If you’ve spent any time over here you know that I love words. I’ve tried to do one of those blog posts where it’s just pictures but it ends up being about the same as when I’m having a conversation with someone and there are big, long pauses. I can’t do it. I simply MUST fill in the gaps! It’s a sickness, I tell ya.
But although I have a very obvious love affair with words, there is one particular word that I struggle with, especially when it comes to decorating.
And as I was putting a little Easter twist on my living room mantel the other day, I was thinking about this word and about how it might perhaps be the reason I’ve always decorated more for Spring than specifically for Easter.
You see, I have a problem with the word ‘cute’. In and of itself, it’s a lovely word. I, myself, actually use it quite a bit in my day to day conversations. But most of the time those particular conversations are with my young daughter.
I have found that using the word ‘cute’ to describe something can go either one of two ways. If used to tell a little girl that her hair is looking especially darling that day, the word ‘cute’ is the perfect choice.
If, however, it’s used to describe my home decor, I guess I just bristle a bit.
Because, I think sometimes people can take this sweet little word and twist it into something that can sound almost patronizing. Like how you feel when someone pats you on the head. Or when a sales clerk who is 20 years younger than you calls you ‘sweetie’.
I will never forget showing my home to an extended family member for the first time. We were so excited about moving into a house we never dreamed we’d be able to live in and as I shared all of my plans with her she was just absolutely silent. We walked from room to room with me babbling on like an idiot while she barely made a sound. And after one of those long, dreaded pauses that I so desperately wanted to fill with words, she uttered only one single word of her own. Her gaze swept around the kitchen and breakfast room and into the family room and she said, “Cute.” Just.Like.That. Her nose may have even been turned up when she said it but I could also just have created that in my imagination as I’ve relived that moment over and over again. 😉
I think that maybe these slightly traumatizing encounters I’ve had with the word ‘cute’ have made me nervous about decor in my home that would even remotely smack of it.
So, I’ve just avoided it all together.
I’m happy to put out Spring branches and a few little nests but I haven’t dared to try and create anything specifically Easter-y for fear of going over the edge of cuteness and never returning.
But this year was different somehow. Maybe it’s because I just turned 40. Maybe it’s my newfound sense of security in who I am. Maybe I know my style better now and feel confident in it.
Or maybe it’s just I really wanted to declare my feelings about what Easter means to me on a chalkboard.
As I placed the topiary in the bucket on top of the mantel I stood back and thought to myself, “That’s so cute!”
And, surprisingly, I was ok with it.
Maybe I’ve made my peace with cute.
In moderation, of course! 😉
Thanks so much for meeting me at the fence today,