Monday, March 27, 2017

Window Dressing

I recently put up a decorative curtain rod and hung new floor-length floral curtains in my master bath. Putting up rods is stressful. The task brought to mind a few “curtain fights” with significant others over the years. Now that I live alone, I attempt simple household tasks by myself with my limited supply of tools.

Getting those curtains into place was important, as my only line of defense for a few weeks was the translucent blind on the window, hanging slightly crooked from worn-out strings. Every morning during those weeks I took my shower with the lights off; thus, I had to wait until it got light enough outside to see where the soap and shampoo were. I could find everything else.

Every day my process brought to mind a scene from “Seinfeld” in which George Costanza visited his mother in the hospital. As I remember it, she was hungry and asked him to go to the cafeteria and bring her a sandwich, but George stayed put because he was mesmerized by what was happening in the next bed.

“It’s six-thirty. Time for your sponge bath,” the nurse said to her patient, pulling the curtain closed between the beds. George then enjoyed a “cinema in silhouette” as the nurse slowly sponge-bathed the shapely female patient.

I didn’t want to be backlit and displayed like a shadow puppet as I went about my morning routine. A viewing audience outside my house at 5:00 or 6:00 a.m. is unlikely, but people do walk their dogs and get their newspapers. My neighbors and I share sidewalks, and most of my home is on the ground floor.

When I moved into this condo, the previous owner had left mini-blinds on all the windows, so I didn’t put up curtains right away. One day a neighbor told me she could see me in my room at night. She was doing me a great favor, letting me know my mini-blinds with their gaps and bent slats were not affording me complete privacy. Live and learn.

The recent curtain installation went smoothly after I exchanged the first rod I bought. (Note to self: Measure the window before buying the hardware.) I have no power tools, but my hammer and screwdriver did the job. I left the blind in place. The curtains not only added a layer of privacy; they also look pretty. Because they match the ones in my bedroom, they visually define the space as what it is: a master suite.