find inspirational quotes written all over my office wall–in Sharpie, every interior designer’s most elegant tool. The words had no guiding lines, no centering or spacing, no light-marked pencil to trace; Dena figured that when taking a permanent marker to my workspace, freehand was the way to go. Needless to say, she agreed that I should paint over it. . .in bright red paint.


She Says

I have to take issue with a few things Carey just said. First of all, there was one quote on the wall. Not several. (It was very poorly executed, though.) Also, I do take his opinion into account about decorating decisions…now, at least. Back then, I was of the “a woman’s home is her castle” mindset and I thought I should be in charge of all decisions related to décor.

I knew I went too far one day when Carey came home to both couches in different places. I had a sheepish expression on my face when he asked, “Who moved them?” He gently chided me for not waiting on him to help, and I knew he was right.

Growing up, my parents held very traditional roles. My father brought home the bacon and my mom fried it up. Period. She was in charge of all things house-related, and he took care of everything else. Being married to a man who cared about décor and took some getting used to, for sure.

Two decades into this union, I still have to stop myself from impulse purchases at Tuesday Morning (unless they’re tiny) and remind myself to ask Carey before re-decorating. But I’m glad to do it, because he considers me before making decisions, too.

After all, we are a team, and team members consult one another regularly and communicate honestly—even about paint colors.   

Bio: Carey and Dena have been married for twenty-one years and have two sons. They live in Granbury, Texas, which is big enough to have a Wal-Mart but not an Olive Garden. The Dyers are the co-authors of Love at First Fight: 52 Story-Based Meditations for Married Couples (Barbour).

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